Bhool Bhulaiyaa 2 vs Dhaakad! Kartik Aaryan has his say

The Bhool Bhulaiyaa 2 [2022] actor feels that Dhaakad will be another good film for the audience to watch on 20 May.

Source: Kartik Aaryan Instagram

By Mayur Lookhar

A sense of normalcy has returned to life and Bollywood, too, has resumed with the traditional ways of marketing.  Stars are mingling with a plethora of journalists, happy to spread the word on their upcoming release. Kartik Aaryan had a Valentine’s Day release [Love Aaj Kal] before the inaugural lockdown, but the film failed to impress much.

During the peak pandemic phase, he had another release Dhamaka [2021] that was hyped up before its release, but didn’t quite explode on the OTT scene as claimed. During this phase, he also had an infamous spat with a legacy studio (Dharma Productions).  We carried his reaction on this issue in an earlier article. 

This article/interview is more about his upcoming release Bhool Bhulaiyaa 2 [2022].  As iterated many times, it is not a remake but an extension of the franchise with the second film retaining some elements of the earlier film, but having a world of its own.

Excerpts from the group conversation with Aaryan a few days ago.

Are you disappointed that Twitter has suspended Donald Trump’s account as we could have shared the Bhool Bhulaiyaa 2 trailer (Trump joke) with the former US president?

(laughs).  Phir toh ulta Tweet ho jaata (Then it could have been a twisted Tweet).  It is actually a blessing in disguise [that his account was suspended].

Your last few films have been remakes / sequel and this continues with Bhool Bhulaiyaa 2.

(Breaks in)

This is more or less a new film.  But if you see most of my earlier works, they are all original – Pyaar Ka Punchnama franchise, Akaash Vani [2013], Sonu Ke Titu Ki Sweety [2018], Luka Chuppi [2019].

I don’t want to compare with Akshay Kumar or the first film, but Bhool Bhulaiyaa [2007] gave a much-needed boost to Akshay Kumar’s career then.  Post Sonu Ke Titu Ki Sweety [2018], it’s been an up and down period for you. Are you looking for Bhool Bhulaiyaa 2 to do the same for your career?

Dhamaka [2021] was well received. I felt Dhamaka was a smart move in the way that we wanted to make a film in isolation during pandemic.  We couldn’t have more than 50-100 people on the set.  It worked wonders for us.

Sonu Ke TItu Ki Sweety [2018], Pati Patni Aur Woh [2019], Luka Chuppi [2019] were all hits. I think Love Aaj Kal was an aberration but then again it gave me the biggest opening of my career. I think all these films have given a boost to me. 

I hope Bhool Bhulaiyaa 2 [2022] does equally good or better. Of course, you want a growth with every film. I’m not sure of the timing, or his career graph then, but for me Akshay sir has always been a superstar. Hopefully, it [Bhool Bhulaiyaa 2] turns out to be the biggest film of my career.

Was there any pressure to play the character differently from Akshay?

There was never any need to do such a thing.  The story, the character [Ruhan] is different from that film.  I didn’t even think on comparative lines.

A maiden horror comedy for you. Are you fond of the horror genre?  

Kiara Advani (l) with Kartik Aaryan (R) in Bhool Bhulaiyaa 2 [2022]

I’ve done many comedies, but I watch a lot of horror films.  I get scared to watch alone and the worrying thing is that I can’t sleep with any light on.  Horror films are thrilling to watch.  I find horror comedies as an interesting mix.  This film will have a question mark, a consistent intrigue all throughout it.  I really loved doing this film. Horror comedies make for great theatrical viewing. More than spook, this film will amuse you more.

It’s very rare that a sequel has had the same impact as that of the preceding film.  

To each its own. I did Pyaar Ka Punchnama franchise, both the films did well. In fact, the second film did better. The audience will always have different perspective to a sequel. Many sequels have come and failed.  Naturally, they didn’t click with the audience. Eventually, it is the content that will determine the fate of any film.

It’s your first theatrical film in over two years.  Are there any anxieties?

We had initially shot in Lucknow in February 2020, and then during mid-March there were talks of an impending lockdown. We shot about 20 days and then came the lockdown.  I was never worried about the release. The film became secondary as we were more worried about the pandemic and personal health. Yes, once the second, third wave came in, you do think about the dates, schedule matching up, but [director] Anees’[Bazmee] sir was always confident about finishing the film [whenever Covid-19 situation improves].

Kangana Ranaut had backed you during your spat with Dharma Productions but now you’ll be competing against her at the box office with Dhaakad also releasing on 20 May.

Thankfully, both films belong to different genres. They have varied audience too. Both the trailers have received good response. I don’t look at it as a competition but rather as an ‘AND’ [Bhool Bhulaiyaa 2 and Dhaakad]. I think it is another good film for the audience to watch.

A maiden film with seasoned actor Tabu. How was that experience?

 Tabu ma’am is a mind-blowing performer. I have many scenes with her. I had a blast shooting with her.  Naturally, you improve too when you work with such an actor.

Your sizzling dance moves in the trailer is creating waves. We haven’t seen much of the dancer in you.

I loved the dancing bit here.  It is my passion. I like hip hop. When the title track was being choreographed, Bosco sir [choreographer] thought of why not having a move that goes well with the words Bhool Bhulaiyaa.  Though it’s zigzag but we also called it a spook walk piece.  Everything worked out so well. The song has different moments, many steps and a different feel to it. People are beginning to like my dancing style.

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