It is a well-known fact that Bollywood movies of the Horror genre often fail to give the audience the shivers they want. And, most commonly such Bollywood movies of the scary genre turn out to be comical. So, that’s really not good.
But, in this pandemic situation, Netflix India has brought a present for its Hindi audience.
Bulbbul is the newest in the line and an entry into the supernatural. It is written and directed by Anvita Dutt. And, produced by the popular Bollywood actress Anushka Sharma along with Karnesh Sharma.
The supernatural drama premiered on Netflix on 24 June 2020. It is the tale of doe eyed Bulbbul and her transformation from an emotional being to an enigmatic, vocal and self-assured thakurain of the haveli. Red is the ongoing theme of the drama. And,it resonates well with the whole scary thing. The plush haveli, the shawls worn by men and in entirety everything is beautifully directed. The perspicacity of the director and writer must be appreciated.
Plot of Bulbbul
The storyline is set in 1881 in Bengal Presidency. In the film, the protagonist Bulbbul who is 5 years old is getting married to a much, much older Indranil. Indranil has a twin brother Mahendra who is mentally challenged and a younger brother Satya. Mahendra has a spouse whose name is Binodini. Bulbbul thinks her husband is Satya as he is closer to her age. The movie shows the present and the past in flashbacks.
In the present, Satya returns from London after 20 years where he studied law. Mahendra is no more and his death is still a mystery. Indranil has left home permanently. And Bulbbul is the thakurain or also called Badi Bahu. Binodini is the widow who tells Satya upon his return that her husband, Mahendra, was killed by a chudail. As she had found a reversed footprint leading away from his body. Moreover, there are several stories of vile men getting killed.
In the flashbacks, it is shown that Satya and Bulbbul have always been close. Indranil dislikes this. Moreover, he is fueled by Binodini. Hence, sends away his younger brother for higher education. Mahendra makes Bulbbul uncomfortable and Mahendra intervenes. Bulbbul burns a diary she had planned on co- writing with Satya. Indranil finds a few shreds of it , misinterpreting the lines. And, he beats Bulbbul’s feet to a pulp.
When the doctor is called and he says that it would take a long time for Bulbbul to heal, Indranil leaves the house forever. She has not even recovered from her pain when Mahendra rapes her . Ultimately, this leads to her death. But, she gets alive due to divine intervention . Binodini erases the traces of her husband’s misdeeds. Mahendra dies later.
Presently, vile men of the village are getting killed by the chudail. Satya’s driver is killed and he sees the Chudail for the first time. The doctor goes after her and realises it’s Bulbul. Satya realises this a bit late and burns the nearby forest and trees to burn her down. When he realises it’s Bulbul, he is flabbergasted. But, late as she dies and recounts her life in her final moments.
Satya is in pain and leaves for England. Indranil returns home after one year of this incident and he hears Bulbbul calling him. She rises from the ashes and gives a sinister smile implying that Indranil met his ominous fate. Bulbbul was the Chudail whose feet had reversed when Indranil had hit her.
This is a powerfully feministic tale and brings to light the issues women face such as domestic violence and child marriage which are brushed into the carpet so often.
A must watch for the shivers it gives you.
Tripti Dimri plays the leading character Bulbbul. Avinash Tiwary is Satya . And, Paoli Dam is named Binodini. Rahul Bose plays the role of Mahendra and Indranil both. Dr. Sudip is played by Parambrata Chattopadhtay who has a soft spot for Badi Bahu.