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

WEST VANCOUVER SOCCER DESI

West Van barber bringing joy of soccer to refugee kids

LARISSA CAHUTE THE PROVINCE When West Vancouver’s Michel Ibrahim travelled to Lebanon more than 20 years ago, he was shocked to find what few resources…
Continue Reading »

health check

Parents of six-year-old girl ‘horrified’ after botched vaccination exposes her to HIV

GORDON MCINTYRE VANCOUVER DESI A six-year-old girl is in danger of having contacted HIV after a routine vaccination went awry in Fort St. James earlier…
Continue Reading »

CIVIC ELECTIONS

Battleground Surrey: Which mayoral candidate can stop the carnage?

CASSIDY OLIVIER VANCOUVER DESI The streets leading to the Newton Arena are littered with debris from the previous night’s storm. Overflow from the downpour swiftly…
Continue Reading »

LOCAL NEWS

TransCanada files application to NEB for Energy East crude pipeline

THE CANADIAN PRESS CALGARY – TransCanada Corp. (TSX:TRP) says its regulatory application for the proposed Energy East pipeline is a massive document with 30,000 pages…
Continue Reading »

TransCanada files application to NEB for Energy East crude pipeline

THE CANADIAN PRESS CALGARY – TransCanada Corp. (TSX:TRP) is filing its regulatory application for the proposed Energy East pipeline today. TransCanada says the document being…
Continue Reading »

Kuwait plays gracious but uneasy host as Canadian jets join anti-ISIL campaign

ISIL-Cda-Kuwait, 2nd Writethru Correction By Murray Brewster THE CANADIAN PRESS KUWAIT CITY – Canadian warplanes have taken up position in Kuwait, a country straining in…
Continue Reading »

Don't Miss...

Smart 21 communities

Surrey named among World’s Smart21 Communities of 2015

VANCOUVER DESI SURREY, B.C. – The Intelligent Community Forum has named the City of Surrey as one of the world’s Smart21 Communities of 2015. As one…
Continue Reading »

elephant crushes woman to death

Elephant crushes woman to death at India’s nature reserve

CEN AGENCY A school teacher was crushed to death by an elephant when it knocked her over with its trunk and then stood on her….
Continue Reading »

Crime-Vancouver-BC

Surrey Six murders: Allegations of weekend sex party, ‘sordid’ affair between investigator and potential witness rock case

KEITH FRASER VANCOUVER DESI The Surrey Six case heard details Tuesday of allegations of sexual improprieties involving a second senior RCMP officer. When charges were…
Continue Reading »

CBC-sexual behaviour-lawsuit

Jian Ghomeshi’s CBC lawsuit is hopeless — even if he’s telling the truth

HOWARD LEVITT FINANCIAL POST Jian Ghomeshi’s $50-million lawsuit against the CBC has everything to do with strategy and PR — but nothing to do with…
Continue Reading »

Wedding Canopy Toran

Significance of Toran and Rangoli

KIM TREHAN VANCOUVER DESI  Hello! Last week, Indians across the globe celebrated a festival called Diwali.  Although the festival itself has no significance to weddings, there…
Continue Reading »


Bollywood Latest

Ismaili musicians - Aga Khan foundation

Salim-Sulaiman show underlines Vancouver’s rising Bollywood cachet

LARISSA CAHUTE VANCOUVER DESI With big-time Bollywood composers Salim-Sulaiman set to kick off their North American tour at the Queen Elizabeth Theatre on Saturday, it…
Continue Reading »

Shah Rukh Khan

Burdwan blast: Shah Rukh Khan prays for better times for Bengal

IANS Kolkata – Bollywood superstar Shah Rukh Khan, West Bengal’s brand ambassador, Wednesday expressed his unwillingness to talk about the terror blast in Burdwan, but…
Continue Reading »

Ayesha Takia Azmi vegan

Chic Bollywood actress Ayesha Takia poses with a chick for PETA (w/gallery)

IANS New Delhi – Ahead of World Vegan Day on Nov 1, actress Ayesha Takia has posed with a fluffy chick for a new ad…
Continue Reading »