Bulbbul Movie Review: Anushka Sharma's feminist tale finds its strength in fine performances, remarkable music

Bulbbul Review: Netflix's latest film Bulbbul, starring Tripti Dimri, Avinash Tiwary and Rahul Bose, is a visual delight but predictable and a tad slow.
Bulbbul Movie Review: Anushka Sharma's feminist tale finds its strength in fine performances, remarkable musicBulbbul Movie Review: Anushka Sharma's feminist tale finds its strength in fine performances, remarkable music

Movie Name: Bulbbul

Director: Anvita Dutt Guptan

Cast: Tripti Dimri, Avinash Tiwary, Rahul Bose, Parambrata Chatterjee, Paoli Dam

Bulbbul Rating: 3.5/5

Netflix India Originals' offering in the last few months has not quite lived up to the expectations of viewers. It wouldn't be wrong to say that other streaming platforms' web series and films have stood out and managed to keep audiences hooked. While the competition in India gets stronger, it looks like Anushka Sharma-backed Bulbbul will finally give Netflix a much-needed boost. Directed and written by Anvita Dutt, Bulbbul releases today, June 24. It is actress-producer Anushka Sharma's second offering from Clean Slate Filmz this year after the critically acclaimed Paatal Lok.  

Bulbbul stars Tripti Dimri, Avinash Tiwary, Rahul Bose, Parambrata Chatterjee and Paoli Dam. The trailer of the film, which had generated a massive buzz, was out and out perceived as a horror film. However, Anvita Dutt's take on horror is so much more than just creepy music, creaky doors and mysterious inanimate objects. Bulbbul is dark, uncomfortable and haunting. Set in 1881 Bengal Presidency, the film revolves around a carefree, young spirited Bulbbul (Tripti Dimri) who is married off as a child. Her world is set inside the walls of a haveli as the 'badi bahu' and includes Satya (Avinash Tiwary), Mahendra and Thakur (Rahul Bose), Dr. Sudip (Parambrata Chatterjee) and Binodini (Paoli Dam). 

With folklore at the centre of it, the film goes back and forth in time to take us through Bulbbul's journey from a child bride to stepping into Thakur's shoes in his absence. The first scene of the film promises that the next 94 odd minutes will be a visual delight. The transformation from a stunning blue house to a huge haveli in the first few scenes set the tone of the film and that the story is bound to get even more obscure. 

ALSO READ | Bulbbul Leaked Online: Tamilrockers target Anushka Sharma’s production within 24 hours of release

Funnily, it is Bulbbul's smile, laughter and elaborate sense of style with her large peacock-feathered fan that I found comfort in. With the story cut to 20 years later, it is the return of Satya, her childhood sweetheart, that reignites talks of the town's existing 'chudail'. Satya makes it his mission to hunt down this chudail who is responsible for killing his family member and crippling Binodini as a widow.  

As this hunt begins, Anvita slowly starts peeling off each layer of her story with precision. Bulbbul and Satya's back story is then played out as the chudail continues to hunt down her victims leaving Satya frustrated with each passing day. At the heart of it, Bulbbul is about patriarchy and women being wronged for simply being women. Bulbbul's tragedy is highlighted in more ways than one and with women around her. However, it is the assault on her that made me squirm in my seat, leaving me extremely uncomfortable. Anvita's dark tale truly gets dark at this point and these scenes are simply the highlight of the film. When was the last time you watched a scene with absolutely no dialogues but just music and expressions holding it through?  

Bulbbul's biggest strength lies in its phenomenal background music by Amit Trivedi and cinematography by Siddharth Diwan. The blues, pinks and reds are captivating and pay an ode to 19th century Bengal in all its glory. Simply put, it is a visual delight. Tripti as Bulbbul and Avinash as Satya are honest in their performances. Rahul Bose is a complete surprise and makes me wonder why we don't see him onscreen as much. Parambrata as Dr. Sudip brings his charm to the screen and grabs attention. Whereas, Paoli as Binodini makes us experience sadness, jealousy and helplessness with her. 

While the film's run time is a modest 94 minutes, the measured screenplay can feel a tad slow as one waits for the story to move forward. Towards the end, Bulbbul does get predictable. The dialogues don't feel authentic and the complete absence of Bengali barring a few one-liners cannot be overlooked.  

ALSO READ | Virat Kohli gives thumbs to Anushka Sharma & Karnesh Sharma’s production Bulbbul; Says ‘Bhai behen on fire’

Final Verdict: Should you spend time watching Anushka Sharma's supernatural fairy tale? If horror and dark fantasy tales float your boat, don't miss it. If it doesn't, you still shouldn't miss out on Bulbbul because of its remarkable music and impressive performances. 

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Anonymous 1 month ago

It's mesmerizing. I can watch it multiple times. Everything superb about this movie. Absolutely nothing to point out. Fantabulous work by actors and makers.

Anonymous 1 month ago

I liked the movie . The direction seems good . Please do not miss it if you like that old world charm

Anonymous 1 month ago

Anushka should hire a good director and writer.

Anonymous 2 months ago

I just watched it . direction could have been better. the acting , locales, costumes etc is good no doubt but many scenes don't connect to each other . it drags a big long .

Anonymous 2 months ago

This bulbil is also produced by SRK. Anushka sharma is so superstitious..she says somethign but then produce somethign totally different...double faced

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