After winning a National Award for Best Actor (for Uri: The Surgical Strike) Vicky Kaushal returns to the big screen with Bhoot: Part One - The Haunted Ship. While this is the actor's first horror film, Bhoot (that shares its name with a RGV hit) is Dharma Productions' third attempt at horror after Kaal and Ghost Stories. Bhoot: Part One - The Haunted Ship is the first of a planned franchise, directed by Bhanu Pratap Singh. Bhumi Pednekar has a cameo in the film, while Meher Vij and Ashutosh Rana form the supporting cast. Bhoot: Part One - The Haunted Ship: Before Vicky Kaushal's Film, Looking Back At the Five Spookiest Horror Films Made in Bollywood.
So is Bhoot: Part One - The Haunted Ship scary? Well, if you are someone who loves jump scares, Bhoot has plenty of that to offer you, especially in the first half. The claustrophobic, perilous setting of the ship's interiors, with that terrifying sound design, does give moments that make you jump on your seats or watch the film through your fingers. That said, the jump scares turn out to be the only interesting part about the film that takes a flimsy premise, adds some repetitive spooks to it and then ties it up in a very messy finale. Even Vicky Kaushal's performance seems to be lacking in josh that we saw in Uri. Bhoot Part One – The Haunted Ship Movie Review: Vicky Kaushal’s Horror Film Runs Out of Good Scares Before An Absurd Third Act.
In this special feature, we look at the 11 WTF plot elements in the film that don't allow it to be a great horror flick, like say, a Tumbbad!
The Girl Trafficking Subplot
Vicky Kaushal plays Prithvi, a shipping officer who is first seen in action when he saves a large bunch of girls from getting trafficked. The point of the scene is to show his suicidal bravado and the tendency to be a knight in shining armour. But this scene sticks out like a sore thumb in a film about a haunted giant ass-ship.
Lax Security Around the Ship
Okay, you have a huge ship getting mysteriously beached in your shoreline, and you know there is a high chance that smugglers could get in salvage some of the iron. Or lovers could use it as a rendezvous, thanks to lack of private spaces in the city. So why the lack of security around the ship, especially when you are hounded by the media over it? Sure, you may not know that it houses a murderous ghost, but still, you need to be careful for other anti-social elements.
The Missing Ghost
The ship seemingly has one vengeful ghost of a former worker, but that wasn't the case really. Earlier when Prithvi was expecting a deck on the vessel, he is attacked by a bloody spirit of a portly worker who jumps off the railing just as suddenly as he appeared. It wasn't Prithvi's hallucination, as he had never seen that man before. It could be that the ghost was playing tricks with him. Or did we have one more unaccounted spirit on the ship?
Hello Mr Rana
Ashutosh Rana had played an exorcist in the first Raaz film, who tries to help the protagonist to get rid of the ghost only to be killed himself. Here, he is seen in a similar capacity - a principal (?) who deals with the matter of occult and carries around an Electrometer that helps him detect ghosts in the vicinity. For a horror movie, Bhoot did have a sense of realism, that soon gets lost, the moment Rana's professor Joshi appears on the screen. And in that clunky finale, when he utters mantras to get rid of the spirit, your fright (or whatever is left of it) is soon turned into peals of laughter.
After a particularly intense sequence in the second act, Prithvi and Riyaz both manage to see the murderous entity who seems to be a huge fan of Annabelle, The Grudge and The Ring in her appearance and her scare tactics. After escaping the ship, they meet up with the professor and deduce that the Captain's 3-year old daughter that was abducted at the start is still alive and possessed by the ghost for 11 years. That's some 'Pari' stuff, innit? Pari Movie Review: Anushka Sharma At Her Frightening Best In Bollywood's Most Disturbing Scarefest in Years.
Bhumi's Double Jeopardy
I understand getting a part in a Dharma movie is a big deal for up-and-coming stars, though a certain Ms Ranaut would disagree. The same idea must have crossed Bhumi's mind when she agreed for a cameo in Bhoot (she is also part of Karan Johar's Takht). Bhumi plays Prithvi's wife, who gets killed in a freak boating accident with their little daughter. She later makes an appearance as a taunting hallucination, but the role isn't meaty enough to need the services of a fine actress as Bhumi. She could have easily played Meher Vij's character. Interestingly, in the film, Bhumi's character is seen eloping with Prithvi from the balcony of her house. The same thing she does in this week's other release, Shubh Mangal Zyada Saavdhan, where she again has a cameo. Thankfully she doesn't die there, just disappears on a bike!
The Ghost's Loophole-Laden Powers
So the ghost in the film is shown to follow Prithvi back in his home and haunt him there. So if the spirit can leave the confines of the ship, then why can't it carry out its revenge against the person whom it intends to kill? Also if the spirit needs Prithvi for 'reasons', why doesn't it kill his friend, Riyaz, just like it killed that teenage couple stupid enough to play hide-n-seek on the ship? There also appears to be a moment when the ghost is about to kill Prithvi within the ship, before Riyaz comes and saves his ass. Make up your mind, bhoot, what exactly do you want?
The Twisty Titanic-Love Story
Not only does Bhoot riff off films like Triangle, Ghost Ship, The Ring et al, in one moment, it also pays nod to Titanic. This happens in the flashback portions that explains the ghost's past, where Vandana, the wife of the captain of Sea-Bird, tries to commit suicide, after some vicious beating from her husband, and a worker (looking less like Leo, and more Sohail Khan) saves her from jumping off the railing. From thereon, begins a forbidden love story that leaves 'Jack' killed and 'Rose' pregnant. But since this is a horror film, there is a twist too, as we learn that it was Vandana who killed the lover, as she feared he would tell her husband the truth, thus turning him into a vengeful spirit.
The Secret Path
Prithvi, Riyaz and Professor Joshi bring Vandana (Meher Vij) on the ship so that she can lead them to the secret room where they can find her daughter. She is instructed to stay on the top and give them directions through walkie-talkie. You can see how badly this can go all wrong! So while the rest of the team goes the arduous way of going to the secret room while getting attacked by the ghost, we learn that Vandana knew another secret shortcut to the room, through which she waltzes in while the professor and Prithvi are being attacked. Why the whole secrecy, when you know you are going to be killed for good?
So Where Are Riyaz and Professor Joshi?
After that clunky finale where Vandana gets killed and the ghost is destroyed after his corpse is burnt, Prithvi swims with Vandana's daughter to safety. But what about the professor, whose leg seemed to be broken by the spirit and is thrown into darkness? Did Prithvi even bother to check if he is alive? Or for that matter, Riyaz who disappears from the film after opening the diesel pipe into the room (though how he had any clue that the pipe would pour diesel into that particular room, only God knows).
And What's The Mid-Credit Scene?
Since the movie has the 'Part One' in the title, we know that there is going to be some tease as to what to expect in the next part. Bhoot has a mid-credit scene that teases exactly that. So imagine our disappointment when what we see is nothing but a glimpse of Prithvi's room where a spirit suddenly swishes by and the lamp goes off. Some energy-saving ghost we have here! Damn, that was so Aahat.
(The above story first appeared on LatestLY on Feb 21, 2020 08:52 PM IST. For more news and updates on politics, world, sports, entertainment and lifestyle, log on to our website latestly.com).