Bhool Bhulaiya 2 is a story that defies logic and common sense but completely sails on Tabu's shoulders

Aishwarya Srinivasan
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Bhool Bhulaiya 2

Bhool Bhulaiya 2 starring Karthik Aaryan, Kiara Advani and Tabu is not even close to it's predecessor but still makes it's own mark!

Every person in this world has a common fear and that’s the fear of the unknown. To take that fear and turn it into a visual medium is what made horror movies come into existence. A good horror movie makes you feel like you are in that dark room or the haunted house with the characters and you’re going to have a paranormal experience, the minute you look behind. 

Bhool Bhulaiya which was made back in 2007, became a classic over the years and in my opinion was way ahead of its time. It took me several years to even realize that there actually was no ghost in the movie, and Vidya Balan’s character suffered from Dissociative Identity Disorder. Once I learned that the movie became way more interesting to watch as you get to see how one can never know what goes on in someone’s mind. 

But even though its sequel had some big shoes to fill, it became a stand-alone movie in itself and director Anees Bazmee had a new perspective on the franchise. Ruhan Randhawa (Karthik Aaryan) meets Reet Thakur (Kiara Advani) while he was on one of his trips around India. Reet who is studying to become a doctor has marital pressure from her father and is coming home to meet those expectations. But when the two form a connection and decide to attend a music festival, they end up missing their bus to go back home and that turns out to be for the best as that very bus gets into an accident and weirdly none of the passengers survive. When Reet calls home to let her family know that she is okay, she unexpectedly overhears that her sister is actually in love with her to be husband. Just so her sister can marry the man of her dreams, Reet decides to let her family believe that she was one of the passengers on that bus and is no more in this world. She asks Ruhaan to come along with her to Rajasthan and help her hide till her sister gets married. The rest of the events unfold in a manner where it leads the two of them to hide in the haveli where Manjulika is trapped for the past 18 years. 

Here’s where my problems begin with the story. How has nobody from Reet’s family thought of cross-checking the fact that she’s actually dead? Especially given that her body was not even at the funeral and the funeral itself barely had a wet eye in the room. When Chhote Pandit (Rajpal Yadav) tells all of them that the haveli doors are open, the whole village goes together to check if its true and finds Ruhaan inside who then makes them believe that he's the only one who can talk to Reet’s spirit and that is super bizarre to watch. How does no one question him at all? How do they fall for everything he says? Has logic actually left the building? It almost felt as if I was watching a really dramatic TV serial with my mom.

Even though the premise of the story is not that strong and actually challenges your IQ, I still found myself not being able to control my laughter in scenes that had Ruhaan and Chhote Pandit's banters. Chhote Pandit’s character is one for the books and thank God Rajpal Yadav agreed on embodying that character once again. Kiara Advani had the best costumes in the film but does not have a lot to do except for hiding from her family and making Karthik look like a hero.  

Horror movies completely bank on clever cinematography and Tirru, the cinematographer of this film focuses on the subject in the foreground without missing out on the spooky shadows that pass in the background as well, just like most horror movies do. But most of the songs in the film were unnecessary, except for of course the iconic Aamhi Je Tomar. This film would be incomplete without that and its fresh take on letting Karthik Aaryan dance on it instead of Manjulika is what makes this one stand out. Having said that, I did miss Shreya Goshal's voice echoing through the halls of the haveli way past midnight.

Not many know this but Manichitrathazhu, a Malayalam film made in 1993 was actually the first ever version of the Bhool Bhulaiya stories. Since then, we’ve had Chandramukhi in Tamil, and the two Bhool Bhulaiyas in Hindi. So we’ve had quite a few portrayals of Manjulika over the years and each one of them is different from the other. Tabu’s version of it had me shook yet again. She really towered over everything in this film with her double role as Anjulika and Manjulika. A whole new disturbing backstory filled with black magic, kohl eyes, and curly hair, definitely adds to increasing the fright level of the film.

Without revealing much about the end, which honestly is the biggest essence behind the film working, it totally sent chills down my spine and reminded me that even fifteen years and three movies later, I'll always be scared of Manjulika.

Bhool Bhulaiya 2 definitely is one of those family entertainers where you have to keep your brain aside and just go with the flow. The movie is scary in parts without it being too much of a cathartic experience for anyone.

Also Read: Bhool Bhulaiya 2 brought out some really mixed reactions from the Janta!

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