A horror film coming from a production house whose films are traditionally painted in vanity and flamboyance, ‘Bhoot: Part 1 The Haunted Ship’ starring Vicky Kaushal is remarkably refreshing and gritty as a venture. Is it refreshing as a film, though? Afraid not.
Vicky is Prithvi, a surveyance officer based in a shipping company who needs to take charge of the ‘Seabird’, an unknown vessel that touches dock in Mumbai after drifting ashore from the port of Oman. Meanwhile, Prithvi is grieving the loss of his wife Sapna (Bhumi Pednekar in an extended cameo) and daughter Megha, whom he has lost to a river-rafting accident. Water is the nemesis Prithvi and the Seabird stand against.
Written and directed by newcomer Bhanu Pratap Singh, the story, although inspired from a true incident where a cargo ship was stranded at Juhu Beach, Mumbai in 2011, is an infusion of Bipasha Basu’s ‘Raaz’ and Aamir Khan’s ‘Talaash’. Technically, the film gets the cinematography (Pushkar Singh), the background music (Ketan Sodha), the sound design (Anish John) and the VFX (Redefine) perfectly, giving us enough thrills and tension to indulge in. But the novelty soon wears off. The story itself is the film’s singularly weakest bit with logic and reason in short supply. The conflicts are contrived, unimaginative and the resolutions are convenient. Certain plot and character developments aren’t even justified. The climax is also the most prolonged portion of the film, something editor Bodhaditya Banerjee could’ve avoided.
The film does manage to stay afloat courtesy a sincere performance by Kaushal. He is ably supported by Akash Dhar who plays Prithvi’s colleague and friend Riyaz. Ashutosh Rana as Professor Joshi replicates his act from ‘Raaz’. The rest of the cast is barely serviceable.
Besides an earnest central performance and great audio-visual effects, ‘Bhoot: Part 1 The Haunted Ship’ remains fairly forgettable.