It’s tough to watch a follow up in solo without making comparisons to the original. Bhool Bhulaiyaa 2 fits under this genre, as the first film, starred Akshay Kumar and Vidya Balan, was a box office smash and has since gained cult status. In the year 2022, Kartik Aaryan and Kiara Advani are attempting to recreate the same thrill, with Tabu offering a hand. Of course, filmmaker Anees Bazmee has implanted and brought additional components of exhilaration. The plot, authored by Aakash Kaushik (who also wrote the dialogues), gives the performers a large canvas on which to express varied colours and perform.
While the followup and the very first part have little in common (besides Manjulika), the background score and the track Ami Je Tomar continuously transport you back to the 2009 movie, and you find yourself comparing the two. Nonetheless, Bhool Bhulaiyaa 2 is a new story that stands on its own. I’m delighted Anees Bazmee didn’t just rely on jump scares to match the horror genre, because there are true ‘ghostly encounters’ that catch you off guard. There’s no shortage of humour in Bhool Bhulaiyaa 2, given that the filmmaker has a good grasp on the comedy genre, having directed movies like No Entry, Welcome, and Singh is King. The nicest thing is that for the first time in a long time, I got to witness viewers laugh so loudly at clear jokes that generally landed smoothly. During most of the movie, people were cheering, hooting, and shouting their lungs out. I must emphasise the unrivalled excitement and applause that greeted the arrival of Chota Pandit (Rajpal Yadav), who is arguably the only (alive) protagonist that the filmmakers have kept from the classic. Rajpal’s speech and facial gestures take comedy to a new level.
Kartik provides a fantastic portrayal in this strange and hilarious character. He has plenty of opportunities to demonstrate his acting chops, dancing abilities, and comic timing, and he does manage to elicit true laughter. Kiara, like Reet, is nice and uncomplicated, and she looks stunning in each shot. Kiara doesn’t seem trapped anywhere and maintains her appeal, despite the fact that this isn’t a completely new part for her. Unfortunately, her connection with Kartik isn’t magical. Despite much flirting and one kiss, there are no visible sparks on screen. Then there’s Tabu, who commands attention from the start. She is the Thakur family’s disciplined, well-behaved, and affectionate bahu, and her experience shines in every moment she appears in.
Ashwini Kalsekar, Sanjay Mishra, and Rajesh Sharma, among others, provide some amusing moments. Milind Gunanji and Amar Upadhyay also play important roles, although their screen time is of the essence, and we do not however see them do much. Potlu, played by Chola actor Siddhant Ghegadmal, is a welcome addition who brightens up a few drab sequences.