Cast: Rajkummar Rao, Janhvi Kapoor and Varun Sharma
Director - Hardik Mehta
Release date - 11 March, 2021
There have been a few exceptions but Bollywood horror flicks have mostly been disappointing. Then came a film called ‘Stree', it mostly felt like a comedy but was really scary in parts. The makers are now with another horror comedy - ‘Roohi’ starring Jahnvi Kapoor and Rajkummar Rao.
Two small-town boys played by Rajkummar and Varun, are part local journalists, and part hustlers. They are entrusted by their boss - the local goon, with the task of kidnapping Roohi, played by Jahnvi for a forced wedding. When the wedding has to be cancelled, the boys are left with a kidnapped girl - who isn’t as defenceless as they imagine her to be…
Roohi has two avatars and the second one is quite scary…Is she possessed or is it a multiple personality disorder? While the two naive boys try to figure out a way to deal with their hostage, both of them can’t help but fall in love with her - it’s definitely an usual love triangle.
The thing about small-town stories that don’t have the razzle dazzle of big budget films is the quirky characters. It is not just the main leads but the supporting cast that plays a significant part in bolstering the storytelling. In ‘Stree’ the characters played by Pankaj Tripathi, Aparshakti Khurrana and Abhishek Banerjea made the plot intriguing and enjoyable. Unfortunately, the makers fail to do the same for ‘Roohi’ …..
To be fair - Jahnvi is quite convincing as both Roohi and Afza - she manages to come across as vulnerable and scary in her different avatars. Rajkummar almost aces his part and it is difficult to imagine that this is the same guy who was speaking with an American accent in his last film ‘The white tiger’ but at times, he does seem to be trying too hard to be funny.
As for Varun Sharma - I just felt like he is getting typecast as this bumbling idiot and it’s difficult to differentiate one character from the other. There is no variation in his portrayals.
What Hardik Mehta’s plot lacks is coherence. The storytelling is all over the place and the songs just drag down the pace of this tale. While some dialogues and wisecracks work really well, others either fall flat or are just cringeworthy. Also, the climax probably wanted to make a point but the message is lost in the chaos.
After sitting through the entire film - I still didn’t understand whether she was possessed or suffering from a personality disorder. Also, there is no explanation for what actually caused this. It is neither a scary horror film nor a laugh-out-loud comedy. I am not sure whether it is worth venturing into a theatre to watch this one. ‘Roohi’ gets 2 stars from me.
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