Bhoothnath Returns: Ennobling voyage into Indian elections

Published: April 11, 2014

Indian Bollywood actors Amitabh Bachchan (L), Parth Bhalerao (C) and Usha Jadhav (R) pose for a photograph during a promotional event for the forthcoming Hindi film Bhoothnath Returns, directed by Nitesh Tiwari, in Mumbai on late February 25, 2014. STRDEL/AFP/Getty Images

SUBHASH K. JHA
IANS

Film: Bhoothnath Returns

Cast: Amitabh Bachchan, Parth Bhalerao, Boman Irani, Usha Jadhav, Sanjai Mishra

Directed by Nitesh Tiwari

Rating:*** 1/2 (3 and a half stars)

Straightaway, this film wins you over with its clean heart and straight-talking attitude of the rot that has set into India’s governmental system.

You want a change in the nation’s politics? Then change the politicians! It’s really as simple as that. Director Nitesh Tiwari who co-directed the endearing kiddies’ concoction Chillar Party finally unravels one of the greatest mysteries of poetic life. What did Wordsworth mean when he said, ‘Child is the father of man?’

Watch little Parth Bhalerao spar effortlessly with the formidable Mr. Bachchan. And you see in front of your dazzled eyes the future of Indian cinema. Parth simply sails through his slum-kid’s role, creating for his character little pockets of perkiness and poignancy without ever playing aggressively for effect. He speaks his lines with the casual grace of a theatre veteran.

Epitome of gracious screen-sharing that he is, Mr. Bachchan simply slows down to let his little co-star take centrestage, bowing to the little actor’s consummate naturalness even when faced with very adult problems like corruption in politics, the redundancy of democracy and yes, the validity and imperativeness of the vote.

Firing a topical salvo this ballot drama is speckled with some disarming display of feisty homilies. The film builds on the premise of a benign ghost’s friendship with the slum-kid without allowing the narrative to become a flashy showcase for either of the two actors’ performing abilities.

The film has three heroes, the third being the strong sometime over-assertive political message: If you don’t vote for the right people you will end up with the wrong people in the legislature.

Boman Irani as the slimy politician enriches the political drama further by providing a tangy tangible flavour of decay and corruption in this amiably contoured morality tale.

Director Tiwari’s heart bleeds for the country’s electoral crisis. No matter who wins the elections, the public loses. This statement is put across with a fluid forcefulness allowing space for thoughtful verbose passages on why and how the corrupt rule the nation.

Towards the end-game the narrative gets heavy-handed with an excess amount of speeches and sermons. But the narrative’s conscience is never compromised for the sake of brevity or excitement.

The plot takes its time to build an enduring relationship between the homeless ghost and the slum-kid. The dialogues that bind the two unlikely friends, separated by a good 60 years, are crisply written. The spoken lines are frequently driven by a desperately urgent need to bring about a change in our governance.

While Big B and his little wonder-kid of a co-star dominate the proceedings, they get ample support from a bevy of talented actors both known and unknowns who pop up as ghosts, scumbags, poverty-stricken people and other misfits.

The songs appear with ghoulish delight.You simply have to see Partho and his distinguished co-star match steps in the Party Toh Banti Hai song.

Cinematographer Kanwaljeet Niyogi shows a remarkable aversion to loud colours, instead capturing crowds of expectant voters in narrow spaces where they seem to exist in no fear of moral asphyxiation. We are a thick-skinned democracy. Still, those candid shots of the poor, hungry and the deprived in the song Sahib nazar rakhna would move even the most hardened cynic to tears.

Bhoothnath Returns dissolves those walls of cynicism that we’ve built to protect our conscience from politics. It gives us a vivid if somewhat didactic view of a democracy that mocks the very multitude that believes in it. During this season of heavy electioneering a light heartfelt take on the vote bank is just what the doctor prescribed. Tiwari delivers a spirited statement on the quality of political life in apna bhaarat mahaan.

And yes, Amitabh Bachchan and Parth Bhalerao are the coolest pair of dudes since Jai and Veeru.

IANS 2014-04-11 23:04:04

[+]

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , ,



Readers Comments (0)

Comments are closed.

Featured

PicMonkey Collage

Indian Super League signing up ex-English premiership stars (w/ photos)

PATRICK JOHNSTON VANCOUVER DESI Arsenal fans, want to recapture some former glory? Time to travel to India – Robert Pires and Freddie Ljungberg are taking…
Continue Reading »

rickshaw

Electric rickshaws causing deadly accidents in Delhi, Indian court hears

IANS New Delhi  – New Delhi traffic police have informed the High Court that uncontrolled electric rickshaws in the city have led to more than…
Continue Reading »

1INDIA_CHILD_RAPE

Activists calling for shut down across Bangalore over rape of minors and crimes against women

IANS Bangalore — About 50 Indian activist organizations have called for a shutdown in Bangalore on Thursday to protest the increasing incidents of rape of…
Continue Reading »

LOCAL NEWS

Victoria film shooting BC

Bollywood’s Jimmy Shergill, Surveen Chawla shoot latest romantic flick ‘Rab Rakha’ in Victoria

MICHAEL D. REID TIMES COLONIST There was love in the air, Bollywood-style, in Bastion Square Tuesday — and not just the romance radiating from two…
Continue Reading »

Surrey

Surrey RCMP continue hunt for hit-and-run driver who struck a Sikh temple volunteer

TOM ZYTARUK SURREY NOW SURREY —  Surrey Mounties are still looking for the driver who ran down a Sikh temple volunteer in Newton last fall….
Continue Reading »

Merritt music festival

Headdresses banned from Merritt music festival out of respect to First Nations

LARISSA CAHUTE VANCOUVER DESI An electronic music festival this B.C. Day long weekend in Merritt has banned native headdresses from its campgrounds. “Bass Coast Festival…
Continue Reading »

Don't Miss...

asdlkfjdal

‘I don’t get turned down by girls:’ Calgary man jailed after stalking university classmate

DARYL SLADE CALGARY HERALD A man who became infatuated with a woman in his university class last year then repeatedly stalked her has been jailed….
Continue Reading »

india flag2

Sporting fans disappointed as Indian flag depicted upside down in Commonwealth Games promotional video

VANCOUVER DESI India is already making headlines as the Commonwealth Games officially kick off in Glasgow – but not for sporting-related reasons. In an official…
Continue Reading »

INDIA_RAPE_PROTEST_217126232

Angry villagers mob alleged suspects after another girl found hanging from tree in India

KOUSHIK DUTTA HINDUSTAN TIMES A 7-year-old girl was found raped, murdered and hanging from a tree in West Bengal on Thursday, resurfacing horrific memories from…
Continue Reading »

525020624_213567324

Indian baby whose head swelled to three times its size smiling and laughing a year later (w/ photos)

VANCOUVER DESI A three-year-old girl in New Delhi who was given little chance of survival after her head swelled to three times its normal size…
Continue Reading »

An Indian private tutor was caught on CCTV camera brutally beating a child. YouTube screenshot

Private tutor who mercilessly beat child finally arrested in Kolkata

IANS Kolkata  – Private tutor Pooja Singh, who was caught on video brutally thrashing a three-and-a-half-year-old child in Kolkata, was finally arrested Friday, police said….
Continue Reading »


Bollywood Latest

Victoria film shooting BC

Bollywood’s Jimmy Shergill, Surveen Chawla shoot latest romantic flick ‘Rab Rakha’ in Victoria

MICHAEL D. REID TIMES COLONIST There was love in the air, Bollywood-style, in Bastion Square Tuesday — and not just the romance radiating from two…
Continue Reading »

Bollywood-Sonam Kapoor

I was obsessed with Salman Khan: Sonam Kapoor (w/gallery)

HINDUSTAN TIMES Sonam Kapoor may be a star in her own right now, but she doesn’t shy away from revealing that, as a kid, she…
Continue Reading »

Aamir Khan Katrina Kaif

Bollywood superhit ‘Dhoom: 3′ enters Chinese top 10 chart (w/gallery)

IANS Mumbai – Bollywood super hit “Dhoom: 3″, which reportedly opened on 2,000 screens in 400 Chinese cities, has entered the Chinese top ten chart….
Continue Reading »