Bhonsle Movie Review: Almost silent Manoj Bajpayee leaves you speechless in a poetic insider outsider battle

Bhonsle Movie Review: Manoj Bajpayee's Bhonsle releases this weekend. Before you watch the movie, check out our review below.
Bhonsle Movie Review: Almost silent Manoj Bajpayee leaves you speechless in a poetic insider outsider battleBhonsle Movie Review: Almost silent Manoj Bajpayee leaves you speechless in a poetic insider outsider battle
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Movie Name: Bhonsle

Director: Devashish Makhija

Cast: Manoj Bajpayee, Santosh Juvekar, Ipshita Chakraborty Singh, and Virat Vaibhav

Bhonsle Rating: 3.5/5

It has been almost three decades since Manoj Bajpayee began his career in Bollywood. The actor has given some of the most memorable performances in the history of cinema. Be it Satya, Gangs of Wasseypur, or even the hard to watch Mrs. Serial Killer, the actor leaves you asking for more with every character he adapts. But with Bhonsle, Bajpayee gives you a masterclass on acting, all within two hours. The SonyLiv movie, also co-produced by the actor, has had its share of fame in the film festival circuit before it was released on the streaming platform.

From premiering at the 2018 Busan International Film Festival to impressing the audiences at Asian Film Festival Barcelona, Bhonsle had already caught the film festival crowds' attention back in 2018. Intrigued by the recognition it has earned, I begin watching Bhonsle and it is safe to say, it was worth the two hours I invested in the middle of the night.

The Hindi-Marathi movie is linear. Bhonsle is set against the backdrop of anti-Bihari sentiments, spread across the 11-day auspicious festival of Ganesha Chaturthi. Bajpayee plays the titular role Bhonsle aka Ganpath Bhonsle, a retired constable hoping to extend his period with the force for he has nothing to look forward to post his retirement. The loner stays clear of the political drama surrounding the insiders, Marathi's, and the outsiders, the migrants in Mumbai.

However, his life takes a turn when a pair of siblings - Sita and Lalu - rent a room beside Bhonsle's nest. When Bhonsle falls sick, Lalu rushes him to Sita's hospital, helping Bhonsle to open up to the siblings. A sudden turn of events - not giving you the spoilers - leads to reserved, keeping to himself Bhonsle stand up for the duo and he takes them under his wing. An unfortunate event triggers the disturbing climax.

Bajpayee undoubtedly shoulders the movie all on his own. The actor plays a character with bare minimal words and shoulders the movie purely with his acting. There comes a point, in the first half, that his silence ignites a sense of pain and you just wonder how this man could go on with zero communication and human contact. Those scenes remind you what a brilliant performer Bajpayee is.

Although it is majorly a one-man show, Bhonsle finds great support from Ipshita and Virat Vaibhav. The two on-screen siblings do not share much time together but they amplify Bajpayee's performance. There is a disturbing scene, right before the climax, where a shocked Bhonsle attempAts to comfort a traumatized Sita. The realistic elements of that scene and the duo's beautifully complimenting acting talents bring tears to your eyes.

Santosh Juvekar manages to steal your attention from Bajpayee as the Marathi cabbie who hopes to impress a political leader and get a ticket to stand for elections. The actor brings out the insecurities of the character and beautifully wraps it in the Marathi colours in the movie. Abhishek Banerjee also has a small role but it felt like talent was wasted for his role could have been played by anyone.

These performances leave a lasting impact, courtesy the direction. Director Devashish Makhija doesn't attempt to preach. Instead, he comes to tell a story and he manages to do it while inducing goosebumps, running shivers down your spine and hitting you hard where it should hurt.

He, along with the cinematographer Jigmet Wangchuk, string together the simple storytelling and visual poetry. For example, the movie stars with Bhonsle removing his uniform on his last day of duty while an artist prepares the idol of Ganesh for puja, attempting to show that while one Ganpath prepares to rest, the other prepares for celebrations. Another scene, featuring Bhonsle getting lost in the crowd, could be interpreted in numerous ways.

Moments before the movie starts heading towards its end Lalu and Bhonsle get down to painting a wall yellow. All through the movie, Bhonsle sports a crisp white attire. However, from that night on, he had patches of yellow paint, depicting that he finally has some colour in his life. While these elements bring the best out of Bhonsle, it might not be everyone's cup of tea. The narrative is slow, with viewers finding themselves wondering where the story is headed to at a point. Although Bajpayee holds your attention, not everyone will enjoy sitting through the movie.

Final Verdict: Manoj Bajpayee is the epitome of acting in today's day and age. Bhonsle should be watched by every cinema lover. 

ALSO READ | EXCLUSIVE: Manoj Bajpayee on Sushant Singh Rajput: I don't think I had achieved anything till the age of 34

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Anonymous 7 days ago

Manoj Bajpayee is one of the finest actors!!tooo gud movie

Anonymous 1 week ago

Santosh Juvekar ,way more talented than any other leading entertainers of Bollywood industry The husky voice of his suits his acting and Manojji is always outstanding.

Anonymous 1 week ago

Must Watch.

Anonymous 1 week ago

Let's make this movie a success! Ban NEPO movie!

Anonymous 1 week ago

Wonderful movie!! none of these nepo gang can ever imagine in ten lives, watch and make it a success

Anonymous 1 week ago

Pak gaye yaar Nepo rants se !!!

Anonymous 1 week ago

Audience support these types of movies where there is true talent! Pink villa post this please

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