Horror meets comedy?! Umm, more like senseless storyline meets sloppy execution! Here’s a Maddock films production that surely does not deserve your time…yes, not even for Rajkumar Rao.
Rating – 1.5 / 5 ⭐½
So, last weekend, the makers of a solid hardcore entertainer Stree decided to ruin our happiness by releasing their much-awaited film Roohi, starring Janhvi Kapoor, Rajkumar Rao and Varun Sharma in the lead roles. Now personally, I’m someone who LOVES horror, comedy and of course, the deadly combination genre of horror-comedy (I mean, Bhool Bhulaiyyaa is life) but if directors like Hardik Mehta are simply going to throw together some lame borderline-annoying jokes and a not-scary-at-all Janhvi Kapoor and call that a horror-comedy then sorry to say but Bollywood’s future is definitely not in good hands.
Roohi revolves around Bhawra (Rajkumar Rao) and his sidekick Kattanni (Varun Sharma), two best friends are who are basically part-time wife kidnappers and full-time vela! Their job is to simply force marriages by kidnapping women for desperate grooms based on their boss’ (Manav Vij) orders. Well, their boring struggled life takes quite a filmy yet horrific turn when they’re asked to kidnap Roohi (Janhvi Kapoor), a seemingly sweet, innocent, scared 20-something year old who harbours a dark secret of her own, Afza… Well, things get even more out of hand when Bhawra and Kattanni develop romantic feelings for Roohi & Afza respectively, resulting in a two-hour mindless, purposeless spectacle.
“Chudail se peecha chhurana mushkil hi nahi, asambhav hai!”– Bhawra
Personally, I’ve always believed that filmmakers who want to experiment with genres, themes, moods etc. in an attempt to challenge the boundaries of new-age cinema, should first have their priorities and strategies perfectly in place. Figure out what exactly are the selling points of your film (no, Janhvi Kapoor does not count) and focus on how to achieve those with your resources instead of trying to squeeze in a myriad of elements just for the heck of it! For example, Stree did have a killer storyline with just the right amounts of twists & turns (trust Amar Kaushik to make a good film), but you know what really worked out in Stree’s favour? Its supporting actors! Of course, I’m talking about the legendary Pankaj Tripathi and the very entertaining Abhishek Kapoor and Aparshakti Khurrana – they not only extended Stree’s comedy limits but also heightened the overall performance score of the film. Unfortunately, in this case, while Roohi already lost points due to its dull, dragged plot, a stronger supporting cast would have probably been the saving grace of this already-drowned ship
Coming to performances, no one particularly stood out in my opinion. Although Rajkumar Rao was as thorough as always, his exaggerated accent made his dialogue delivery difficult to comprehend and got annoying, frankly. Varun Sharma, too, tried to be his fukra self and continue to entertain but Roohi’s script pretty much limited these tremendous actors from showing their true jalwa! Where Janhvi Kapoor is concerned, I’ve been reading a lot of reviews praising her performance but in all honesty, for an actress with only 3-4 dialogues in the entire two hours and constant back & forth between her normal self and her chudail avtar, appreciating Janhvi Kapoor was a bit of a challenge – I’d still want to see her single-handedly actually take over a challenging role and embrace it in its entirety.
So, all-in-all, Roohi’s pathetic screenplay & execution will come haunt you at night. A pro-tip from my end – Avoid this one. Seriously. All Rajkumar Rao fans, re-watch Stree (or Bareily Ki Barfi cause that’s awesome) or White Tiger on Netflix. All Varun Sharma fans, re-watch the Fukrey series, duh. And all Janhvi Kapoor fans…umm…judging you.
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