Arguably, Madhu Muttom’s story based on a supposedly real life incident, happens to be Indian movie industry’s most successful script of all time. The original movie, “Manichitrathazhu” reigned Malayalam box office for more than a year. The Kannada remake “Aapthamitra” is one the industry’s biggest blockbusters. The Tamil\Telugu remake of “Manichitrathazhu”, “Chandramukhi“, though miserably adapted broke collection records in the south’s two most important filmdoms (800 days in Chennai). If initial pull is something to go by, Priyadarshan’s Bhool Bhulaiyaa will be a superhit by Diwali, well before Om Shanti Om sets in.
“Bhool Bhulaiyaa” is a scene by scene remake of “Manichitrathazhu”, even some dialogues are literally translated. But Priyadarshan is able to add more sizzle and effect to the horror scenes which is consolation for the mallu audience who already know the suspense.
Story: Same story
1. Humor, Horror and Settings: the mix is well adapted, Akshay Kumar and Paresh Rawal set pretty well to the subtle humor of the movie. Between them Akshay takes the cake. He carries the movie in the second half.
Given that the movie was shot in Varanasi, Rajasthan and Karanataka(i guess), the transitions are effected pretty well. Priyadarshan’s keen eye for technical perfection is seen throughout the movie (though there is a UP and KA registration vehicle).
Sabu Cyril’s Art direction is impeccable, in the way he dresses up the Mahal (mansion) which lies at the core of the story.
2. Vidya Balan: There are two opinions about this, but personally I think Vidya Balan gave her best performance till date for the movie. The anticipation in the theater was evident in the run up to the scene where she transitions to her second personality (when her character lifts up the cot). The long applause after that scene could translate to a handful of awards. The character which won Shobana her maiden National award and which Jyothika messed up big time is safely handled by Vidya Balan.
3. Performances: The script of the original demands understated performances. Akshay Kumar and Vidya Balan delivers, while Shiney Ahuja falters and Amisha Patel is kinda out of place. Then, in the original, the three main characters were played by national award winners with performances topping one another – not much room for comparison there.
4. Music: The songs are nice, pop-corn is good. kudos Pritam kudos!
1. Nothing new: for folks who have watched “Manichitrathazhu”, Bhool becomes some kinda dubbed movie, except for the occasional jolts and j0kes. The audience in kochi enjoyed it in some perverted way by playing “Manichitrathazhu” ring tones and shouting dialogues from the original. Each time Akshay says “Gotti Gotti”, some fifty people starts shouting “kindi kindi” and this goes on. Priyan does not add anything new, he could have. But this is a strictly mallu reaction.
Verdict: Highly watchable (even if you have seen the original). The area wise figures of hindi movies are confusing, but with 30 crores already in, Bhool Bhulaiyaa could settle anywhere between a Super hit and a blockbuster.
Reactions: The crowd was over-acting all the time(second show houseful into the second week!!), so don’t remember any.