In modern times, when humans are scarier than any other living or non-living entity, it becomes harder for horror to be appealing. Thus, it becomes crucial to push an arc questioning the base of that horror. It shifts to a totally different paradigm when comedy enters the conversation. Bhoot police is the most recent film released of the genre in Disney plus Hotstar, directed by Pawan Kriplani.
Writer-Director Pawan Kriplani, with writers Pooja Surti and Sumit Batheja, have imbibed the project well, though the execution is a different game. A horror comedy by design is about not taking itself too seriously, embracing the absurdity of things while trying to be a mirror to the demons of society. ‘Bhoot Police’ is trying hard to check all the boxes. However, it is par excellence at moments and outright flat and lazy at some junctures. Pretty much similar to my class projects!
By default, Saif Ali Khan is the most entertaining part of the film. The actor has a subliminal understanding of the character and its approach. The film’s premise is set on two brothers Vibhooti (Saif) and Chiraunji (Arjun), the seventh generation of renowned Tantriks specialized in Exorcism, Chakra openings, with knowledge of ancient script deciphering. The story begins when Maaya(Yami Gautam) seeks their assistance in getting rid of a paranormal being that has affected the functioning of her family tea-estate at Silawar.
The film begins with a lot of promise to be something different, unique but ultimately the strong parts do not add to the grand scheme of things. There is a clash shown between the two Tantrik brothers, one of whom is sure that ‘superstition’ is a tool for earning money, and the other brother who tries hard to give purpose to his profession, the effort is borne out of the respect he has for his father’s legacy.
Bhoot Police doesn’t leave you in peels of laughter, but yes, you do smirk on some of the witty one-liners and their placing, the most obvious one was “Go Kichkandi Go” parallel to “Go Corona Go.”
The visual appeal of the film is appealing and in the right tone, with principal photography done in Dharamshala, so much so that personally it felt underutilized. The two sisters played by Yami and Jacqueline are too confirmed and confined. Yami does try to add more layers but probably the plot doesn’t allow her to. Similarly, Jacqueline Fernandes, who plays a self-absorbed glamorous woman with higher means is restricted and at places used as a screen prop.
Bhoot Police could have been a better shot if it landed on what it started with, the borderline tug-of-war between enunciating horror, and demystifying it but lost track when it shifted into the morals and closure than to the horror itself, failing on both points.