Roohi Review: A Completely Mishmash Horror-Comedy

    Roohi Review is simple- it just s a mishmash horror comedy entertainer, a blend of too many elements. Roohi begins with Bhawra (Rao) and Kattanni (Sharma) introducing a foreign journalist (Alexx O’Neil) to bridal abductions in their Uttar Pradesh town – women here are routinely picked up by contract kidnappers, we are told, and handed over to the families of men interested in marrying them

    At the start audience is asked to take down the journey of a ‘kidnap’, in the start of a naive, open-mouthed ‘gora’ (Alexx O’Nell), which brings together a duo of small-town layabouts, Bhawra (Rajkummar Rao) and Kattani (Varun Sharma), and a shy young woman Roohi (Janhvi Kapoor), and deposits them in the middle of a jungle, for no good reason.A muscle-bound hood (Manav Vij) shows up once in a while. Why? We never quite get it. The characters mumble, and fumble, and it’s all a mishmash..

    This horrifying practise is portrayed as something women don’t quite mind, but if you think Roohi means to trivialise women, ultimately you will find out that is not its objective.

    There’s something up with Roohi. The two fellows soon discover that she is a shape-shifter, switching from a whisper to a roar whenever she feels like it. There was potential to this idea: a woman is never just one thing, or another. She has as much right to be many entities, as anyone else. But the film squanders it with great determination, and tasteless jokes.

    What’s missing is a coherent plot and writing. All we get is one cringe-inducing sequence after the next (‘jhaad-phoonk’, exorcism, women in chains), where we are treated to problematic lines: when, when will mainstream movies stop terming wives ‘chudails’? No, it never was funny; the usage now just arouses fury. Just tossing in one line as a disclaimer that the film doesn’t encourage superstition, is not a buy-out. Neither is the reliable Rao’s presence, usually a guarantee of quality. Sharma’s brand of dialogue delivery already feels jaded. Kapoor tries gamely, but never gets a break-out right till the end.

    Roohi Review – Watch it online

    After Amar Kaushik’s 2018 film Stree emerged winner at the box office, and set new benchmark for horror comedies in Bollywood, it was to expect that the second offering from the same production should at least be equally good, if not better. Sadly, the latest release in the genre, Roohi, starring Janhvi Kapoor, Rajkummar Rao and Varun Sharm, is a rather drab attempt at trying to scare people while making them laugh. Neither of the two click.

    If nothing else, the two dance numbers–Nadiyon Paar in the opening credits and Panghat at the end–could make Roohi worth your while.


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