2003 · Dream Merchants Enterprises
Bhoot — Movie Review by Karthik
8 out of 10
Directing Credits
Ram Gopal Varma
Writing Credits
Written by Sameer Sharma, Lalit Marathe
Ajay Devgan, Urmila Matondkar, Nana Patekar, Victor Banerjee, Rekha, Fardeen Khan, Seema Biswas

The Review

As the movie begins, architect Vishal (Ajay Devgan) is looking for a house in Mumbai for himself and his wife, Swati (Urmila Matondkar) to stay.  He is being taken to some buildings by a real estate salesman.  Eventually, he is shown one particular building, where there is one flat vacant - on the twelfth floor.  The salesman and the owner of the apartment tell Vishal though, that the previous occupant of the flat, one Manjeet, mysteriously died - she was thought to have committed suicide by jumping off the twelfth floor.  However, Vishal is not superstitious, so he and his wife soon move into the apartment.

After a while, Swati comes to know about the "history" of the place they just moved into - and is upset because Vishal didn't tell her.  But then Vishal says that he didn't want to spoil their happiness at finding a nice, decent place in Mumbai, and the matter is settled there.

Unfortunately, not for long.  Mind you, this is barely fifteen or twenty minutes into the film, and that's when the solid scares start coming - Swati starts seeing some scary things, apparently starts sleepwalking, and starts behaving strangely.  Is she having some psychological problems?  This causes extreme distress to Vishal, who at first can't understand what's happening to his wife, but later begins to accept that some supernatural forces are involved.  We, the audience, are shown pretty early in the movie that Manjeet's vengeful spirit (the titular "Bhoot", who is vengeful for a reason that is revealed by the end) is very much haunting this apartment.  Now by the time half the movie is over, an important event happens, introducing a twist into the story, leading to a fast-paced investigation and resolution in the second half.  I think it would spoil the film if I revealed what this was, so, I think it's better you enjoy it yourself.

I had quite high expectations for this movie before I saw it.  From what I've read about director Ram Gopal Varma, I was hoping that this would not be a typical Bollywood-produced Hindi movie (with songs and stuff).  I'm delighted to say that the movie was even better than I thought!  The professionalism with which the movie is made is evident from the beginning itself - it is a real visual treat.  The movie is filled to the brim with innovative camera movments and well set-up shots.

I have to complement the filmmakers for the very good music and sound effects - they are what contribute to the scares in the movie.  The movie's production design is also first-rate - the apartment really looks like what it is supposed to be - an urban apartment in Mumbai.  The interiors and the exteriors are used very well to create a spooky atmosphere.

The movie is brilliantly acted (by all, and especially Ajay Devgan and Urmila Matondkar) as well, and the only criticism I had about this was Seema Biswas (as the couple's servant) acting a bit too weird at times (probably to add some possible "extra" spookiness, which I felt there was no need for).  The screenplay is also well constructed and there is absolutely nothing unnecessary (like the above mentioned songs, or any unrelated events) - it's a scary horror movie from start to finish.  The ending might seem a bit clichéd, but really, I don't think it could have been neatly wrapped up any other way.  At a couple of places though I couldn't help being reminded of The Exorcist, but it's not that the film purposely imitates it.  The visual effects and make up effects are also very good and at the same time subtle - so they're more effective!

Probably one could criticise the movie as relying a bit too much on sound effects (which at times seem a bit too loud) for it's scares, but when it's done this creatively I found it easy to accept.  What I liked most about the movie, though, was that the director didn't use typical clichés for his scares (typical would be scenes like a character walking in the dark and suddenly turning around to see someone standing behind him or her, a character expecting a villain or ghost in a dark corner only to be startled by his or her friend who conveniently happened to be there, etc.) - instead, he used new and inventive ways of scaring the audience.  These are perfectly set up to have the maximum impact, and I bet that anyone who has seen this movie won't be forgetting their first look at the spirit anytime soon!

The movie is also a very restrained horror movie - there is almost no blood or violence and absolutely no gore.  There are also no silly situations, and the movie's length is also just right.  I was expecting an above average horror movie, I got a superlative one.  I couldn't be happier!  High praise for Bhoot and director Ram Gopal Varma and I hope I get to see more movies like this.

More Details

Running Time: 120 minutes | Country: India | Genre: Horror

Ratings Info

I rate all movies or game add-ons on a scale of 1 to 10 points.  1 is the lowest score, 6 is barely above average, 8 is good, and 10 is excellent (this score doesn't indicate something that is perfect in every way — it just means that I enjoyed it a lot).  You'll find that I tend to give ratings of 8 and above often (that's only because I enjoy whatever I'm reviewing!).  Reviews are updated as felt necessary.  Of course, everything said in these reviews is my humble opinion only.
Review Date 6 Jun 03

Comments for this Movie Review

8 Sep 06 · 04:47 AM
I specially liked the cinematography of this movie. It had few shades of 'Juan', but the camera angles made the look of the scene scary, rather than the character's expressions.

Ofcourse Urmila acted well as a psycho ;)
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Karthik Abhiram

27-year old Taurean (birthday 15-May-82), Assistant Manager - HR at Tata Consultancy Services Ltd in Hyderabad, India.  Previously, did Post Graduate Diploma in Management from T A Pai Management Institute (2003-05) and before that, Computer Science Engineering from Sree Nidhi Institute of Science and Technology (1999-2003).

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