Friday, January 19, 2018
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Bollywood's kid-friendly ghost reappears in 'Bhoothnath Returns'

Bollywood's kid-friendly ghost — not quite Casper; the afterlife can make one grumpy — makes a reappearance at theaters this weekend.

The 2008 hit Bhoothnath, which means lord of ghosts, focused on a testy phantom (begrudgingly) befriending a small boy who moves into the bungalow he haunts in Goa, India's equivalent of Florida. Though set free from the spirit realm to move on to the next life at the first film's end, Bhoothnath finds producers are not so ready to let him go.

So now the ghostly lord has drifted up the coast to more metropolitan Mumbai, where he befriends a street kid and takes on haunting a corrupt politician's campaign. Beach bum to urban political satirist, just in time for India's election season.

Bollywood action legend Amitabh Bachchan (also Meyer Wolfsheim in the latest adaptation of The Great Gatsby) reprises his role as the ghost, with Boman Irani, equal parts serial antagonist and comedian, joining as the political bad guy. Romantic "King of Bollywood" Shahrukh Khan, who played the child's father in the first movie, is in an unspecified supporting role.

Bhoothnath Returns opens on Friday at AMC Veterans 24 in Tampa.

Caitlin E. O'Conner, Times staff writer

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