Dhaka Courier

Bulbbul: Feminist Tale of Revenge and Honor

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Produced by Anushka Sharma owned Clean Slate Films, the movie Bulbbul has been directed by Anvita Dutt. This movie is streaming on Netflix since 24th June 2020. The storyline of Bulbbul centers on ancient folklore of witch or demon-woman (Chudail) who resuscitates after succumbing to an unnatural death. Though the concept of witch carrying inverted legs mostly refers to the evil spirit in the supernatural horror stories, the director gives it a feminist twist in the movie Bulbbul.

The movie represents the story of a Jamindar family who used to live in a massive palace (haveli) at Bengal under the Indian Sub-continent during the 19th century. The story starts with the title character Bulbbul, who gets married to Indranil – an aged royal man. Before marriage, the child Bulbbul used to climb trees and pluck mangos like a free spirit. Being unconscious about the true meaning of marriage or husband, the child bride Bulbbul gets inclined to her similar-aged brother-in-law Satya.

Indronil’s mentally challenged twin brother Mahendra and his wife Binodini are other significant characters of the story. The innocent friendship of Satya and Bulbbul creates jealousy in the minds of Indranil and Binodini who are secretly involved in promiscuous relationships. The story turns to a new spin when Satya is sent to London for study purposes by the big brother Jamindar Indronil whose real intention is to break up the attachment between Satya and Bulbbul.

When Satya returns to his village after several years, he discovers the changed and grown-up Bulbbul. Satya gets surprised how Bulbbul has left her naive personality far behind. In the meantime, mysterious serial murders have occurred in that village, where all the victims are males who used to abuse their own wives. The superstitious villagers suspect the witch for murder allegations. Finding it difficult to believe the story of a witch, Satya starts the investigation in his own way. Initially, he becomes suspicious of Dr. Sudip – another dominant male character – who has a friendly relation with Bulbbul.

The story advances when an unfortunate violence incidence happens in the life of Bulbbul. Though horrifying to watch, this brutality has led the film to its climax. Dr. Sudip enters the life of Bulbbul as a doctor. Though he is a true well-wisher of Bulbbul, complying with the traditions and norms of the society he chooses to limit their relationship within a boundary.

The movie Bulbbul speaks for feminism in a novel style. The director has showcased the plight of rural women who silently endure domestic violence. The storyline depicts how Bulbbul and her sister-in-law Binodini get tortured by the male members of their family. Instead of being sympathetic to each other’s distress, those two female roles had a bumpy relationship that spots light over the disorganized distressed women of the society. While Bulbbul chooses to take revenge against the violence against her and some other tormented women of the village, Binodini decides to suppress her feelings; they acted like two ends of the same sword.

This movie is starred by Tripti Dimri as Bulbbul, who is the lifeline of the story. Her captivating, bashful, inviting, and mystifying smile along with strong performance is truly commendable. Rahul Bose proves his talent once again playing double roles as Mahendra and Indranil. The veteran Bengali actress Paoli Dam played the role of Binodini with great proficiency. The powerful presence of Parambrata Chattopadhyay as Dr. Sudip enriches the film. And, Avinash Tiwary as Satya complements the story quite well. The whole cast has done a wonderful job of making the film vigorous and enjoyable.

From beginning to end, the movie Bulbbul charms the audiences with a rich setting, regal costumes, enormous palace, and mysterious forest. This film combines classic pre-Renaissance Bengal and local horror gothic. Amit Trivedi’s beguiling lull music made the scenes more thrilling. What is more? The gripping effect of the deep crimson palette nicely signifies the bloody goings-on, which will amuse the fans of horror stories.

Thanks to the director and dialogue-writer Anvita Dutt, for successfully presenting an intricate, suspenseful, but magnificent story in a period of one hour and 34 minutes. The visually fascinating, and charismatic screenplay has made this movie a must-see for your next movie night.

  • Directed by Anvita Dutt
  • Produced by Anushka Sharma
  • Bulbbul
  • Netflix

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