Manisha Koirala (L) and RGV strike a pose for shutterbugs. (AFP)
JD Chakravarthy poses during the promotion of Bhoot Returns.(AFP)
Manisha Koirala is making her Bollywood comeback with Bhoot Returns. (AFP)
Bollywood actress Manisha Koirala is all smiles during the promotion of Bhoot Returns. (AFP)
Bollywood actress Madhushalini and RGV at the promotion of Bhoot Returns. (AFP)
Actor JD Chakravarthy and director Ram Gopal Varma pose during a promotion for the forthcoming film Bhoot Returns in Mumbai. (AFP)
Cast: Manisha Koirala, J. D. Chakravarthy, Madhu Shalini and Alayana Sharma
Director: Ram Gopal Varma
Plot Synopsis: Tarun (J. D. Chakravarthy) moves in to a new house with his wife (Manisha Koirala), daughter (Alayana Sharma) and son. Soon, Tarun’s sister (Madhu Shalini) also joins them. Tarun’s wife is suspicious of getting the house at such a throwaway rate, but Tarun is too busy to notice. Within no time, the omens start appearing...Basically, the same old story with a little girl and a ghost in it.
Roshni Devi, KoiMoi.com
Ghosts can do horrible, terrible things to spook a family. Ram Gopal Varma’s Bhoot Returns gives this family the jitters by – hold your breath – pulling off the covers, playing on a swing and (gasp!) rearranging their furniture.
The only way Ravi Shankar’s script and screenplay would sound interesting to you is if you’ve been living under a rock for a decade. The movie is a blatant mix and rip-off of a dozen other ghost films namely Paranormal Activity and Ramu’s own Vaastu Shastra. You would have thought that Bollywood had gotten rid of the fetish for creepy dolls, but the time hasn’t come yet.
And the tricks of the ghost trying to scare the family are so stale that you end up laughing at this old-fashioned poltergeist. Pulling the sheets off sleeping people, the ancient swing moving by itself etc. are just too boring to scare or interest any one. The only interesting part is when the police officers come to investigate the missing people, which has some funny dialogues.
Manisha Koirala does well as the scared wife but she turns on the terrified-hyper act a bit too early. J. D. Chakravarthi tries his best as Tarun. Alayana Sharma is alright as Tarun’s daughter. Madhu Shalini performs ably.
While the cast may have done the best they could, the punctured script and bad direction takes everyone down.
Watch or Not? Only if you want to watch a terrible rehash of a dozen done-to-death Bollywood horror movies.
Verdict: This Bhoot had no business returning. RGV could have at least saved the original Bhoot from being ruined by trying to make a sequel out of it.
Taran Adarsh, Bhoot Returns
...Though RGV uses the mandatory props to scare you [the movement of the camera, the knocks and screams et al], Bhoot Returns fails to jolt you. Also, there's hardly any grip in the screenplay. Even the 3D experience is non-happening. We had witnessed better results in Haunted and Raaz 3, in the same genre.
Let's not compare Bhoot Returns with the Hollywood inspirations. But when one compares it with RGV's own creations [Raat, Bhoot and Phoonk], one realizes Bhoot Returns ranks lowest on the list. After raising the bar of horror films with Bhoot, RGV lets you down badly this time.
RGV teases the moviegoer at regular intervals. Silence and stillness can create a stronger impact than frenzied, furiously fast-cutting frames or out of control effects. In Bhoot Returns, the scenes remain silent... then you get a jolt out of the blue, but the problem is that there's too much waiting, which makes you fidgety after a point. The concluding moments also lack originality, while the final sequence seems ludicrous.
Sandeep Chowta's background score helps resurrect several ordinary sequences, which, otherwise, would've fallen flat. Cinematography is uninspiring, while the technology [3D] hasn't been utilized to the maximum.
There's not much scope for histrionics here! Manisha handles her part with ease. Chakravarthy is monotonous. Madhu Shalini catches your attention with a fine act. The child artist, Alayna, looks adorable, but is far from convincing in the concluding stages.
Verdict: On the whole, Bhoot Returns is amongst RGV's weakest films!
Rohit Khilnani, Rediff
While Ram Gopal Verma's 2003 film Bhoot was widely appreciated for some genuine edge-of-the-seat moments, the sequel Bhoot Returns merely plays around with the old plot and offers a rather abrupt end.
There is no doubt that Ramu knows his craft well and is one director who knows how to use technology. In Bhoot he played with sound effects and now in Bhoot Returns he has sound effects along with 3D!
The first half of the film has quite a few nail biting scenes but post interval, the movie gets over on a rather abrupt note. The end credits roll in no time, leaving you with a sense that there's more to the story that's missing.
Both the lead actors -- Manisha Koirala and J D Chakravarthi -- have worked with Ramu in the past and get a fair chance to show off their skills. The technical department does their job best. The audio effects, the 3D and background score by Sandeep Chowta come together to make the horror scenes work.
Bhoot was much better than Bhoot Returns and if Ramu plans to continue the series he should only return with it if he can raise the bar from his first installment.
Verdict: Watch Bhoot Returns if you are a fan of horror flicks, the 3D experience will do justice to your money.
Latika Payak, Bollywood Life
While the storyline solemnly trudges along with not many twists to its credit, it’s the three dimensional effect that keeps your mind occupied. The effect is good at times, no doubt, and especially when the camera follows the actors in the dark. That’s when you can almost feel the fear. But apart from that, the maker has only used it to focus on objects – showpieces, a digital SLR, wind chimes – that pepper the mundane dialogues. And mind you, squinting at those inanimate objects is one irritating factor of Bhoot Returns. But then, we all know about the downside of 3D, don’t we?
So coming back to RGV’s mistake – did he repeat it? Well, Ramu does set us up for a perfect horror movie in an eerie bungalow with just the right camera angles and sound effects, only to (again) fall short of getting an interesting script in place. But this time he smartly covers up for it by keeping the movie brief. While the first half does drag a bit, the second half comes to an end before you can take in the last sip of your cappuccino purchased during the interval. And man, were we thankful for it!
In the end, what we have is nothing close to intriguing or overtly spooky. With lukewarm performances and a couple of goosebumps inducing scenes, BR is a strictly okay – one time watch on a lazy Sunday afternoon…or Friday night!
Verdict: Watch Bhoot Returns and you’ll realise how RGV has tread the thin line between scary and funny, and come out with a movie that actually dangles…errr…neither ways. It’s just a movie that aspires to scare, but hardly does.
Martin D'Souza, Glamsham Editorial
Being delivered in a 3-D format, Ram Gopal Varma had an ace up his sleeve. But instead of working for the film, the technology works against this so-called horror flick, that is comical in its execution. Technically, no advantage has been taken of the three-dimensional perspective. In fact, the technical guys have been so irrational in their thinking that in almost every scene they have placed something in the foreground that is an irritant to the eye and also takes away from the scene on-screen. It's more a ploy to distract than attract. Distract, I believe from the script of which there is none and as well as performance, where every actor is in a hurry to finish his or her scene, rattling off dialogues which have no meaning.
Verdict: Bhoot Returns is supposedly a sequel to the 2003 Ajay-Devgan-Urmila Matondkar starrer BHOOT. It is as lame and insipid.