tv & movies

‘Bhoot Part One: The Haunted Ship’ review: That sinking feeling

Vicky Kaushal and jump scares manage to hold things together well till the Dharma vessel derails in the second half

It seems like ghosts are also prone to getting jinxed. Bhoot Part One: The Haunted Ship floats along swimmingly and perches promisingly well at the interval till the curse of the second half gets to afflict it severely.

An abandoned ship sails into Mumbai and it’s for shipping personnel led by Prithvi(Vicky Kaushal) to uncover its deep, dark secrets. And, in the process, confront ghosts from his own past.

Bhoot Part On: The Haunted Ship

  • Director: Bhanu Pratap Singh
  • Starring: Vicky Kaushal, Ashutosh Rana, Bhumi Pednekar, Akash Dhar
  • Run time: 1 hour 54 minutes
  • Storyline: An abandoned ship sails into Mumbai and it’s for a shipping personnel to uncover its deep, dark secrets

Well mounted, with a pervasive sense of corrosiveness in its frames, in keeping with the rusty vessel it largely plays out in, Bhoot gets the eerie mood right. For a brief while. The gloom and doom get extended to even a Parsi restaurant in Mumbai. The hackneyed but ever reliable tools of ghost stories — jump scares — also play out well, to the accompaniment of persistent clicking sounds and children’s rhyme, not to forget the ominous rag tag doll. Fear hangs heavy, there is a rightful oppressiveness about it, more so in the uneasy anticipation of the scary lobs.

What’s more compelling is the grounding of horror in Prithvi’s own mind games and hallucinations. He is cast adrift, unmoored much like the abandoned ship. While the ship is unforgiving and vengeful, Prithvi is wrecked by his own loss and grief and demons of guilt. Just like the stuck ship, he is clinging to the memories. Both need to move on.

Kaushal evokes the inner torment with requisite gravitas. All other characters, however, are there to serve the plot than getting individualised in any manner. The most problematic is the explicatory second half which takes the film back a full circle to the conventional, tacky horror films and TV shows we have been used to watching complete with “Hreem Kleem” Chamunda mantra like solution to tackle malicious spirits. Our ghosts are still much in need of a compelling update.

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