Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Bhool Bhulaiyaa.

In the interest of full disclosure, and before I get any further reviewing this film, I must confess that I scare very easily. I picked up Bhool Bhulaiyaa because it was directed by Priyadarshan so I figured it'd be good for a few laughs. Well right off the bat, you should know that this film wasn't the rip roaring comedy you might expect from Priyadarshan. But given that the cast includes Paresh Rawal, Asrani and Rajpal Yadav, it's certainly not a humorless film!Bhool Bhulaiyaa is both a supernatural and psychological thriller aptly set in an old Rajasthani haveli. If you've ever visited an old Rajasthani quila or mahal, you'll connect with the eerie sensation of walking past long unused rooms and marvalling at the architecture and furnishings. The film is visually pleasing - this is a credit both to the cinematographer and to the city of Jaipur. The film excellently captures the haunting beauty of the city.Bhool Bhulaiyaa revolves around Siddharth Chaturvedi (Shiney Ahuja) and his wife Avni (Vidya Balan), a newlywed, highly scientific and rational minded couple. They desire to stay at Siddharth's ancestral haveli during their visit to his hometown, a Rajasthani village. The story that has deeply entrenched itself in the village's psyche is that the haveli is haunted by the bhootani of Manjulika, a courtesan in olden times who fell a victim of love and a raja's selfish ways. No where is the bhootani more feared than among Siddharth's own relatives who strongly oppose Sid and Avni's plans to occupy the haveli. Once they move in, inexplicable and dangerous accidents begin to happen. Sid calls on his psychiatrist buddy, Aditya Shrivastav (Akki) who is quirky to say the least, and sets about resolving the mystery.Music-wise, I wasn't super impressed by any of the tracks except for Mere Dholna with its heavy classical influence the alaap and thodé interspersed with lyrics are lovely and the rhythm, infectious for any dancer. The song is highly unexpected in the midst of a Bollywood masala film. The song is picturized on Vidya who didn't fail to impress with her bharatanatyam-inspired moves. She obviously practiced hard for this one and it really showed. Let's Rock Soniye was your average, peppy, obligatory sagaai/shaadi song - can't really have a Bolly flick without one! It was moderately catchy, but I've heard better. The choreography was ok, but the songs in this film were more used to advance the story rather than as dance fillers. The only dance filler song, Saakhiyan, was picturized on Amisha, but was cut from the film. I actually liked this track, as well as the choreography and visuals.In the middle of the film, the Allah Hafiz song - while a nice tune - seemed out of place and disruptive to the flow of the story. It was picturised on Akshay and while I can see where it was intended to advance the plot, I didn't feel it was all that helpful. I saw it as more of an unwelcome speedbump than anything else. The only jarring musical note was the remixed version of Bhool Bhulaiyaa that appears in the credits - I want to guess that Snoop had some influence here, this track reminded me of Singh Is Kinng. But while it fit right in with that movie, it didn't belong in Bhool Bhulaiyaa.

I enjoyed this movie, and while it wasn't your typical Priyadarshan flick, it was a nice foray into thriller territory, with just the right amount of laughs.
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