A Hauntingly Beautiful Tale
85%Overall Score

Streaming now on Netflix

After the success of Paatal Lok, Anushka Sharma’s Clean Slate Productions raised expectations for its next venture, the supernatural thriller Bulbbul. Directed by Anvita Dutt, this is the story of a woman’s revenge against male violence. In a small town of pre-Independence Bengal, the young Bulbbul is married to a much older man (Rahul Bose) – a Thakur, who lives with his mentally challenged brother Mahendra (also Rahul Bose), his wife Binodini (Paoli Dam), and their younger brother Satya. Bulbbul finds a companion in Satya, who’s only a few years older than her. Twenty years later, Satya (Avinash Tiwary) leaves for London and a series of dark incidents unleash a vengeful spirit that ends the life of any man who hurts a woman. By the time Satya returns, the Thakur has left the town and Mahendra is dead, while Bulbbul (Tripti Dimri) seems indifferent. Satya makes it his mission to find a logical reason behind the killings that leads him to suspect the town doctor, Sudip (Parambrata Chattopadhyay). 

A symbolistic approach to story-telling 

Without showing much, Bulbbul still says a lot with its well-placed symbolism. One cannot help but feel empathy for the real victims of the story – the women who were brutally hurt by the men, and later avenged by Kali Maa, the goddess of revenge. Even foreshadowing the attack on Bulbbul with cultural imagery is a stroke of brilliance by the creators of the film. Every moment since this scene keeps you glued to the screen. 

The dark truth behind an evil lore

Bulbbul is not the story of a witch or a goddess, but aims to throw light upon violence against women by men. There are many scenes that are uncomfortable to watch or distressing to consume and yet the hauntingly beautiful style of narration makes it hard to give up on this dark film. 

Fantastic performances by the whole cast

Tripti Dimri leads the cast with her exceptional portrayal of an innocent wife who later transforms into a powerful woman. The shift in her character is brilliantly adapted by the actress as the story behind this change in personality is revealed. It’s great to see that she still shares sweet chemistry with her Laila Majnu co-star Avinash Tiwary. Rahul Bose is excellent in his double role and gives an uncomfortably amazing performance as Mahendra. Paoli Dam steals the show in the only scene where her character is shown to have some sympathy for her sister-in-law. We wish to have seen more of Parambrata Chattopadhyay who never fails to impress. 

WATCH OR NOT:
Bulbbul is a fascinating watch that gets even more mesmerizing in the latter half. Even though it’s not meant to be scary, the story will haunt you for its dark portrayal of a grim reality. Also watch it for its excellent performances by its exceptionally talented cast. 

Director: Anvita Dutt
Writer: Anvita Dutt
Cast: Tripti Dimri, Rahul Bose, Avinash Tiwary, Parambrata Chattopadhyay, Paoli Dam
Language: Hindi
Streaming on: Netflix