Director Anees Bazmee, writers Farhad Samji, Aakash Kaushik appear to have retained a gist of the first film but Bhool Bhulaiyaa 2  appears to have a world of its own.
By Mayur Lookhar
A few years ago, Kartik Aaryan had signed a slew of films that were remakes of cult classics. Three of them – Pati Patni Aur Woh , Love Aaj Kal , Dhamaka  – are out of the way. One [Dostana 2] slipped through the hands, but the actor is all geared up for the next one, arguably the most awaited remake of the year. Delayed by over two years due to the pandemic, Bhool Bhulaiyaa 2  is set to be released on 20 May. The producers T-Series, Cine1 Studios unveiled the trailer today [26 April] in Mumbai.
Given how remakes undergo more scrutiny, Bhool Bhulaiyaa 2  is bound to have many eyes hovering over it. The makers and the lead cast has made one thing clear; this is no remake of the 2007 film. Director Anees Bazmee, writers Aakash Kaushik, Farhad Samji have retained the gist of the original but appear to have carved a Bhool Bhulaiyaa of their own. [Another Kaushik penning a female-centric horror comedy after Amar Kaushik in Stree (2018)]. There are two common factors – the character name Manjulika, and Rajpal Yadav, the lone survivor from the first film.
Bhool Bhulaiyaa  was directed by Priyadarshan with super star Akshay Kumar and Vidya Balan headlining the cast. The Hindi film was a remake of Malayalam film Manichitrathazhu  that starred super star Mohanlal. Madhu Muttam’s story, said to be based on true events, was recreated in Hindi by the late Neeraj Vora as Bhool Bhulaiyaa . Though not a first Hindi horror comedy per se, but the Hindi film was instrumental in popularizing the horror comedy genre in the millennia. It uplifted the careers of Akshay Kumar and Vidya Balan.
Aaryan, who has had mixed last few years, would hope that Bhool Bhulaiyaa 2  would give a similar fillip to his career. Aaryan and his co-star Kiara Advani are playing different characters in the new film. The former is cast as a Ruhan Randhawa, while the latter is playing Reet Thakur. Among the key additions to this tale is Tabu.
Early in the trailer, Tabu’s character used the words ek Manjulika (one Manjulika). While the legend of the devil returns, we get a feeling that the new film has only borrowed the character name as this Manjulika could be an altogether different being. And she certainly looks more menacing, more dangerous than the Manjulika in Priyadarshan’s film.
Much like Dr. Aditya Shrivastava, Ruhan aka Rooh Baba, too, is a quirky psychic who claims to be seeing the dead. Though it is just a trailer, Aaryan doesn’t appear to have aped Akshay Kumar’s character. He is certainly a better dancer than the seasoned Kumar. Aaryan’s buttery footwork is a whistle podu (blow whistle) moment.
Advani’s gifted with deep beautiful eyes, but they also trigger fear when the lady indulges into bone chilling twists and turns. It is Tabu who looks more intriguing in the trailer.
The trailer is nicely cut and compels the viewer to think on various probabilities. While Reet is clearly shown to be possessed, but we don’t rule out Tabu’s character throwing up a surprise. There is perhaps more to Tabu’s character than it meets the eye. Who knows, perhaps she might turn out to be the villain in this piece, maybe the one who Manjulika is seeking revenge against. Or the image below suggests that maybe Tabu is also possessed by Manjulika.
In another eerie scene we see Rooh Baba in a hoodie, and the next second Rooh Baba is surprised to be staring at his own self. Perhaps an illusion or the editor has cut the trailer in a way to create one. The rapid visuals in the latter half of the 3 minute 16 second trailer add to the film’s intrigue.
Both the Malayalam film and the 2007 Hindi remake were more psychological in nature. Bhool Bhulaiyaa 2 though appears to have upped the horror quotient. The few punches in the trailer are funny, and we particularly liked the Donald Trump reference. We wish the former American president is allowed to rejoin Twitter so that Bhool Bhulaiyaa 2 makers can tag him in a trailer link tweet. We hope the Randhawas of the world take the ‘runaway Randhawa’ joke in good spirit.
Rajpal Yadav is the sole survivor from the first film, but he appears to have a different character. He had his face covered in all red in the first film, while here it is painted in white. The Bigg Boss reference goes well the title Bhool Bhulaiyaa 2.
Rajesh Sharma, Milind Gunaji, Sanjay Mishra are the new additions to the franchise. Sharma is probably referred to as chicha here. These characters will reveal more about themselves when the film releases.
Talk of Bhool Bhulaiyaa  and the first thing that springs to mind is the passionate semi-classical track Ami Je Tomar that was sung so beautifully by Shreya Ghoshal and M.G. Sreekumar, with actor-classical dancer Vineeth putting up a classy performance. He even outshone Vidya Balan in the dancing bit. The latter though intimidated with her gothic eyes. It was this track, and the classical dancing that hooked you to the story of Manjulika. The new Ami Je Tomar has Neeti Mohan as the singer. Can she recreate the same magic as Shreya Ghoshal? Will Advani match the dancing and the killer looks of Balan? Time will tell. Based on the below screenshot, Advani looks intimidating.
Despite a déjà vu haunting, Bhool Bhulaiyaa 2 trailer is engaging, exciting, tinged with humour, giving us few chills already. Ami Je Tomar and the Hare Ram Hare Krishna tracks are inseparable from the franchise. Fans will be all ears when the recreations are released in due course of time. The impressive trailer sets the ball rolling for Bhool Bhulaiyaa 2 . Watch the trailer below.