In one of the many promotional interviews for Roohi, director Hardik Mehta said that his lead actor Rajkummar Rao described him to his lead actress Janhvi Kapoor, as the “guy who knows all about world cinema but has the heart of Govinda.” That seems about right. Hardik was a script supervisor on Vikramaditya Motwane’s Lootera and Trapped. Roohi Movie download
He’s made the terrific National Award-winning documentary Amdavad Ma Famous. His first feature Kaamyaab was such a winning ode to the Hindi film sidekick that Shah Rukh Khan came on board as a co-producer. Roohi seemed like a solid next step – a bigger budget, A-list stars and a world that had already been successfully set up by director Amar Kaushik and writers Raj Nidimoru and Krishna DK in Stree.
This had the potential to be all sorts of sparkling. Instead, Hardik’s distinct sensibility has been flattened out by a film that wants to juggle many balls – horror, comedy, feminist messaging, a love triangle, a bromance – but ends up dropping almost all of them. Like Raj and DK, Roohi writers Mrighdeep Singh Lamba and Gautam Mehra also go back to folklore. Roohi Movie download
Once again, we are in small-town India. Once again, there is a chudail – she is a mudiya pairi, which means her feet are backward. Rajkummar and Varun Sharma play Bhaura and Kattanni, childhood friends who occasionally dabble in pakdai shaadi. They kidnap women and force them into marriage. One day, they pick up the wrong girl.
Or girls. Roohi also contains within her Afzaa, who is described as Lady Hulk and Godzilla. At one point, Bhaura says about her: Woh ladki hai, koi dual sim ka mobile thodi na. Truthfully, I didn’t understand why Roohi has come to be like this. Incidentally, the small town is fictional and the dialects we hear are a liberal mash-up of many states. Roohi Movie download
But that is the least of this film’s problems. The film tries to continue in the tradition of feminist horror forged by films like Pari, Stree and Bulbul. Mrighdeep and Gautam use Roohi’s story to deliver a message of self-acceptance and finding your inner strength. The ending is terrific. I suspect it’s the reason why the film was made. Roohi Movie download