From Kartik Aaryan and Kiara Advani’s maze, Tabu emerges victorious


From Kartik Aaryan and Kiara Advani's maze, Tabu emerges victorious

STORY: Ruhan Randhawa (Kartik Aaryan) is a baby-faced crook, yet the formidable Thakur clan fall for his novice black magic tricks, particularly the sheltered offspring, Reet Thakur (Kiara Advani). Although Anees Bazmee’s “Bhool Bhulaiyaa 2” (BB2) is the sequel to a smash hit – albeit independent – it doesn’t succumb to outside pressure. Instead, it keeps on its own…one voodoo doll at a time.

VERIFICATION: Remind us again, what do they say about women and upset? Oh yes, “Hell has no fury like a woman despised.” Down there at the Bhool Bhulaiyaa 2 camp, that aphorism takes on a life of its own for writer Aakash Kaushik and director Anees Bazmee. Yes, we all have our thoughts and feelings about this sequel, but disconnect from the memories of Akshay Kumar’s debut episode for a while and allow the latest version to introduce itself. This story begins with a shot of a sand dune somewhere – hint: Rajasthan – and goes back to when Reet was a little girl clinging to her pyaari bhabi anjulika. Cut to scene two, the wealthy family abandons their vast mansion because one of their own has crossed over to the other, darker side of metaphysical existence: Manjulika, the whore. After devouring eight of their family members, the Thakursen are assured that Manjulika has been bottled and holed up in a deplorable room at their abandoned estate. But how did a charming little punk like Ruhan find himself in the midst of this family chaos? Here comes the nice, naive Reet. Bhool Bhulaiyya 2 is nothing like its origin story, and that is its secret magic.

Bazmee, by no means new to the comedy genre; some might even call him a master, knows only too well that in India, two things define our viewers’ palate when it comes to content consumption – sex and satire. Here Bazmee plays on the latter. A further elaboration of what was mentioned initially (about uniqueness in tone and treatment), ‘BB2’ invests heavily in physical and sitcoms; Add in witty dialogue, quick humor and expressionism, the result you get is, well, Bhool Bhulaiyaa 2.

Put preconceptions aside because this movie has nothing like you’ve seen before: when you know you know. While it would be criminal to compare Aaryan to Kumar – the former must have felt the pressure to the bone, given Kumar’s success with it in 2007 – there’s a constant hum that plays like a broken record as you listen are watching a film: It’s a star’s breadcrumbs. Notably his signature head nod and soft eye movements mimicked by Aaryan (perhaps as a “nod” to Kumar’s nod; an ode to a senior). It’s not the same, but he’s trying. With that, let’s decipher Kartik Aaryan, the Un star in the film. For Ruhan, the actor exudes an everyman openness that glides effortlessly with his laid-back vibe. Kartik Aaryan brings Kartik Aaryan to the set for this film and he delivers a likable performance. His chemistry with Kiara Advani – who is nothing short of a Rajasthani princess; Clothing wise – falls flat. There’s the quintessence of flirting and romping, kissing and dancing, but the sum of it all is an uncomfortable, unflattering PowerPoint presentation. Like two people who have only met once and pretend to be friends.

Others, however, bring their A-game to the table: say taboo. Versatility should actually be Tabu’s middle name. If that’s the case, then she did the right thing. ‘BB2’ sees her in her element – those big and loose curls, gajras, overdone kajal and a elegance that can’t be acquired through training. At this point, it’s frustratingly impossible to grasp the magnitude of her size without being a big mouth about it. So we refrain from that. Persevere, persevere, and let yourself be cared for: A certain human emotion, rampant and screaming anger, typifies Taboo’s mind.

Keeping some of the selling points of its standalone predecessor, Bazmee is also bringing back a few old players, including Rajpal Yadav, who is in a class of his own as Chhote Pandit. Next in line are Bollywood veterans Sanjay Mishra and Rajesh Sharma. A child artist also leaves his mark on the film, Siddhant Ghegadmal as Potlu.

“Bhool Bhulaiyaa 2” is an assemblage of sadness and sadness, a desi (more cheerful) answer to the old adage that life is indeed “the greatest tragedy” of all – the black magic navigating and leading to an even darker subject : human nature – and it gets stuck for the most part, and the parts that don’t must get lost in the maze of life.

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