‘Bhoot: Part One-The Haunted Ship’ Movie Review: Vicky Kaushal’s horror film is terrifying in bits, but far from being a scare-fest
Bhanu Pratap Singh
Hiroo Yash Johar, Karan Johar, Apoorva Mehta, Shashank Khaitan
Vicky Kaushal, Bhumi Pednekar, Ashutosh Rana
Bollywood Bubble Rating
What’s It About
An old ship floats by randomly on the Juhu beach in Mumbai after breaking off its harness. The ship was deserted and was being taken to be dismantled. However, the ship gets stuck at the Juhu beach due to low tide and has 3-4 days stuck there. Our hero, Vicky Kaushal, is in charge of the shipping company and has to make sure that the ship gets back to its original destination. However, entering the ship to inspect, he realises it’s haunted. Will he be able to survive the onslaught of the ghosts? Well, that’s what the movie is all about.
Vicky Kaushal is the lone hard-worker in the movie as the whole story is based on his shoulders. Continuing with his stellar performances of ‘Sanju’ and ‘Uri’, he is once again playing a believable character, which you will not only sympathise with but also relate to.
The background score of the movie by Ketan Sodha is something that’s indeed great. After all, in a horror film, more than anything else, it’s the background sounds that scare the sh*t out of an audience member. Ketan has made sure that the film gets that in full proportion.
Then there is the cinematography by Pushkar Singh, which is commendable. If you’re not able to show the nuances properly, how would you scare the audiences? Pushkar does his job nicely as he is shot selection and camera work is fantastic.
The visual effects are also done pretty decently, and we are given a product which does look like some of the Hollywood horror films you have been watching in the past decade or so.
To begin with, the story by Bhanu Pratap Singh starts off being massively believable but pretty soon lags to something that is totally predictable and makes you not even want to shut your eyes waiting for a horror scene to come. For example (SPOILERS AHEAD), Vicky Kaushal’s best friend who is there on the ship to help him out suddenly vanishes from the screenplay after an oil tap opening scene. The doctor who tags along to save Vicky Kaushal from the Ghost is nowhere to be seen after the battle has been won.
The same can be said about Bhanu Pratap Singh direction. It’s not that he didn’t have a great product at hand. It’s just that, with the resources available, he could have managed to do the job a trillion times better. While in the first half you are totally drawn into the film and are expecting the second half to make you crap in your pants. However, the second half turns out to be a sob story, and even when there is a horror angle, you are hardly sitting on the edge of your seats.
Talking of acting, Bhumi Pednekar was a blink-and-miss appearance, and you can’t blame her for not getting a lot more of a character. However, you definitely wanted to see more of Ashutosh Rana, as the doctor who tries to kill ghosts with tricks and Mantra from the 1970s-80s. Sadly, you won’t get him also for a long time onscreen.
The worst part of them all is that you have gone in to watch a really scary film, and throughout the film, you’re not able to get that much of scary scenes which will make you squint your eyes and not want to watch what’s going to happen next. After all, that’s the best part about a horror film when the audiences are feeling the terror as much as the lead character in the film. Sadly, this movie doesn’t have those scenes in ample amounts. It seems that Karan Johar wanted to add in his touch of emotional drama to this Bhanu Pratap directorial. That’s why the second half eases you out on the horror angle and gives you more of an emotional father-daughter story combined with a little bit of a revenge drama. Whatever the genre be, it’s not horror, and we were promised that in the trailers.
Bhoot-The Haunted Ship is surely a good start. However, the second half of the movie lags and faulters. There are indeed terrifying moments in this Vicky Kaushal horror movie, but it sure isn’t the scare-fest we were so desperately wanting to have in Bollywood. I am going with just 2.5 stars, more so for Vicky Kaushal’s valiant efforts.
The film’s fortunes could turn really well and really bad depending on the fate of the other release of the weekend, ‘Shubh Mangal Zyada Saavdhan’. If that film sucks badly, which rarely is a case with an Ayushmann Khurrana movie, then this movie will turn out to be the more watched. If it goes the other way round, this movie might just die down by Monday. Horror fans will surely throng theatres to lap up onto this Vicky Kaushal film, and that might just be the saving grace for the makers of the movie.