By Sneha Jaiswal (Twitter | Instagram)

Tabu’s name rolls in before Kartik Aaryan and Kiara Advani in the opening credits of the 2022 horror comedy ‘Bhool Bhulaiyya 2’ and deservedly so, because acting isn’t the strong suit of either of the younger two actors. Directed by Anees Bazmee, the film has close to zero jump scares and falters even in the supposedly funny scenes. You start feeling bad for Tabu at one point, because she deserves so much better.

Plot overview: Reet Thakur (Kiara Advani) is a rich girl vacationing in the hills before her wedding, there she meets the impish Ruhan Randhawa (Kartik Aaryan), who convinces her into taking a later bus to the city. Their originally scheduled bus meets with an accident and their families assume they are dead. Reet sees this as an opportunity to skip her wedding and set some things right. So, the pair goes to Rajasthan and accidentally frees a vengeful ghost that wants Reet’s family destroyed. The ghost’s name is Manjulika. Obviously.

It took me 2 days to watch ‘Bhool Bhulaiya 2’ because it’s simply insufferable in one go. No wonder the film went out of theaters in a flash and is already on Netflix within weeks of its big screen release. One can smell the big climactic twist within the first half of the story, and there are too many repetitive elements – from story, names, songs – in the film to keep things interesting. Kartik Aaryan and Kiara Advani have zero chemistry and look like two rich kids pretending to like each other because their parents set them up.

Some more effort with the story-writing and dialogues could’ve made this 2-hour long ridiculousness a lot more bearable, maybe even fun. It was hard not to think how a Rajkummar Rao (who was fantastic in the horror comedies ‘Stree’ & ‘Roohi’) would’ve elevated the entertainment quotient of a movie like this simply with his dialogue delivery. Too bad he doesn’t fit the “tall cute dude who can charm a girl he has just met into taking him home the very next day” brief. Sigh.

Actors Rajpal Yadav, Sanjay Mishra and Ashwini Kalsekar are completely wasted in their two-bit comedic roles, with lines and humor written for 10-year-olds. Thankfully Tabu gets a meaty part and is the only saving grace of this completely forgettable flick. And even though they were some genuinely hilarious moments here and there, a massively underwhelming climax drowns any sort of satisfaction viewers would’ve experienced.

It’s a 4/10 from me.

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