In a nation replete with rising corruption, plummeting economy and equally degrading moral values, the very idea of investing trust in a ghost to run the nation surprisingly becomes believable. This core concept of Bhoothnath Returns makes it one of the best political satires we have ever seen after gems like Jaane Bhi Do Yaaron (Not exactly political but social satire), Main Aazad Hoon, Kissa Kursi Ka, Aaj Ka MLA Ram Avatar, Welcome to Sajjanpur, Well Done Abba and Chintuji. It’s quite strange that we rarely make satirical films and keep churning out slapstick comedy instead, which require us to leave our brains at home.
As an ardent admirer of Amitabh Bachchan, my only reason to watch Bhoothnath Returns was that it starred Big B in the lead role, rather than those forgettable Sexy Sams that one usually has to be content with, considering the actor’s age. Well, Bhoothnath Returns, with its unmistakable jugalbandi of a performance between a 71-year young actor and a 13-year kid, age goes on to prove that age is just a number. Add to that the idiosyncrasies of Boman Irani as a corrupt politician, and what you get is a complete paisa-wasool entertainer which not only requires your brains, but also your heart in the right place.
What begins on a Lok-Parlok note eventually takes a satirical route and keeps you engaged throughout the entire journey of Bhoothnath. Few glitches like almost every building of Mumbai being haunted by ghosts and the Mr. India gags are a bit monotonous, but it’s the film’s endearing quality, awe-inspiring performance, and most importantly, the message and intention, which makes director Nitesh Tiwari’s Bhoothnath Returns an important film of our times. This election season, my vote certainly goes to Bhoothnath Returns.