Theatrical release poster
|Directed by||Vivek Sharma|
|Produced by||Ravi Chopra|
|Screenplay by||Vivek Sharma
Shah Rukh Khan
|Distributed by||B R Films|
|Budget||200 million (US$3.1 million)|
|Box office||684 million (US$11 million)|
Bhoothnath (Devanagari: भूतनाथ translation: "Lord of Ghosts") is a Bollywood supernatural comedy film directed by Vivek Sharma, starring Amitabh Bachchan, Shah Rukh Khan, Juhi Chawla, Aman Siddiqui, Priyanshu Chatterjee and Rajpal Yadav in lead roles. The film is an adaptation of the Oscar Wilde short story The Canterville Ghost. It was released on 9 May 2008, receiving generally positive reviews from critics and was well received by audiences, thus becoming a moderate success at the box office. Moreover, it was a very popular movie among children and the performances of the main trio (Amitabh Bachchan, Juhi Chawla and Aman Siddiqui) were majorly appreciated by critics and audiences alike.
The story focuses on Aman Sharma a.k.a. Banku (Aman Siddiqui), who has recently shifted into an old bungalow in Goa, with his parents, Aditya (Shah Rukh Khan) and Anjali (Juhi Chawla). His father Aditya is an engineer on a cruise line, and therefore moves with his cruise. They are made aware that the bungalow is haunted, but they disregard this. Banku is enrolled in St. Francis High School, and Anjali hires a kindhearted and comedic drunken thief, Anthony (Rajpal Yadav), as a servant to clean the house. One night, Banku goes down to the living room to have some ice-cream when he sees a shadow on the wall. Frightened, he calls out to his mother, before seeing that the bowl in which he was having ice-cream has vanished. Later, Banku returns and passes a sleeping Anjali to investigate. He then sees the ghost of Kailash Nath (Amitabh Bachchan) and then they start arguing on whether Kailash is a ghost or an angel (according to Banku, who constantly persists that Nath is an angel rather than a ghost). Banku nicknames him Bhootnath as Kailash says that he is a bhoot (ghost) and also says that "Nath" is his last name.
Since the ghost of Kailash does not want anybody to occupy his house, he tries different ways to scare Banku and his mother, but Banku considers him as an angel and treats him like a friend. Soon, Bhoothnath accepts by Banku's innocent love after a minor incident, as Banku fell from the stairs for which Bhoothnath is responsible for.
The two become friends and thoroughly enjoy the company of one another. It is at this point that Bhoothnath's son returns from the United States and plans to sell off the bungalow. Angered, Bhoothnath scares the buyers, but Anjali comes to know about the existence of him. He then tells his story to Banku and Anjali about how his son deserted him at a time of need for him, along with the story of his death.
Later, Aditya and Anjali decide to perform the final rites of Bhoothnath to give him Moksha or salvation. It is performed by Banku and Bhoothnath bids an emotional farewell to Banku. By this time, Bhoothnath's son also comes to know of his fault and apologizes.
In the end, Banku, who is sad that Bhoothnath is no more, sees Bhoothnath again, who says that he is always there for him and makes Banku promise not to tell his parents about his return and also requests the viewers the same in the post credits scene.
- Amitabh Bachchan as Kailash Nath (Bhoothnath)
- Shah Rukh Khan as Aditya Sharma
- Juhi Chawla as Anjali Sharma
- Aman Siddiqui as Aman "Banku" Sharma
- Satish Shah as Principal J.J. Irani
- Rajpal Yadav as Anthony
- Priyanshu Chatterjee as Vijay Nath
- Shaana Diya as Vijay wife
- Neena Kulkarni as Nirmala Nath
- Delnaaz Paul as Jojo's mother
- Aashish Chaudhary as Rohan (Special Appearance)
- Nauheed Cyrusi as Tina (Special Appearance)
- Amit Behl as Doctor
The film received generally positive response from critics. IMDb rated it 6.9/10, and holds a score of a fresh 76%. At the box office, the film had a good opening, though managed to gross 68 million (US$1.1 million) among its theatrical run and was declared semi hit by Box Office India
As the movie finished with a "to be continued..." ending, a sequel to Bhoothnath was rumoured. As there was no clear intention, the rumours had died down, before Amitabh Bachchan and the original production team had announced a sequel would be planned. The plan indeed went ahead, and the sequel, titled Bhoothnath Returns, was released on April 11, 2014. Bachchan and Shahrukh Khan reprised their roles, though the latter only had a cameo appearance.