Bengali cinema has also been greatly influenced by the works of Rabindranath Tagore. Many of his popular stories have been screened by well-known filmmakers. Some films have also been made in the Bengali film industry on the events of Rabindranath Tagore’s own life.
One such film is Kadambari. It is a biopic of Tagore’s sister-in-law Kadambari Devi, in which her relationship with Tagore was beautifully presented by director Suman Ghosh through cinema.
The inspiration of both the main characters of Anushka Sharma’s Netflix release ‘Bulbul’ story seems to have come from ‘Kadambari’, which has been given the shape of a supernatural thriller, and also from ‘Kadambari’. Equality also ends.
The link connecting these two films is Parambrata Chatterjee, who played Tagore in ‘Kadambari’, while Konkona Sen Sharma became Kadambari. Parambrata appears in an important role in ‘Bulbul’. Bulbul is a film with a strong message, with absolutely no dose of thrills or horror as was expected from its teaser and trailer.
In the backdrop of the story of ‘Bulbul’ is the Bengali society of the late 19th century and all the evils of that era, which many great social reformers such as Ishwar Chandra Vidya Sagar had organized for years to end. For example, child marriage, malevolent thinking and because of this, the woman’s compulsion to accept the atrocities and the atrocities on women. ‘Bulbul’ is the culmination of anger in a girl struggling with all these social evils.
‘Bulbul’ has a child marriage to Indranil, many years older than him in a zamindar gharana. Indranil’s younger brother Satya is almost the same as Bulbul. She grows up playing with him. The fickleness and attachment of childhood turns into attraction in youth. Bulbul’s mind starts loving Satya.
Indranil realizes this through Binodini, wife of his twin retarded brother Mahendra. Zamindari boils in blood and Indranil sends Satya to London. Separating from the truth is no less than torture for Bulbul. One night after Satya leaves, Indranil beats Bulbul in a state of drunkenness.
Severely injures his feet. After this Indranil leaves the house. The retarded Mahendra sexually mocks the injured Bulbul. A doctor from the village treats Sudeep Bulbul. As the story progresses, Bulbul becomes the head of the household after Indranil leaves. Mahendra has died under suspicious circumstances. Binodini believes, she is killed by a witch.
Sathya returns from London. Bulbul is happy, but something has changed inside him. There is now a layer of mystery in his words and smile. On the other hand, men are killed in the village. There is a discussion that there is a witch with a back foot in the forest, who is killing men.
London Returns Satya finds all this nonsense and sets out on a campaign to find out the truth with the local police. Meanwhile, Satya is jealous after seeing Bulbul mingling with Doctor Sudeep, then the zamindari arrogance awakens and he decides to send Bulbul to her maternal home. During the investigation of Satya, such incidents happen that the story takes a turn again and many secrets are revealed. Witch’s reverse legs too.
Bulbul, a super natural thriller, is a slow-paced film. There are few scenes in a large part of the film that produce horror or thunder. Twenty minutes to the end the story picks up pace and some impressive scenes emerge. The film seems weak at the level of writing.
The screenplay initially seems dull. Yes, dialogues leave some impact. Especially, the scene when Binodini reveals his grief through taunts on the havelis and landlords, explaining the aftermath of the bullying on Bulbul.
The film is directed by Anvita Dutt, who has also written the film. Anvita has done a good job as a director. He has taken over the director’s responsibility for the first time in Bulbul. Prior to this he has written many successful songs. Trupti Dimri managed to highlight the layers of Bulbul’s character.
Avinash Tiwari in the role of Satya, Rahul Bose in the double role of Mahendra and Indranil influence. In the role of Binodini, Parambrata Chatterjee leaves the role of Pauli Dam and Doctor Sudeep. Anushka Sharma’s Bulbul depicts women’s empowerment staunchly, but fails to produce the thrill of the horror film. It can also be said that its male characters are more frightening than the witch of ‘Bulbul’, which forces the straight-legged ‘Lakshmi’ to become a ‘witch’ with a back foot.
Artists – Trupti Dimri, Rahul Bose, Ashwani Tiwari, Parambrata Chatterjee, Pauli Dam etc.
Director- Anvita Dutt
Producer- Anushka Sharma, Karnesh Sharma.
Verdict – *** (3 stars)