When you see the credit line, ‘Written & Directed by Pavan Kirpalani’, you can’t help wondering, ‘What writing? What direction?’
Similarly, when the tagline reads, ‘Horror Comedy’, you do want to ask, ‘Where’s the horror? Where’s the comedy?’
Bhoot Police unfortunately falls between two stools, unable to give the viewer either spine-tingling creeps or a treasure chest of chuckles.
Two differently tempered brothers (Saif Ali Khan as Vibhooti; Arjun Kapoor as Chiraunji) have inherited the exorcism brand of their father who was an authentic, empowered tantrik. Vibhooti, an uncouth, skirt-chasing, Playboy-reading non-believer, takes his younger brother along to prey on the blind beliefs of their clients and make their buck.
Chiru takes his father’s science seriously and pores over the book that he has left behind for his sons, keen to learn how to be a real tantrik. Vibhooti with his middle-aged belly exposed half the time, continues to be skeptical.
Until they land at a tea estate in Dharamshala in Himachal Pradesh where owner Maya (Yami Gautam) wants her petrified workers to return to the factory. A khichkandi (spirit) that Vibhuti’s and Chiru’s father had driven away two decades ago is back. But looks like her sister Kanika (Jacqueline Fernandez) is up to her own tricks. And a khichkandi is really around too.
What a promising plot.
And yet such a mess.
Taking no advantage of a premise that had the potential for romance, laughs and jump-moments, Pavan Kirpalani makes a dull-as-lead film that scores a zero in all three vital departments – despite two heroines, there’s zero romance, zero humour (unless Jacqueline at her irritating worst in an accent that’s supposed to be funny) and zero scares. Yucky stuff coming out of people’s mouths is not horror. It’s doesn’t tickle either.
Saif is gross and grossly miscast as an unsophisticated petty crook. Arjun tries hard to look sincere. Pretty Yami and Jaaved Jaffri playing a cop look like they’ve no idea why they’re around.
Bhoot Police is once again a film that gets saved by booking itself on an OTT and going home with a decent ROI.