Cast: Avinash Tiwary as Satya Tripti Dimri Paoli Dam Rahul Bose Parambrata Chattopadhyay
Director: Anvita Dutt Guptan
Duration: One hour 34 minutes
Where to Watch: Netflix
A child bride grows up to be an enigmatic woman presiding over her household, harboring a painful past as supernatural murders of men plague her village.
‘Badi Haveliyon mein bade raaz hote hai‘ is a dialogue which is spoken quite later in the film, however, it remains the one which resonates with the theme of this film the most. The story of Bulbbul starts in 20th century Bengal as a family prepares for the wedding of their little daughter. The film starts with a child (Bulbbul later played by Tripti Dimri) getting married to a man (Rahul Bose) twice his age who belongs to a wealthy family.
The brilliant thing about Bulbbul is that it sets the tone in the first five minutes, of being much more in-depth and carrying substance than just being identified as a horror film. Bulbbul is a child bride, away from her parents, which naturally makes her inclined towards her husband’s brother, Satya (Avinash Tiwary) which also sets the tone for Bulbbul’s conflict between the heart and mind, duty and desire.
The film keeps going back and forth between moments to let the audience know about how and what shaped Bulbbul’s life. The trick with horror movies is to experience them yourself and Bulbbul makes sure you experience, feel, stop and stare at every moment that is shown on-screen.
Tripti Dimri as Bubbul is brilliant and one of the highlights of the film. Tripti’s performance is nuanced and her hard work shines through the screen. She will make every man and woman relate to ‘Bulbbul’ in her way. Avinash Tiwary as Satya plays the convincing young brother and brother-in-law as he not only navigates his relationship with Bulbbul throughout the film but also tries to make sense of the murders in his village. His character juggling between right and wrong perfectly demonstrates his angst which only gets deeper as the narrative moves forward.
Parambrata Chattopadhyay plays a doctor and arguably is the only righteous man in the film. His character serves as a beckon of light in a story which is a whirlwind of darkness. Rahul Bose as ‘Thakur’ and Paoli Dam as a ‘choti bahu’ are both convincing in their roles and are a wonderful addition to the cast. Rahul’s especially deserves a shout out for his portrayal of a haunted and conflicted Thakur.
Anvita Dutt, who made a directorial debut with Bulbbul does a commendable job of keeping the narrative tight and getting her point across in a short duration. If this is an indication of how Anvita’s screenplays are going to look like, audiences are surely in for a ride.
(With inputs from dnaindia)