Roohi Movie Review: Rajkumar Rao and Janhvi Kapoor’s film lacks a spirit of horror-comedy

Roohi Movie Review: After the massive success at the Box Office and positive word of mouth of Stree which released in 2018, Jio Studio and Maddock Films reunites to bring the horror comedy back in cinemas post pandemic.
Roohi Movie Review: Rajkumar Rao and Janhvi Kapoor’s film lacks a spirit of horror-comedy Roohi Movie Review: Rajkumar Rao and Janhvi Kapoor’s film lacks a spirit of horror-comedy
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Movie Name: Roohi

Roohi Director: Hardik Mehta

Roohi Cast: Janhvi Kapoor, Rajkummar Rao, Varun Sharma

Roohi Movie Rating: 2.5/5 stars

Let’s start with the elephant in the room: Does Roohi in any way share an umbilical cord with Stree? Thankfully, the answer is no. Of course, the trailer and makers try to impress that they are long-lost cousins, but the similarity is the genre, one-liner jokes, part of the shoot crew, and of course a hazy climax. That’s about it!

The story is about a village where women are kidnapped and then married off against her will. Roohi (Janhvi Kapoor) is kidnapped by Bhaura (Rajkumar Rao) and Varun Sharma (Kattanni) on the instructions of their boss, Gujiya Shakeel (Manav Vij). However, a twist of fate forces them to hide her in a forest only to realise she is possessed with the Rooh (spirit) of Afza. Things become a bit tricky when Bhaura falls in love with Roohi’s innocence while Kattanni gets infatuated with Afza. But Roohi and Afza are the same person but as Kattanni says ‘yeh shareer ka pyar nahi’. Hereon the script takes us on a bumpy ride!

Directed by Hardik Mehta, the first half is crazy and filled with some amazing entertaining moments and great performances by Rajkumar Rao and Varun Sharma. Punchlines on today’s world like Instagram followers, WhatsApp and lingo makes them both funny and relatable. The second half is where the film loses its pace (and audience interest). It’s stretched, as if the makers were unsure of fitting the pieces of the puzzle. In the attempt it gets repetitive and challenges the audience to put in more effort to find reasons to laugh or be spooked.

The love triangle which initially seemed promising and funny, suddenly feels like you are stuck at the traffic of a highway toll both on your way to a vacation. Rajkummar and Janhvi’s chemistry finds momentum but only for a fraction of seconds.

Rajkumar Rao is brilliant and as always gets into the skin of the character. The makers of Roohi chose to start the film with the song- Nadiyon Paar. Janhvi looks stunning in the song but doesn't look effortless. There is huge scope for the role and character offered to her but her struggle around powerful performers is evident. Mostly, her ability gets lost in the heavy prosthetic makeup and effects as mudiya pairi. Varun Sharma is likeable as always and keeps you hooked most of the time when he is on-screen. His adorable acts and expressions definitely add to the cuteness and humour quotient of the film. It is difficult to match or over-shine Rajkumar in his craft, but there are scenes where the eternal Chucha (Varun) wins the battle.

Like Stree, the trailer did the job of creating a buzz forcing the reviewer to actually go to a press show rather than wait for the digital screeners. (Not sure if there ever was a plan!). While there are rumours that the makers have chosen an inexplicable climax to factor in a prequel, there are many loose-ends that could have been tied-up. It’s not a whodunit, right from the start we know it’s a Rooh-Dunnit.

It’s the recuperating period for most of us from the ‘covid-lethargy’ that now makes us assess a social event into three categories: Unavoidable, Can go, Stay home and cook-up an excuse. Roohi is a film that helps you transition through these categories as it progresses.

Anonymous 2 months ago

She doesn't know how to act ! Flop jhanvi !

Anonymous 2 months ago

just because parents were stars or produced movie doesn't mean the industry is for you, i'm suprise her father hasn't given his honest opinion of her acting skills.

Anonymous 2 months ago

fl.op

Anonymous 2 months ago

Wahh pinkvilla I'm surprised you writing an honest comment 2021 wah bhai

Anonymous 2 months ago

Jhanvi is jinxed .

Anonymous 2 months ago

Nah she isn’t. She is just not a particularly strong actress just like Ananya n Sara. They just don’t have any acting talent no matter how much PR or hype is pumped into them.