Critics’ Review ‘Bhoot’: Only Vicky Kaushal Stays Afloat Here

Critics react to Dharma Productions first horror film.

2 min read
Vicky Kaushal in <i>Bhoot.</i>

Film: Bhoot Part One: The Haunted ShipDirector: Bhanu Pratap SinghCast: Vicky Kaushal, Akash Dhar, Meher Vij, Ashutosh Rana Here’s a look at how critics are reacting to Dharma Productions’ first horror film Bhoot Part One: The Haunted Ship.

“As a mechanical exercise in mounting a screamfest, Bhoot: The Haunted Ship floats along fine up until the interval before gently sinking. The attempt to enhance the premise with extra layers and characters doesn’t yield very much besides taking the attention away from Kaushal... The absence of a strongly plotted emotional undertow to convey the idea that personal loss can lead to a never-ending nightmare of literally monstrous proportions results in a half-full vessel that makes some noise.”
Nandini Ramnath, Scroll
“Ashutosh Rana, as a professor of something-or-the-other, armed with a Ghostbusters-inspired gauging device, a brass disc, and a few mumbo-jumbo mantras provides an inadvertent hilarity. When the energy wanes, Prithvi’s BFF and co-worker Riyaaz, Akash Dhar buoys up the scenes.The crawling and killing apparition, created partially from unrefined computer graphics, is derivative in its look and movements. When a film opens with the instrumental bars of children’s rhyme “Twinkle twinkle little star” you know you are about to spend a large part of the 110-or so minutes playing spot the horror film. The parallels between Prithvi’s trauma and the tragedy onboard the Sea Bird are far from subtle and that is Bhoot’s greatest loss – it floats but does not find its emotional anchor in the deep and haunting impact of personal loss and regret.”
Udita Jhunjhunwala, Firstpost
“Within its murky labyrinth, with no sense of any direction from writer-director Bhanu Pratap Singh, the film doesn’t seem to end. There is a ghost, a love story, a hate story, a smuggling ring, a church, a red dress, a doll, and a lot of clicking of fingers. Pednekar and Rana are there to add some brief acting heft, and to do some mantra-reciting ghost-fighting. A large part, however, is left to the able and much-taxed shoulders of Kaushal.”
Shalini Langer, Indian Express
“The film falters - and momentarily slows down - when it laboriously explains the backstory of the ship’s existence and its past inhabitants. While one gets the necessity of it, here it’s done in a boring, unimaginative way, as if it was almost hurried into the screenplay (because it had to be) so the makers could move on.For a film that conjures up some seriously vivid imagery and uses CGI in a way that never appears tacky, the backstory feels hackneyed and over expository and is quite shoddily handled. Its third act too, while delivering the spooks, stretches a little too long, long enough to strip away the fear and the shock value from the ghost. A bit of crispness in this part by editor Bodhaditya Banerjee could’ve actually worked in prolonging the feeling of dread.”
Ankur Pathak, Huffington Post

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