During one of their 'bhoot'busting missions, when Vibhooti Vaidya (Saif Ali Khan) and his younger sibling Chiraunji (Arjun Kapoor) try to convince the locals of their credentials post a couple's scary encounter with a 'kichkandi', Kanika (Jacqueline Fernandez) quips, 'Nepotism ne pura desh barbaad kar diya hai' and you have both the Vaidya brothers looking at each other. One can't help here from breaking into a chuckle as dialogue writer Sumit Bhatheja's lines taking a quick jab at much heated topic of nepotism lands on point!
Pawan Kripalani's latest release Bhoot Police largely dwells on such funny one-liners than the scary elements to keep you hooked to the plot.
Available: Disney+ Hotstar
What's Yay: Saif Ali Khan, Humour
What's Nay: Predictable climax
Vibhooti (Saif Ali Khan) and Chiraunji (Arjun Kapoor), sons of a revered tantrik Ullat Baba make a living by duping people for their money on the pretext of getting them rid of ghosts and spirits. While the former is a womaniser who believes that there's nothing wrong in preying on public superstition and blind faith to fill their pockets, the latter goes about clutching an old book, wishing to carry forward their late father's legacy.
Enter Maya (Yami Gautam), a now-struggling benefactor of a tea-estate in Dharamshala who wants this ghostbuster duo to help her in getting rid of a kichkandi (a groot-like supernatural entity) who has been terrorising the local population in her hometown. Amid all this haunting, Maya's London-returned sister Kanika (Jacqueline Fernandez) wishes to sell off the tea-estate so that they can start afresh overseas.
Now, that Vibhooti and Chiraunji have finally landed a 'real' case, will they be able to banish the spirit so that the petrified locals take a sigh of relief?
Pawan Kripalani's Bhoot Police begins with a quote by Abraham Lincoln which reads, 'To believe in things you can see and touch is no belief at all but to believe in the unseen is a triumph and a blessing.' Probably, that's how the filmmaker wants us to perceive his film when we are hit by its befuddled messaging when it comes to superstitions.
On the brighter side, Bhoot Police makes for a fun-filled ride purely with its hilarious one-liners. Be it the 'Go kichkandi go' slogan or the jibe at the Rs 2000 rupee note, you get plenty of ha-ha moments in the film. However on the scarefest scale, the horror comedy scores a little low. While Kripalani doesn't rely much on jump-scares, he doesn't give you enough 'chills' as well. Also, the film loses a part of fun when you smell the twist from a distance.
Bhoot Police is Saif Ali Khan's show all the way. The actor seems to be having a blast while playing a ladies man who binge-watches Naagin and believes that it's all about the money baby. Arjun Kapoor comfortably pulls off the sober sibling act. Further, Saif-Arjun's bromance in the flick is affable.
Speaking about the girls, Yami Gautam fares well as Maya even in the portions where her character is possessed. Jacqueline Fernandez who plays Maya's influencer sister doesn't get much to sink her teeth into. Jamie Lever succeeds in tickling your funny bone even in her limited screen space. Rajpal Yadav and Javed Jaaferi suffer from poorly written roles.
Jaya Krishna Gummadi brings the scenic locales and forests of Dharamshala to life on screen with his adroit cinematography. The VFX of the film is also satisfactory. Pooja Ladha Surti's sharply pointed editing scissors prevent the narrative from falling off the track.
To keep the film short and crisp, the makers have refrained from adding any songs to Bhoot Police and that works in their favour. Albumwise, 'Ayi Ayi Bhoot Police' is a decent party number. 'Mujhe Pyaar Pyaar Hai' isn't memorable enough when it comes to a romantic song.
When Chiraunji senses some negative energy and warns his brother Vibhooti, "Kaali urja hai yaha, hume feeling aa rahi hai," the latter brushes off his words and says, 'Chiku, feelings sehat ke liye haanikarak hai.' In a similar way, if you dive into Bhoot Police with the hope of feeling some 'chills', you might get disappointed. Rest assured, the film is a hoot with Saif Ali Khan's entertaining antics!
We give 3 stars out of 5 for Saif Ali Khan-Arjun Kapoor's Bhoot Police.