Review: ‘Satyaprem Ki Katha,’ starring Kartik Aaryan and Kiara Advani

July 2, 2023

by Carla Hay

Kartik Aaryan and Kiara Advani in “Satyaprem Ki Katha” (Photo courtesy of FunAsia Films)

“Satyaprem Ki Katha”

Directed by Sameer Vidwans

Hindi with subtitles

Culture Representation: Taking place in an unnamed city India, the dramatic film “Satyaprem Ki Katha” features an Indian cast of characters representing the working-class, middle-class and wealthy.

Culture Clash: A goofy but nice underachiever gets into an arranged marriage with a woman from an affluent family, but she is reluctant to consummate their marriage because of secrets that she’s keeping.

Culture Audience: “Satyaprem Ki Katha” will appeal primarily to people who are interested in watching a romantic drama that isn’t a complete stereotype.

Kiara Advani and Kartik Aaryan in “Satyaprem Ki Katha” (Photo courtesy of FunAsia Films)

There is an over-used formula of romantic movies that goes like this: “Boy meets girl. Boy gets girl. Boy loses girl. Boy wins back the girl.” “Satyaprem Ki Katha” (which means “story of true love” in Hindi) has elements of this formula, but the movie isn’t a typical romantic film. At first, this engaging drama appears to be about a husband trying to romance his reluctant wife in an arranged marriage. “Satyaprem Ki Katha” becomes a more meaningful film in its sensitive portrayal of the wife’s sexuality and secrets.

Directed by Sameer Vidwans, “Satyaprem Ki Katha” (which takes place in an unnamed city in India) opens with a musical scene of male protagonist Satyapre, nicknamed Sattu (played by Kartik Aaryan) having a dream that he’s getting married. Sattu is a goofy underachiever, but he’s also hopeless romantic who wants to find his one true love. He lives with his father Narayan (played by Gajraj Rao), mother Diwali (played by Supriya Pathak) and his younger sister Sejal (played by Shikha Talsania) in a middle-class household. Narayan has tried to be an entrepreneur, but several of his businesses have failed.

Sattu soon meets and becomes infatuated with Katha (played by Kiara Advani), the daughter of an affluent businessman Harikishen (played by Siddharth Randeria), who expects her to be in an arranged marriage. Katha lives with her parents. Her sister is supportive Kinjal (played by Maira Doshi), and their mother is outspoken Rasna (played by Anuradha Patel), who also believes that Katha should be in an arranged marriage. Kinjal’s husband Dheeraj (played by Palash Tiwari) is also part of the this tight-knit family.

Sattu thinks that Katha is out of his league. He tries to get her attention anyway, but she doesn’t seem to be attracted to him. But then, to Sattu’s surprise, Katha’s parents decide that Sattu would make a good husband for Katha. Sattu and a reluctant Katha get married in an elaborate ceremony that has the over-the-top musical numbers that you might expect from a Bollywood film.

On their wedding night, Sattu tries to get intimate with Katha, but she rejects his advances. He confesses to her that he’s a virgin. He also says unconvincingly out loud to himself about Katha’s lack of sexual interest in him on their honeymoon night, “She must be tired.” Sattu is a gentleman and doesn’t force or pressure Katha to do anything she doesn’t want to do.

At this point, Sattu is in love with Katha, so he decides the best thing to do is to romance her so that she can fall in love with him too. However, she keeps rejecting him. One day, she blurts out why she doesn’t want to have sex with him: “I’m asexual.” She also explains that her lack of interest in sex is why her recent ex-boyfriend Tapan Manek (played by Arjun Aneja) dumped her.

There’s more to Katha’s story that she initially tells Sattu. There are enough hints that are shown in flashback scenes, by the time the truth is revealed, it’s not surprising. However, what is surprising is how the movie doesn’t take Katha’s secrets and turn them into a tawdry soap opera. Sattu’s reaction to finding out Katha’s secrets is the movie’s obvious way of saying that these matters should be handled with compassion and care—which isn’t an easy thing to do when a spouse reveals some shocking information.

As the spouses who go through an emotional ups and downs in their marriage, Aaryan and Advani have believable chemistry with each other. Their performances anchor the movie and keep it interesting, while the supporting cast members are perfectly fine in their roles. There are parts of “Satyaprem Ki Katha” that tend to get trivial when another musical scene is thrown into the movie. However, there are realistic portrayals about how family members would react to Katha’s big secrets.

Perhaps the biggest flaw of “Satyaprem Ki Katha” is that this 144-minute movie didn’t need to be this long. And the musical numbers, although dazzling, sometimes don’t fit the tone of this movie’s overall serious message. Still, even with some padding in the total running time and some fluffy song-and-dance numbers, “Satyaprem Ki Katha” gives its weighty subject matter enough substance that’s worth watching.

FunAsia Films released “Satyaprem Ki Katha” in select U.S. cinemas on June 30, 2023. The movie was released in India on June 29, 2023.

Review: ‘Tu Jhoothi Main Makkaar,’ starring Ranbir Kapoor and Shraddha Kapoor

March 10, 2023

by Carla Hay

Ranbir Kapoor and Shraddha Kapoor in “Tu Jhoothi Main Makkaar” (Photo courtesy of Yash Raj Films)

“Tu Jhoothi Main Makkaar”

Directed by Luv Ranjan

Hindi with subtitles

Culture Representation: Taking place in India and in Spain, the romantic comedy film “Tu Jhoothi Main Makkaar” features a predominantly Indian cast of characters (with some white people) representing the working-class, middle-class and the wealthy.

Culture Clash: A 30-year-old wealthy heir, who has a secret business where he is paid to help people break up with their love partners, has a passionate, whirlwind romance with a woman he met during a vacation, and she unknowingly hires him so that she can break up with him. 

Culture Audience: “Tu Jhoothi Main Makkaar” will appeal primarily to people who are fans of the movie’s headliners and don’t mind watching predictable and long-winded romantic comedies where almost everything looks phony.

Anubhav Singh Bassi, Ranbir Kapoor, Shraddha Kapoor and Monica Chaudhary in “Tu Jhoothi Main Makkaar” (Photo courtesy of Yash Raj Films)

“Tu Jhoothi Main Makkaar” is so formulaic, you can predict within the first 15 minutes what’s going to happen and how this romantic comedy is going to end. The entire movie is built on the shaky foundation that two lovers wouldn’t know each other’s undisguised voices over the phone. There’s no originality at all in this tiresome romantic comedy. And the 150-minute total running time is just too long for plot this lightweight and stupid.

Directed by Luv Ranjan (who co-wrote the movie’s terrible screenplay with Rahul Mody), “Tu Jhoothi Main Makkaar” (which roughly means “You Liar Main Mecca” in Hindi) has the biggest clichés possible for a romantic comedy and does nothing clever with these stereotypes. The would-be couple have a “meet cute” moment. The male protagonist is good-looking, has a tendency to be arrogant, and he’s shocked when his would-be female love interest plays hard-to-get. They end up having a romance, which is then damaged because of a big secret. This dishonesty or lack of trust causes the couple to break up. But will they get back together? You already know the answer.

In “Tu Jhoothi Main Makkaar” the cocky playboy is Rohan “Mickey” Arora (played by Ranbir Kapoor), the wealthy heir to a multifaceted business that was co-founded by his parents Ramesh Arora (played by Boney Kapoor, who is not related to Ranbir Kapoor) and Renu Arora (played by Dimple Kapadia), who have let Mickey take over the business. Mickey has an MBA degree, and his family’s company has thrived under his leadership. However, Mickey’s mother Renu is worried that Mickey’s partying lifestyle is a distraction that could ruin the business.

Mickey lives in a mansion in Delhi, India, with several of his family members: his parents, who own the house; his sister Minny (played by Hasleen Kaur); Minny’s daughter Sweetu (played by Inayat Verma, an adorable scene stealer), who is about 6 or 7 years old; Minny’s husband; and Ramesh’s mother (played by Jatinder Kaur). Renu is constantly scolding and lecturing Mickey to be more responsible. She’s also eager for Mickey get married and start a family of his own, so that he will move out of the house.

Even though he is a successful businessman with his family’s company, Mickey has a secret business with his best friend Manu Dabbas (played by Anubhav Singh Bassi): The two men are consultants for people who want to break up with love partners. The way that the business works is that Mickey and Manu usually hire people to “tempt” someone to committing infidelity, which is then documented as proof that the cheating happened. It’s all part of a set-up so that the partner who was cheated on can use the infidelity as an excuse to break up with that person.

It’s a horrible and sleazy way to make money (and Mickey certainly doesn’t need the money), so the movie is already off-putting in how it expects audiences to root for Mickey, who willfully participates in hurting people and ruining relationships. Somehow, Mickey thinks there’s nothing wrong with what he’s doing because the people who are his clients are strangers to him. Of course, the table turns on Mickey when he becomes the target of a breakup scheme—and his breakup business is the one hired to instigate the breakup.

Before that happens, the movie wastes a lot of time showing the antics of Mickey and Manu. Manu is engaged to a woman named Kinchi (played by Monica Chaudhary), but he wants to break up with her before their upcoming wedding. In a poorly written sequence, Manu asks Mickey to do something to get Kinchi to break up with Manu. Mickey’s ill-conceived plan doesn’t work. And it all happens at the funeral of Manu’s grandfather. It all looks so bizarre and unbelievable.

Mickey, Manu, and Kinchie then travel to Spain for Manu’s bachelor party. They stay at a luxury resort near a beach. It’s a fateful vacation, because it’s where Mickey meets 27-year-old Nisha “Tinni” Malhotra (played by Shraddha Kapoor, who is not related to Ranbir Kapoor and Boney Kapoor), who is a friend of Kinchie’s. There’s an elaborate musical sequence that takes place in a nightclub, Tinni and Mickey end up being backup dancers to the singer who’s performing. Yes, it’s that kind of movie.

It’s attraction at first sight for Mickey who doesn’t waste time in asking Tinni if she’s single and available. The answer is “yes,” but that doesn’t mean that Tinni will make it easy for Mickey to court her. However, when they start dating, things heat up between Tinni and Mickey so quickly, by the end of the vacation, he’s ready to marry her. The movie has a lot of repetitive music video-styled scenes of Tinni and Mickey in romantic bliss.

Things for this new couple also go smoothly when it comes to their families meeting each other. Tinni’s father (played by Rajesh Jais) and Tinni’s mother (played Ayesha Raza Mishra) are thrilled that Tinni is headed toward marriage to a handsome and rich businessman. Mickey’s parents approve of Tinni. When both sets of parents meet each other for the first time, Mickey uses the occasion to propose marriage to Tinni, who says yes.

But there would be no “Tu Jhoothi Main Makkaar” if this romance didn’t have any problems. Mickey has a tendency to be clingy with Tinni, who worries about losing her independence in this relationship. Mickey also expects his future wife to live with him and his parents in the family mansion, and Tinni doesn’t like that idea. Tinni secretly decides she wants to break up with Mickey, but she doesn’t know how to do it on her own. And who does she call for help? She heard about a certain breakup consulting business that has been successful in helping people end relationships.

When Tinni calls this business, using an undisguised voice, Mickey gets the call. And like a fool, he doesn’t recognize Tinni’s voice because he can’t even comprehend that Tinni would ever need this service. Likewise, when Tinni is on the phone with someone she doesn’t know is Mickey, she doesn’t recognize his undisguised voice either. Does any of this sound believable or logical to you? If you’re willing to let this idiotic part of the movie slide, then you might enjoy “Tu Jhoothi Main Makkaar” more than it deserves.

During this ridiculous charade of hidden identities, Tinni’s London-based co-worker Anya (played by Nushrat Bharucha) is enlisted to tempt Mickey into cheating. Mickey is the one who anonymously hired her, not knowing that he was the target of this infidelity temptation. Kartik Aaryan has a cameo as Tinni’s former college boyfriend Rahul. The rest of the movie wastes more time with more lies and deception, which make Tinni and Mickey look even more idiotic at how long they haven’t figured out each other’s secret.

Probably the best thing about “Tu Jhoothi Main Makkaar” is Santhana Krishnan Ravichandran’s cinematography, which makes the musical numbers and vacation scenes look fleetingly fun and glamorous. But these are visual elements that can’t cover up the rotten storytelling that’s at the core of “Tu Jhoothi Main Makkaar.” And it’s kind of pathetic that these characters in their late 20s and early 30s are acting like immature teenagers.

To make matters even more tedious, all of the principal characters are rehashed versions of many other romantic comedy characters. No one does a particularly outstanding job with the acting, although Verma as precocious Sweetu has a delightful screen presence as a child actress. The overly long run time of the movie (which has a lot of musical numbers as filler) will just add to viewer irritation, unless watching a subpar romantic comedy is how the viewer wants to waste two-and-a-half hours. “Tu Jhoothi Main Makkaar” has a lot of pretty locations and pretty people, but the movie is ultimately superficial and boring junk.

Yash Raj Films released “Tu Jhoothi Main Makkaar” in select U.S. cinemas and in India on March 8, 2023.

Review: ‘Shehzada’ (2023), starring Kartik Aaryan, Kriti Sanon, Paresh Rawal, Manisha Koirala, Ronit Roy and Ankur Rathee

February 22, 2023

by Carla Hay

Kartik Aaryan and Paresh Rawal in “Shehzada” (Photo courtesy of PVR Pictures)

“Shehzada” (2023)

Directed by Rohit Dhawan

Hindi with subtitles

Culture Representation: Taking place primarily in Delhi, India, the action film “Shehzada” (a remake of the 2020 Telugu-language film “Ala Vaikunthapurramuloo”) features an all-Indian cast of characters representing the working-class, middle-class and wealthy.

Culture Clash: An aspiring lawyer, who was raised in a working-class family, finds out that he is a wealthy heir who was switched at birth by the man whom he thought was his biological father. 

Culture Audience: “Shehzada” will appeal primarily to people who are fans of the movie’s headliners, “Ala Vaikunthapurramuloo” and movies that are too long and overload on ridiculousness.

Kartik Aaryan and Kriti Sanon in “Shehzada” (Photo courtesy of PVR Pictures)

“Shehzada” is a pointless and insipid movie remake that did not need to be made. It’s filled with stupid dialogue and ludicrous scenarios that relentlessly insult viewers’ intelligence. Kartik Aaryan’s smiling charisma isn’t enough make this film any good. “Shehzada” (which means “prince” in Hindi) is a remake of the 2020 Telugu-language film “Ala Vaikunthapurramuloo.” Perhaps the worst thing about “Shehzada” is how it changes the ending of the vastly superior “Ala Vaikunthapurramuloo” in a way that is not just unbelievable but it also makes everything in “Shehzada” look like even more of a complete waste of time.

Written and directed by Rohit Dhawan, “Shehzada” (which takes place primarily in Delhi, India) begins by showing how the lives of two men, who used to be close friends, have taken very different paths. Valmiki Upadhyay (played by Paresh Rawal) and Randeep Nanda (played by Ronit Roy) were pals who started their careers as clerks, working for a company owned by the wealthy Aditya Jindal (played by Sachin Khedekar). Randeep married Aditya’s daughter Yashoda (played by Manisha Koirala), nicknamed Yashu, so Randeep was promoted to a high-ranking position in Aditya’s company. Meanwhile, Valmiki remained in the company’s lower ranks.

By a sheer coincidence, Valmiki and Randeep had sons who were born on the same day in the same hospital. However, it looked like Randeep’s son died from breathing problems, according to a maternity ward nurse named Sulochana (played by Sharvari Lokhare). A sympathetic Valmiki decided to secretly switch his son with Randeep’s son, with the help of Sulochana. Conveniently for Valmiki and Soluchana, they are the only two people in the maternity ward when they make the switch.

However, Randeep’s son suddenly becomes conscious. Randeep and his wife Yasu have already seen the “switched” baby whom they think is theirs. Valmiki frantically goes to Soluchana and tells her that they have to switch the babies again, but she refuses, probably because she doesn’t want to get in trouble for her role in this scheme.

When Valmiki goes over to the cribs to switch the babies anyway, Soluchana tries to stop him. Valmiki and Soluchana have a tussle that ends with Valmiki accidentally pushing Soluchana off of a balcony. Valmiki runs away from the hospital in a panic.

After giving it some thought, Valmiki decides his biological son will be better off raised in a wealthy family. Valmiki raises Randeep’s biological son as his own, but Valmiki shows a lot of indifference and disrespect for this child. Valmiki, who is very jealous of Randeep, also gets a twisted sense of satisfaction about knowing this secret.

“Shehzada” then fast-forwards 25 years after the babies were switched. The son who was raised by Valmiki is named Bantu (played by Aaryan, one of the film’s producers), who is really Randeep’s biological son. The son who was raised by Randeep is named Raj (played by Ankur Rathee), who is really Valmiki’s son.

Bantu is confident and extroverted, while Raj is insecure and introverted. A great deal of “Shehzada” is about aspiring lawyer Bantu defending Randeep from a ruthless businessman named Sarang (played by Sunny Hinduja), who wants Randeep to give 50% of the company’s shares to Sarang.

What happened to Soluchana, the hospital nurse who is the only other person besides Valmiki who knows the secret about the babies being switched at birth? She’s been in a coma, ever since she fell from the balcony. However, the trailer for “Shehzada” reveals a huge turning point in the plot: Soluchana wakes up from the coma and tells Bantu this family secret about who his biological parents are, and that it was all Valmiki’s idea to switch the babies at birth.

This secret is revealed about halfway through the movie. And it’s the fault of the film’s marketing team that this big reveal is in the movie’s trailer. In “Shehzada,” the reveal looks very fake and awkward. Bantu happened to be in the same hospital as Soluchana, because he was visiting a severely injured Randeep, who had been attacked by Sarang’s thugs. Bantu just happened to be passing by Soluchana’s hospital bed, when she overheard him talking about his father Randeep, and she gasped out this family secret to Bantu.

In between doing acrobatic fight scenes that rely heavily on unrealistic visual effects, Bantu works as a law clerk at a law firm, where his boss is the strong-willed Samara Singh (played by Kriti Sanon), who at first is not very impressed with Bantu. Samara initially thought that Bantu was too immature to work at this law firm. Eventually, Bantu begins courting Samara, he wins her over, and they fall in love with each other. (All of these plot developments are also in the “Shehzada” trailer.)

Meanwhile, Raj (who is very much a secondary character in the movie) is away from home a lot because he has been studying to get his MBA. When he does come back to the palatial home owned by his parents, the morally corrupt Valmiki goes out of his way to be friendly to Raj, because Valmiki knows that Raj is his biological son. When Bantu finds out who his biological parents are, he is emotionally torn. Bantu doesn’t tell Randeep’s family this secret, but Bantu starts showing even more loyalty to Randeep.

And the most cliché thing happens in a movie about two quasi-rival men who were switched at birth: They both compete over the same love interest. Randeep thinks Samara would make an ideal wife for Raj in an arranged marriage. However, Bantu had been planning to propose marriage to Samara. We all know which suitor she will choose in the end.

“Shehzada” has a mindless comedic tone that cheapens the story, compared to the more serious tone of “Ala Vaikunthapurramuloo.” Unfortunately, “Shehzada” (whose total running time is an overly long 145 minutes) has the same pitfalls of many formulaic and forgettable Bollywood action movies: More time and effort were spent on musical sequences and over-the-top ridiculous fight scenes than on crafting a good story and interesting characters. The performances in “Shehzada” are as shallow as the film’s characters. And this movie remake’s atrocious new ending completely obliterates what little credibility that “Shehzada” hoped to have.

PVR Pictures released “Shehzada” in select U.S. cinemas on February 17, 2023.

Review: ‘Bhool Bhulaiyaa 2,’ starring Tabu, Kartik Aaryan and Kiara Advani

May 29, 2022

by Carla Hay

Kiara Advani and Kartik Aaryan in “Bhool Bhulaiyaa 2” (Photo courtesy of T-Series Films)

“Bhool Bhulaiyaa 2”

Directed by Anees Bazmee

Hindi with subtitles

Culture Representation: Taking place in the Indian cities of Bhawanigarh and Chandigarh, the horror comedy film “Bhool Bhulaiyaa 2” has an all-Indian cast of characters representing the working-class, middle-class and wealthy.

Culture Clash: In order to get out of marrying a man she doesn’t love, a young woman and her new love interest pretend that she died in a bus accident, while he pretends to her family that he’s a psychic who can communicate with her spirit, and the woman hides in the family palace that is believed to be haunted by an evil female ghost.

Culture Audience: “Bhool Bhulaiyaa 2” will appeal primarily to people who are fans of the stars Tabu, Kartik Aaryan and Kiara Advani; the 2007 movie Bhool Bhulaiyaa; and engaging movies that skillfully blend horror, comedy and musical numbers.

Tabu in “Bhool Bhulaiyaa 2” (Photo courtesy of T-Series Films)

A horror comedy is a difficult subgenre to make entertaining because there could be problems with blending tones of being scary and funny, but “Bhool Bhulaiyaa 2” succeeds on almost every level. The movie’s plot twists and musical numbers are intriguing. Unlike a lot of horror comedies that hold back on being terrifying, “Bhool Bhulaiyaa 2” doesn’t skimp on ghoulish footage (which has impressive visual effects), while still maintaining a comedic edge in the story for several laugh-out-loud moments.

Directed by Anees Bazmee and co-directed by Pankaj Kumar, “Bhool Bhulaiyaa 2” is a sequel to 2007’s “Bhool Bhulaiyaa” but viewers don’t need to see “Bhool Bhulaiyaa” to understand “Bhool Bhulaiyaa 2.” (The words “bhool bhulaiyaa” translate to “labyrinth” in English.) That’s because both movies have entirely different stars, with the only thing both movies having in common is a female ghost named Manjulika Chatterjee, who is haunting a family palace.

“Bhool Bhulaiyaa 2” (which was written by Aakash Kaushik and Farhad Samji) begins with an evil female ghost raging through a palace in Bhawanigarh, India. The palace is owned by the well-to-do Thakur family, and priests eventually capture this malevolent spirit, trap the ghoul in a room, which is sealed. Because the ghost is a direct threat to the Thakur family, they abandon the palace and find another place to live. At the time this haunting incident occurred, one of the members of the Thakur family is a girl, who’s about 7 or 8 years old, named Reet Thakur.

“Bhool Bhulaiyaa 2” the fast-forwards about 15 years later. Reet is a recent college graduate who is engaged to be married to a man named Sagar (played by Sparsh Walla), whom she does not love. However, it’s an arranged marriage, and Reet is being pressured by her father Vijender Singh Thakur (played by Milind Gunaji) to go through with the wedding. She is traveling by bus from Chandigarh back to her hometown of Bhawanigarh to reluctantly prepare for the wedding.

During this bus trip, Reet meets a handsome and flirtatious bachelor in his 20s named Ruhaan Randhawa (played by Kartik Aaryan), who almost immediately asks for Reet’s phone number. Even though Reet tells him that she’s engaged to be married, and her wedding is in a matter of days, Ruhaan is undeterred in showing a romantic interest in Reet, especially since she says she doesn’t love her fiancé Sagar. Reet is obviously attracted to Ruhaan too because she gives her phone number to him.

However, Reet plays hard-to-get during much of the time that she and Ruhaan spend together. Ruhaan (whose family is never seen in the movie) can sense that Reet is independent-minded and doesn’t want to be forced by her family to do things that she doesn’t want to do. And so, Ruhaan tells her that she should just abandon this trip to Bhawanigarh and go with him to a music festival instead. Reet quickly agrees.

Reet and Ruhaan have a lot of fun at the music festival, as their attraction to each other begins to grow. But then, they find out some tragic news: The bus that they were supposed to be on crashed, and there were no survivors. Reet’s family members are devastated, because they think she died in this bus crash. Viewers will have to suspend disbelief for this part of the movie, because Reet’s body would have to be found, in order for her to be declared dead. Perhaps another woman’s unidentified body could have been mistaken for Reet’s, but even that is a stretch of the imagination, since DNA tests and/or dental records would realistically determine a dead body’s identity.

Reet decides to use this bus crash as an opportunity to hide from her family and start a new life with Ruhaan. In the meantime, Reet and Ruhaan decide to hide in the Thakur family’s abandoned palace in Bhawanigarh. While they are in hiding, Reet overhears in a phone call that her fiancé Sagar and her cousin Trisha (played by Mahek Manwani) have been secretly in love with each other. Because the family thinks that Reet is dead, Sagar and Trisha decide to go public with their love affair and get married to each other. Reet is surprised by this news, but ultimately, she’s happy for Sagar and Trisha, because Reet never wanted to marry Sagar.

The Thakur family decides to have Sagar and Trisha’s wedding celebration at the palace, which has been in a state of neglect for years. And so, preparations are made to clean up the palace to prepare for the wedding. Members of the family also believe that there’s a chance that Reet’s spirit has returned to the palace. Reet and Ruhaan don’t know yet that their hiding place is about to be visited by members of Reet’s family and people who work for them. But this “fugitive” would-be couple will soon find out that they won’t be left alone in this hiding place.

Ruhaan is discovered on the palace property, but he is able to avoid getting in trouble as an intruder, by convincing the Thakur family and he is a psychic friend of Reet’s who can communicate with her from the dead. It’s a lie that Ruhaan makes up on the spot, and the rest of the movie is about him going through with a charade that he’s a psychic who can talk to Reet and other spirits. While Ruhaan is able to talk his way out of being kicked off of the property, Reet has been hiding in the palace, but she’s able to see much of what’s going on from where she hides. Ruhaan also fills her in on the details.

Meanwhile, Reet supplies Ruhaan with personal information about herself and her family so that he can appear to be a convincing psychic. There are many comedic scenes where Ruhaan makes over-the-top statements and gestures, in the movie’s obvious parody of psychics. Ruhaan even says, “I can see dead people,” in an obvious spoof of the famous line from the 1999 movie “The Sixth Sense.” News of Ruhaan being a psychic eventually spreads through the community. He becomes a local celebrity and is given the nickname Rooh Baba.

Of course, Ruhaan and Reet desperately keep the lie going and go to great lengths to keep Reet hidden in the palace. However, some people begin to suspect that Reet is still alive, or at least that her spirit is haunting the palace. Ruhaan finds out the story of Manjulika, so he tries to blame any suspicious activity on Manjulika. Other family members who are involved in the story include a cousin named Uday Thakur (played by Amar Upadhyay); his wife Anjulika (played by Tabu); and a boy named Potlu (played by Samarth Chauhan), who’s about 9 to 11 years old.

The village’s senior priest (played by Sanjay Mishra), his wife (played by Ashwini Kalsekar) and the village’s junior priest (played by Rajpal Naurang Yadav) all become skeptical about Ruhaan’s psychic abilities. They also think that Reet might still be alive. And so, the three skeptics hatch a plan to “expose” Ruhaan.

All of the cast members rise to the occasion by playing their roles well. Aaryan has to do a lot of comedic lifting in the movie, since his con game is frequently the focus of the movie’s jokes and shenanigans. Tabu is also very good in the movie, where her acting gets more prominent as the movie progresses. Yadav’s performance as the buffoonish junior priest is strictly for comic relief.

Most of the twists and turns “Bhool Bhulaiyaa 2” are in the last third of the movie, which has a much darker tone than the previous two-thirds. It’s no surprise that Reet and Ruhaan fall in love with each other. What might surprise people is how the movie ends. “Bhool Bhulaiyaa 2” has some moments that are more predictable than others. The unpredictable moments are where the movie shines the most.

T-Series Films released “Bhool Bhulaiyaa 2” in select U.S. cinemas on May 20, 2022, the same date that the movie was released in India.

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