I've often said, interesting ideas don't necessarily translate into enthralling celluloid experiences. That's what I realized, for the umpteenth time, as HUM TUM AUR GHOST concluded.
Hollywood has attempted several films wherein the living has been shown interacting with the dead. In fact, two decades ago, there was a mad rush to Indianize GHOST [Patrick Swayze, Demi Moore, Whoopi Goldberg]. The fascination with the dead continues to haunt Bollywood to this date.
Arshad Warsi - who has been credited with the story of HUM TUM AUR GHOST - has denied that the film is inspired by GHOST TOWN. Yet, there're some similarities and that could be coincidental. So far, so good!
Now here's the hitch. The screenplay - the lifeline of any film - is what makes a film stand on its feet and in this case, HUM TUM AUR GHOST suffers due to inept writing. Ideally, the writers and director should've come to the point right away, but the film takes its own sweet time to come to the point and what comes across is also not enticing, barring a couple of attention-grabbing moments. By then, the viewer has already lost interest in the film.
The sole saving grace is the performances by the principal cast. Sadly, that's not enough!
For Armaan [Arshad Warsi], life was picture perfect. He has a doting girlfriend Gehna [Dia Mirza] and also a great job. But there's a problem: Armaan hears voices. Voices that torture him. Voices that disturb him. More importantly, voices that nobody else can hear.
Gehna is irritated with his weird behaviour. Add to that her father [Javed Sheikh] constantly berates him for his fondness for the bottle. No one seems to understand his predicament. What puzzles everyone is the fact that he talks to himself... or rather, he talks to people, who no one can see, simply because they don't live.
Soon, Armaan becomes aware of his special ability to connect with the dead. Equipped with a will to fulfil the wishes of these spirits who hound him, Armaan sets out on a mission to help out three souls - a child, an old man and a young woman.
Generally, most Hindi movies come to the point at the very inception. HUM TUM AUR GHOST also opens its cards at the very outset, but loses focus soon after. In fact, the moment you're told that Arshad can see the dead, you expect to embark on a journey you've never embarked upon earlier. But there's hardly any movement in the story after a captivating start.
No doubt, the concept is fascinating and had the writers concentrated on tackling the three stories that Arshad chooses to solve, and without wasting time on romance-n-songs, HUM TUM AUR GHOST would've been one journey you would've never forgotten.
The build-up to the first story - a dead kid asking Arshad to help his father - is simply missing. The second story - involving Boman Irani - could've been tackled far more expertly. The entire sequence in the bank is bizarre and far from funny. In fact, you wonder, did the writers run out of ideas at this point? Of course, the sequence thereafter - between Boman and his wife [Asawari Joshi] - is touching.
The third story - of a woman in search of her son - starts off very well, but midway through this story, the moment Arshad enters his father's house, the mystery never remains a mystery. You can predict what's in store next. The culmination to the film, although well shot, doesn't make the required impact either.
Director Kabeer Kaushik was entrusted with a great idea, but his team of writers blew it up into smithereens. The impact generated by a few worthy of note sequences gets evaporated as the film reaches its culmination, primarily because the writing doesn't hold. Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy's music is strictly okay. Ashok Mehta's cinematography is of top quality.
HUM TUM AUR GHOST has skilled performances, starting with Arshad, who's likable and believable. A complete natural, this is among his finest works. It's a new Dia you get to watch in this film. Not only does she look ethereal, but is exceptional in the acting department as well. Boman is tremendous, especially in the sequence when he's meeting his wife again. Sandhya Mridul doesn't get much to do. Zehra Naqvi is convincing. Shernaz Patel is wasted. Ditto for Tinnu Anand. Javed Sheikh is as usual. Asawari Joshi is perfect for her part.
On the whole, HUM TUM AUR GHOST is a terrible waste of a terrific idea. Disappointing!