Monday, 30th October 2017

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Fear-less

Lukewarm fear and a very hot and happening Vicky Kaushal make up Bhoot: Part One — The Haunted Ship

  • Published 22.02.20, 3:58 AM
  • Updated 22.02.20, 3:58 AM
  • 2 mins read
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A still from the film

Action…

Scare. Start. Fright. Soaking in the eerie, eyes wide slit. The knock. The tap. The shriek. The snapping of fingers. The scream. Heart in your mouth. You at the edge of the seat, paralysed with the fear of the unknown.

Cut…

Dharma Productions, next time may be!

Bhoot aaya!” guffaws someone in the dark theatre! And, you leave the movie hall with your good night’s sleep intact. #HappyNotHappy. You are not scared to turn around and don’t jump at the tap on your shoulders or when your phone suddenly rings. #NotPaisaVasool

The moment the background music, a Dharma Productions signature, plays out during the opening credits of Bhanu Pratap Singh’s Bhoot: Part One — The Haunted Ship, you anticipate the killjoy. The romantic instrumental is so not in sync with the talons trying to claw in the fear. In fact, slightly funny.

Sea Bird, presumably a haunted ship, is the reservoir of horror in this two-hour-24 minute film. One fine day, the hulk of an empty ship drops anchor on Juhu beach. Vicky Kaushal’s Prithvi, a survey officer at DG Shipping Office, Mumbai, ventures out to get to the heart of the matter in this maze of a barren ship. Or, so you thought. Almost immediately, unsettling things start to unfold onboard.

Prithvi’s personal life is a scarred one too. He has lost his wife and daughter in an accident for which he hasn’t been able to forgive himself and has severe bouts of hallucinations. So, when he ‘sees’ and ‘hears’ things on Sea Bird, he probably thinks it’s a figment of his imagination. ‘It’s not real’. You, in the audience know ‘it’ is. Snap! Snap!

The mystery deepens when Prithvi actually comes face to face with the biggest twist in the plot, a sole chance at redemption from his inner demons and his attempt to forgive himself and finally move on. While tying the threads and making way for Part Two, the revealing of ‘you know what’ is perhaps the biggest dampener. ‘It’ is just not scary. #WhatToDo

Bhumi Pednekar in a special appearance as Sapna, Prithvi’s wife, strikes up a sparkling chemistry with Vicky. We are rubbing our hands in anticipation of a film starring these two amazingly talented Gen Y stars. Ashutosh Rana’s Professor Joshi reminds you of Professor Agni Swaroop from Raaz.

Vicky Kaushal is the lifeline of this no-chill, mediocre spook story. From the goofy to the vulnerable. From the tortured to braving his fears. From a loving dad and boyfriend to a man struggling to come to terms with his inner demons and yearning to absolve himself of the burden of guilt and surface free of the bhoot of memories that keeps coming back to haunt him… the handsome Vicky makes Bhoot: Part One — The Haunted Ship eminently watchable. The innocence in his eyes. The pain. The pathos. The mirth. The terror. The smile. You feel like hugging him tight and wiping his tears. He is such a natural in the action scenes too. Those shoulders! That twinkle. Vicky makes Prithvi’s anguish oh so real. His is a guilt you and I wouldn’t like to live with. Vicky owns the screen as this disturbed young man with a heart of gold.

More than horror, Bhoot: Part One — The Haunted Ship is at best a revenge drama laden with an emotional core.

The crunch of your popcorn might give you more of a start!