Movie Review : Bulbul

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Set in the 1800s, this movie, could be termed as a dramatic horror movie which upholds the concept of feminism. This movie will have you at the edge of your seat throughout. It is a movie about a young girl, Bulbul’s journey- who is a child bride.

She is quite quirky and innocent as any normal kid and she loves to climb trees. She is married off to a wealthy and affluent person named Indranil who is much older than she is. Initially, it seems like she has a much better bond with Satya, Indranil’s brother who is of her age.

Satya and Indranil develop an instant and innocent friendship that is based on the fact that Satya tells her stories. They play around like any normal kids and they write stories together. Their friendship is the only saving grace for Bulbul in her new household.

Indranil has a twin brother who is intellectually disabled. He is married to Binodini, who is just shown as a materialistic person who tries to build differences between Indranil and Bulbul. She does not have a liking for Bulbul, which is pretty evident in her behaviour towards Bulbul.

Binodini is also the victim of the male-dominated society. But she never tries to fight it off. She has accepted her fate and rather than helping another woman to deal with the society, she just becomes more like the oppressor. 

As she tries to spark a rumour that Satya and Bulbul are romantically involved, Indranil becomes jealous and sends off Satya to London for further education. This leaves Bulbul completely shattered.

She becomes more and more distant from herself. Her agony is felt by none. She becomes completely alone after her only friend leaves her. As the story shows a leap, Satya returns from London after a few years.

Everything has changed. The timid Bulbul who was afraid to open her mouth in front of her husband is now the head of the household and even the village. She has become a confident lady that fears none.

Indranil has left the household that leaves Bulbul in charge of everything. Her demeanour has completely changed and she has become a strict authoritarian who deals with the affairs of the people of the village. 

Indranil’s twin brother has died and people think it is the deed of a ‘chudail’ (witch) that lives in the village. There is a fear among the village men who prefer not to go out at night as the witch roams around the village at night.

Satya notices her changed attitude and it seems to him that his friendly sister-in-law has vanished. He tries to indulge in village issues. Satya decides to look for himself, who the ‘chudail’ is and completely declines the idea that the murders in the village are the work of the ‘chudail’.

The story of the girl Bulbul is pretty sad as she is a victim of a patriarchal society, who has to suffer from all the abuses hurled by the men in her family. The way she turns from a hesitant little girl to an unabashed lady is exemplary.

The character of Bulbul is played by Tripti Dimri, who has done complete justice to the role. Her portrayal of Bulbul has been perfect, as she is successful in creating a mysterious and inviting aura around Bulbul.

Bulbul is just a normal girl who has faced all kinds of trauma including rape, through the hands of her family members. This movie has shown tyrannical men who doubt their wives and treat them as mere objects for pleasure. 

Avinash Tiwari has done a great job as well by portraying the character of Satya. This film is produced by Anushka Sharma who is the producer of many phenomenal movies. It is directed by Anvita Dutt.

There is another character called Dr Sudip who is the only nice man in the whole village. He has a soft spot for Bulbul. His relationship with Bulbul has been quite misinterpreted.

A point that I noted while watching the movie was that both, Bulbul and her sister-in-law, Binodini, are the complete opposites of each other. While Bulbul is initially a timid girl, Binodini is a smart woman who is not happy with her life but she does not complain about it either. 

Yet both the women end up in the same condition in which they are oppressed by the typical standards of the society. The film, Bulbul, has a Bengali background that highlights the presence of Goddess Kali, who represents the fierceness in a woman, who knows how to stand up for herself and punish the wrongdoers.

The word ‘chudail’ is of much significance in the film. It is a satire on the fact that any woman that is brave enough or independent in today’s world- is often called out a ‘chudail’ or witch.

The background of the film, Bulbul, is such that it creates an image of doom. The red colour splashed in the sky is of utmost significance, it shows power and anger. 

Bulbul does not have any unnecessary song and dance numbers which are prevalent in almost all Bollywood movies. Its story is set at a good pace and the duration is almost 90 minutes. Bulbul is a short movie that is worth watching if you are into supernatural flicks.

Written by - Trishla Gupta

Edited by - Ivanova

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