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Review Roundup: Kartik Aaryan’s ‘Bhool Bhulaiyaa 2’ Creates a Dent on Box Office Despite Average Reviews

As films return to cinemas more, and less to OTT, box office numbers seem to have experienced spikes. While Kartik Aaryan-starrer Bhool Bhulaiyaa 2 has earned around Rs 14 crores on its opening day, thereby making it the second film with the highest opening post the pandemic for a Hindi film, Kangana Ranaut‘s Dhaakad has only garner Rs 50 lakh.


Ranveer Singh‘s Jayeshbhai Jordaar also has not recorded high ticket sales.

Silverscreen India brings to you a compilation of reviews of films that released both online as well as in cinemas.


Razneesh Ghai‘s Dhaakad features actors Kangana RanautArjun Rampal, and Divya Dutta in pivotal roles. The film tells the story of Agent Agni, essayed by Ranaut, who is a field agent entrusted with the mission to gather Intel and eliminate Rudraveer, an international human and arms trafficker.

Sankeertana of Silverscreen India writes that apart from Ranaut’s portrayal as an international agent – a rare sight in Indian cinema – Dhaakad has very little to offer.

However, she adds that the film’s gaze is firmly male, and notes that even though the protagonist does not have to explain her streak of violence, “the film needed so much more to sustain the incessant action. I can even understand the simple emotional stakes, but the cliche-riddled journey the film takes its protagonist on is unacceptable. ”

“Arjun Rampal and Divya Dutta‘s characters are given enough scope and space to shine, and they do in parts. But the emotional arcs of all characters involved in the film are broad and predictable. How can a viewer invest if they already know a character’s every beat? How can they connect with something that’s barely there?” Sankeertana writes.

Rahul Desai of Film Companion, notes the tonal similarities between Dhaakad and other Hollywood female-assassin thrillers, including but not limited to Atomic Blonde and Red Sparrow.


Desai reflects similar sentiments as Sankeertana, and writes, “The intent is correct, but the execution leaves a lot to be desired.”

He adds, “The film itself is all too tropey and familiar, as is her final face-off with raspy Rudra, not to mention the final twist that comes as no surprise to anyone who wonders what sort of agency recruits grief-stricken children and mines their trauma to make them deadly assassins.”

Anna MM Vetticad of Firstpost calls the film “shamelessly derivative”, and writes, “It is not Tarantino though, but the Lara Croft blockbuster franchise starring Angelina Jolie that the team of this Hindi film primarily seems to be mining, right down to the heroine’s look, which includes figure-hugging black outfits of varying lengths and long plaited hair in large parts of the narrative.”

She calls the storytelling colourless, and the film unoriginal, and notes that the film’s biggest problem lies in its lack of imagination.

“To make up for the vacuum of ideas, extremely violent scenes are inserted into the proceedings at intervals,” Vetticad writes.

Even in terms of performances, Vetticad writes that Ranaut, Rampal, and Dutta weren’t as noteworthy as Saswata Chatterjee and Sharib Hashmi.

The film has an IMDb rating of 7.2.

Jack N Jill

Directed by cinematographer and filmmaker Santosh Sivan, Jack N Jill revolves around Manju Warrier‘s Parvathy, a patient of schizophrenia, who, without her will, becomes the subject of an AI experiment conducted by Kesh (Kalidas Jayaram), a US-based scientist. The test transforms Parvathy into a superhero equipped with the best cognitive and combat skills.

The film also features actors Nedumudi Venu, Soubin ShahirAju Varghese, and Basil Joseph, in supporting roles.

According to Aswathy Gopalakrishnan of Silverscreen India, the film does not look like a Santosh Sivan film.


She notes, “Where are Sivan’s famous fascinating compositions, frames dripping with delicious colours and lights, the building of atmospherics? The film has what the general viewers call the “video” look ﹣blunt and raw, resembling old home videos.”

Gopalakrishnan adds that apart from Warrier, Jayaram, and Venu, every other actor looks out of place. Even the characterisation of Shahir, Varghese, and Joseph, she says, is a humongous waste of talent.

“One can see their characters resemble Balarama’s Vikraman and Muthu, the foolish thugs, in tune with the film’s overall low-cost comic book nature. But the jokes do not work, thanks to the flat staging of the scenes,” writes Gopalakrishnan.

The sole takeaway from the film, according to the reviewer, “is the hinting of a romantic track featuring her and Kalidas, the 28-year-old son of her former co-star, Jayaram.”

SR Praveen of The Hindu, writes, “It is not often that one would come across a film where every department seems to be in a competition with each other in a race to the bottom, where cinema lies battered and bruised.”

The film has an IMDb rating of 5.3.
12th ManDisney+ Hotstar
Directed by Jeethu Joseph, 12th Man is a thriller that is headlined by Joseph’s frequent collaborator Mohanlal. The story revolves around a murder that takes place at a resort, and points finger at 12 people.
Aswathy Gopalakrishnan of Silverscreen India, writes that 12th Man is not an especially smart film. “The plot goes in circles, from one red herring to another, yet it cannot outwit the viewer who has, in all these years, been trained at noticing the patterns.”
She adds that Joseph’s film is amateurishly insensitive, which “does not care about the dead or the human frailties that led to the murder. 12th Man, unlike the dark intrigue stuffed into its name, is a soap-operatic film founded on archaic morality.”
The characters, she writes, dress alike with hardly any point of difference.
Shot during the pandemic, Gopalakrishnan notes that while the film has been able to keep the industry afloat, it drags Malayalam cinema many decades behind, turning filmmaking into a mindless job of visual content creation.  
Vishal Menon of Film Companion, reflects similar sentiments as Gopalakrishnan in terms of the film’s approach to the story and writes, “But given the nature of the chamber drama, there are only so many possibilities the script can explore to arrive at an ending. And as with 12th Man, once you’ve considered each person in the group as a possible culprit at least once during its runtime, how shocking can it be when a name is revealed towards the end?”
However, he adds that the biggest reason why the film fails to achieve its full potential, is because of the standards set by the actor-director duo in Drishyam and its sequel.
12th Man has an IMDb rating of 7.3.
Bhool Bhulaiyaa 2
Directed by Anees Bazmee and Pankaj Kumar, Bhool Bhulaiyaa 2 is the sequel to Priyadarshan‘s 2007 film Bhool Bhulaiyaa. The cast includes, Kartik Aaryan, Tabu, Kiara Advani, Rajpal Yadav, and Sanjay Mishra in pivotal roles. The story follows Ruhaan, played by Aaryan, who lands at a palace in Rajasthan and uncovers a secret.
Rahul Desai of Film Companion writes that the only comedy comes from Rajpal Yadav’s Chote Pandit, who reprised his role from the prequel.
‘The first half meanders and meanders, biding time till Manjulika is released, almost willing Kartik Aaryan to invoke his inner Akshay Kumar – the way he walks, talks, cracks up, cracks down, laughs, fat-shames, curses,” Desai writes, and adds that while some imitations are amusing, most others are jarring.
He writes that Tabu is the backbone of the film, but “not entirely in a good way”. “The veteran actress is the backbone of the bizarre horror comedy, but there are times when she’s so into her role that the movie is almost forced to be as serious.”
According to Tatsam Mukherjee of Firstpost, “In a screenplay where flashbacks and Kartik Aaryan’s teeth occupy a majority of the space, Tabu is left with limited space to excel. She tries her best, but Bhool Bhulaiyaa 2 isn’t the kind of home that nurtures a Tabu performance.”
The film has an IMDb rating of 7.7.