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Bhoot And Friends

When one makes a children’s film, especially an adventure, you expect it to be packed with treasure hunts, fun and escapades. But Bhoot And Friends has none of the above. It’s a botched attempt to make an adventure film.

The film revolves around an 11-yearold, not so bright boy Raghav (Maarkand Soni) and his NRI cousins Igloo (Akash Nair) and Roma (Ishita Panchal). They visit Raghav’s grandmother’s home in his hometown, where they team up with Raghav’s village buddy Ali (Tejas Rahate) and embark on an adventure filled with bad guys hunting for a hidden treasure and a not-so-spooky ghost (Jackie Shroff).

Director Kittu Saluja, whose earlier film was also for the young audience, fails to capture the adventure feel required for this flick. The mazes and tricky paths with fire-throwing gargoyles are anything but impressive. The hurdles and obstacles are ridiculous. Even the treasure-bearing cave and the guarding spirits are so silly, that they fail to generate any astonishment or even mild interest. On the whole, the adventure is bland and gloomily boring. The climax of the treasure hunt is broken and jaded.

Background music is okay. Action is standard. Special effects of the air-borne bag and the invisible punches are outdated. The digital intermediate of Jackie Shroff is notable and the animation is impressive. Editing is okay. Cinematography is vague.

Shroff is just about average in his part and even seems disinterested at times. All the kids – Maarkand Soni, Ishita Panchal, Akash Nair, Tejas Rahate – give their best and do well, especially Tejas Rahate, who plays a polio-ridden boy. Ashwin Mushran as Gora Sahaab is irksome.

Verdict: Dud

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