‘Bhediya‘ is the second instalment of director Amar Kaushik and producer Dinesh Vijan’s horror-comedy series after ‘Stree’ (2018). It hinges on Bhaskar (Varun Dhawan), a road construction contractor, who gets bitten by a wolf while building a road through the jungle in Arunachal Pradesh and turns into a werewolf.
You’ll be shrieking with laughter and in fear
Bhaskar (Varun Dhawan), goes to Arunachal Pradesh to build a highway through the dense jungle of Ziro. He’s helped by his cousin JD (Abhishek Banerjee) and friend Jomin (Paalin Kabaak). But the local tribals are strongly opposed to the road. Meanwhile, Bhasker gets bitten on his buttock by a wolf, and to keep things discrete, his friends take him to the local vet, Dr. Anika (Kriti Sanon). The next day, his wound heals completely and his senses intensify. Soon after, on a full moon night, he turns into an “ichhadhari bhediya” or werewolf. The local who describes the folklore of Vishanoo, Panda (Deepak Dobriyal), a local sees the case as a manifestation of the legend Vishanoo. He takes the trio to a 120-year-old baba who might know of a cure.
After turning into a werewolf, Bhaskar has no memory of his actions. He sees the consequences, namely dead bodies, in the morning once he resumes human form. Incidentally, the ones getting killed are labourers constructing the road under Bhaskar’s supervision. According to folklore, the deaths are a way of maintaining balance in nature. Behind the goings-on is an alpha werewolf, whose reveal is pretty thrilling.
Writer Niren Bhatt has ensured chuckles between scares, with punchlines, memes and fun references to movies of the 1990s. There is one reference to a Bollywood song, sung by a singer famous for his nasal voice, that will leave you in splits. The VFX and CGI are top notch. The transfiguration scenes are finely designed and executed in a way that creates maximum impact. You will be reminded of the TV series ‘Teen Wolf’ (2011).
Varun Dhawan is convincing as both Bhaskar and Bhediya. Kriti Sanon is at her quirkiest best, and Abhishek Banerjee lands every punchline with ease. Going by the ‘Stree’-teasing end-credit (not the song ‘Thumkeshwari’), the director-producer duo of Amar Kaushik and Dinesh Vijan (Maddock Films) are surely coming up with a Maddock Supernatural Universe (MSU).
WATCH OR NOT
It’s original, quirky, has great VFX and all-round good performances.
Director: Amar Kaushik
Cast: Varun Dhawan, Kriti Sanon, Abhishek Banerjee