Acrackling theatre, with the audience laughing out loud at some of the scenes. An outsider might confuse it for a comedy film but it was Vicky Kaushal’s horror flick – Bhoot Part One: The Haunted Ship – that was being played at the big screen last night.
Being unable to make the audience sqirm with fear is one thing, but having them laugh at the film’s most “frightening” scenes is a sign of sheer failure. Bhanu Pratap Singh’s directorial debut Bhoot Part One: The Haunted Ship came falls, and therefore fails, the latter category.
The film established our protagonist Prithvi (Vicky) as a braveheart. A lonely soul who is grieving the death of his wife (Bhumi Pednekar) and daughter. He goes out of his way to help people, even if it involves risking his own life.
After giving a brief history of Prithvi’s life, the film wastes no time in getting to its actual protagonist – Sea Bird – an abandoned ship that has reached Mumbai’s shore. Vicky’s company is in charge of getting rid of the ship, with him leading the task.
Rumours of the ship being haunted have been travelling to Vicky but he ignores it all and enters it for inspection. After experiencing some paranormal activities himself, Vicky decides to delve deep into the subject. His experience on the ship and a few evidence that he collects, make it is clear that Sea Bird is haunted. With the help his friend and two more people, Vicky tries to fix it all.
Bhoot Part One: The Haunted Ship’s storyline has major loopholes and we were willing to ignore it all if it had the potential to scare the daylights out of us. Bhoot delivers nothing of that sort. The ghosts in the film are, in fact, so unconvincing that they appear more like lizards crawling in the background. You might be reminded of Bipasha Basu’s Creature, which isn’t a good memory either. The director tries to make the audience scream with a few jump scares but they all fall flat, leaving us miffed.
In any horror film, music plays a key role in making it a spine-chilling experience, an element that Anushka Sharma’s 2018 horror film Pari mastered. In Bhoot, however, no work has been done on its music. A few finger snaps, a lullaby and a strange doll are enough to scare our well-built lead. Perhaps we are stronger than Vicky Kaushal.
Bhanu came with little homework done and his lack of experience and knowledge is screaming on screen. He keeps a major plot twist for the end and uses it as a bait. He wants his already mind-numbingly bored audience to watch his film till the end for THAT twist. But we lose our strength here. After watching most of this “horror” film with a straight face, it gets difficult to sit through the last few minutes
In the end, the burden of Bhoot Part One: The Haunted Ship falls on Vicky’s shoulders and the actor tries his best to keep it from sinking. He plays his part with conviction but succumbs to lack of directorial sense and a weak storyline.