Bhoot: Part I (The Haunted Ship)

Vicky Kaushal, Bhumi Pednekar (Special Appearance), Ashutosh Rana and others
Bhanu Pratap Singh
Thriller/ Horror

Vicky Kaushal doing a horror film! That was enough and I was sold as an audience. Despite, horror being a genre I treat like an amusement park ride, going to the theatres just for the thrill and hoping to forget everything I saw before I hit the bed! That said Bhoot Part 1 is a film I seriously hoped to remember past bedtime. 

A huge sea vessel, Sea Bird washes up on the Mumbai shores. What is surprising, is that the entire ship with vacant. With not on soul aboard, Prithvi (Vicky Kaushal) a surveying officer, is given the duty to check the details about this unknown ship. Prithvi himself is dealing with a personal loss that has been haunting him. He longer cares about himself, he much rather help others even at a risk to himself. The beginning of the film itself establishes his character. So it is no surprise that despite the fact that the ship has shored in under suspicious conditions, tainted with rumours about it being haunted. Prithik gets onboard. Soon our protagonist realises there is more the sudden appearance of the ship than meets the eye. The forever diligent officer, takes it upon himself to uncover the secrets, hoping it buries his haunting past, too. 

Bhoot like all the films in the genre deals with the usual amount of thrills and shocks, the only issue here are the CGI which is extremely poor for a film that’s made under the Dharma banner. Why did Karan Johar, Shashank Khaitan, Apoorva Mehta and others not invest in getting better technical team onboard this haunted ship? The saving grace is the cinematography by Pushkar Singh and the background score by Ketan Sodha. Both work effectively in giving the ambience the eerie feel.

Editor Bhodhaditya Banerjee, perhaps had the toughest job in the technical team. The film he was to edit goes into loops post-interval, with the same situations repeated, the same expression repeated, the same jumps and jerks repeated for thrill. For Bodhaditya to chop and snip from all that similar-looking frames, might have been a task.

With all the pressure on debutante director Bhanu Pratap Singh to deliver this one well for Dharma, it is rather unfortunate that this is the best that he could come up with!

Singh left a lot hanging in the hands of his protagonists. Like Uri – The Surgical Strike, Bhoot too has a lot of Vicky Kaushal. Unfortunately, unlike Uri, Bhoot doesn’t get the best of him. Throughout the film, Kaushal seems detached and unmoved. Even around the ‘bhoot’. Giving him company in a half-baked role is Ashutosh Rana. Rana plays a professor of paranormal study, who is also seen chanting mantras when things go out of hand. Rana looks as unsettled as his character sounds. Playing Prithvi’s deceased wife – Bhumi Pednekar looks lovely but has little to add to the film. 

After sitting for 114 minutes in the theatre, it has to be said that the end of Bhoot Part 1, is undoubtedly the scariest part. Because that’s when you realise, there will probably be a part deux!

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