So I saw Bhoot Returns today and, my apologies, I just can’t make myself sit down and write a proper review. Mostly because that would involve me having to find at least one good thing to say about the film, and no, that’s not happening. The film was so dull and so slow, I had to find my entertainment in other ways – and most of said entertainment came from listening to fellow journos around me pass the most hilarious of comments. So, I present to you – top 5 things overheard at the Bhoot Returns press screening.
Considering the film clocks in at an hour and 35 minutes, and this comment was made pre-interval, that should give you an idea of how lengthy this (relatively short) film feels. I’ll tell you why that is: it’s because the entire film is a string of scenes featuring each family member walking through the house and trying to find the source of some sound or the other. Manisha Koirala takes about three minutes to descend her stairs, and you are made to sit there for that entire stretch of time, watching her put one foot in front of the other… until she just turns around and climbs up those very stairs again.
Remember how I told you that this film is all about each family member walking through the house? Yes, all these happen at night, so basically we’re shown 2.5 seconds of daylight, where everyone just sits around discussing the previous night’s events while nothing substantial happens, before we can conveniently shift to night again, where… oh wait. Where still nothing substantial happens.
L-o-l. Really though. So to establish that we’ve switched from our 2.5 seconds of daylight back to a night scene, RGV shows us a shot of the moon, which is always accompanied with werewolf-like howling. So basically, there is a full moon every night in this world, astronomy be damned.
No, but this was the highlight of the film. Post one of the aforementioned walking-through-the-house scenes, three family members bump into each other, and just as they’re laughing it off, they hear the bhoot howling “bhoooooooot.” If that wasn’t enough, I cracked up even more when some guy nearby asked, “Woh Bigg Boss ki awaaz hai kya?” (Is that Bigg Boss’ voice?) Yes, really – this was intended to be a legitimate horror film. Normally, I would think the director’s just trying to troll us, but then I remember it’s Ram Gopal Varma, so…
And this little gem I overheard when the interval hit and we all ran out of the hall just so that we could take a moment’s breather from the monstrosity of it all. It’s true, too: It seems like RGV couldn’t care less about the story, screenplay, or characters – all he wanted was another experiment of his wretched camera angles and everything else came as an afterthought. Only in the last few minutes of the film does something actually happen, but by that point you’re past caring, and anyway, why would you sit through one hour and thirty-five minutes only to have approximately ten minutes of actual action?