Roohi, by the looks of the film, looked like another movie in the category of highly entertaining and successful Stree. Earlier titled as Rooh Afza, this Rajkumar Rao and Jahnavi Kapoor movie is about a spirit that possesses the brides to get married.
Cast – Rajkummar Rao, Manav Vij, Varun Sharma, Jahnvi Kapoor
Bhawra Pandey (Rajkummar Rao) and Kattanni Qureshi (Varun Sharma) are reporters for a local newspaper Muzirabad Zalzala. They are given a task by their boss Guniya Shakeel (Manav Vij) to kidnap Roohi (Jahnvi Kapoor) and keep her in a dark forest.
The kidnap which looks straight forward takes a turn when Roohi gets possessed with Afza, the spirit. Soon after Bhawra falls in love with Roohi but to add to the woes Kattanni also falls in love with the same girl, but when she is possessed (i.e. Afza)
The rest of the story revolves around some funny sequences along with some rare spooky ones. Who is the ghost Afza, who finally ends up with her, is it Bhawra who ends up with Roohi or is it Khattanni who ends up with Afza, and does the spirit stop troubling the brides is what the rest of the movie deals with.
Roohi has not much going for it. Rajkummar Rao as usual has given a good performance despite his small town boy role now seems quite contrived and repetitive.
Couple of songs Panghat and Let the Music Play are enjoyable and add to the rare positives for the film
Roohi tries to explore the horror comedy genre which is not much explored in Bollywood. With a film like Stree to look upto Roohi is a big letdown.
Roohi has a wafer thin plot which is its biggest drawback. The writing and screenplay is weak and the movie drags big time. There is a lack of continuity in a number of sequences and that also adds to the already existing drawbacks
Hardik Mehta’s direction is weak and he has not been able to do justice to either the horror or comedy part of the film. The comic sequences look very forced and horror ones are not scary, which is a big turnoff. The performances are very average and do not lift the movie at any point.
As far as performances go, Jhanvi Kapoor in the title role as Roohi and Afza has done a decent job given her acting credentials. But Rajkummar Rao disappoints, and the poorly written sequences and lines do not do any justice to his talent. His small town boy roles have been quite frequent now and that gives a sense of repetition as well.
Varun Sharma as Khattanni again looks like he is out from the sets of Fukrey and sleepwalks through the film. Manav Vij is decent in his role. Rest of the cast is average.
Roohi could have been a good film if the concept would have been developed further. The initial idea though funny never takes off due to lack of sequences and forced humour and lazy screenplay play the spoilsport as well.
All in all Roohi is a weak film and watching Stree again can be a better option.