This is a film for kids. But wait, after the interval it turns into one of those 'aatma ko mukti dilane wali' pictures with copious tears and melodrama.
Directorji, decide what you want! A fun film where a kid befriends a ghost... or a tearjerker about dads deserted by their kids who go off to study abroad. What you've made is two different movies separated by an interval!
What more is there to say?
- Amitabh Bachchan is a ghost who hasn't bathed or changed in years. Maybe there is no Lifebuoy for bhatakti aatmas yet...
- Shahrukh Khan in a guest appearance is fine as usual. He is aging nicely but the lines add character to his face. But then he is a dude.
- Juhi Chawla is also looking older but charming. She still sounds like a cho chweet little girl tho...
- Banku - the kid - is good but will inevitably be compared to Darsheel and sorry, he is not THAT good.
The other characters ham and overact majorly. Rajpal Yadav as an alcoholic - strictly ok. Satish Shah as the school principal who eats up students' lunchbooxes - surely could have done better.
I think the makers of the film believe kids WANT over the top characters and acting. I'm not so sure. There is a fine balance you can achieve.
The problem is the film is inspired by many sources - Sixth Sense (only Banku can see the ghost), and well, numerous other Hollywood films whose names I now forget (I think one of them is Beetlejuice). And unfortunately it's not been stitched together that well.
You needed someone like a Robin Williams to play Bhootnath. I don't quite think Amitabh did justice to the role!
Anyhow, my daughter enjoyed it and that's what matters. Bhootnath is a 'summer holiday' film and will do well with the family crowd. In short, there's no need for the rest of you to see it!
P.S. And oh, there is a 'message' in the film: Bhoots can help you make your principal look like an idiot but they won't help you win a race! You see, sports is sports. Bhajji, hope you're listening! Us paar wali duniya mein bhi naatak nahin chalta.