Beautiful visuals devoid of a strong emotional and logical story deserve an art gallery, not Netflix. It essentially is an infidelity based supernatural revenge drama set in the pre independence India.
Director - Anvita Dutta
Actors - Tripti Dimri, Rahul Bose, Avinash Tiwari
Language - Hindi
Streaming - Netflix
The movie begins with the child marriage of lead character Bulbbul ( played by Tripti Dimri) to Bade Thakur ( played by Rahul Bose) who is atleast 2 decades elder. Bade Thakur has a twin younger brother Mahendra, Chote Thakur (played by Rahul Bose). The Chote Thakur is retarded, married, sex hungry animal. Choti Bahu (played by Paoli Dam) is married to the Chote Thakur, but is the wife of Bade Thakur. Both the Thakur's have yet another Chote Thakur named Satya, of Bulbbul's age.
Bulbbul is attracted to Satya, but never expresses it enough for Satya to realize. Satya narrates Bulbbul ghost stories and she instantly gets immersed. Bulbbul's love for Satya gets unbearable for everyone else in the unstable and broken Thakur family.
Did she break the shackles of societal norms and win her love ?
Isn't it a pertinent question to ask and a good plot point to explore and untie? Instead the movie takes a completely different route. It becomes uncomfortable and suffocating as it progresses.
When a young Bulbbul asks her mother, why to put on a toe ring? Her mother replies that it is to keep the girl under control and not let her fly. This same reference is again used by Choti Bahu, when Bulbbul is all excited to meet Satya. You find more such gems of good writing in this flawed tale.
Another beautiful scene to look out for is the screenplay when Bulbbul is spending her time waiting for Satya. Some brilliantly crafted screenplay makes it a visual feast. Kudos to the DOP and Art director. But it lacks logic and is majorly biased.
There are no character arcs and all graphs are flat. Men who are just there to get killed. A random reference to the ghost story narrated by Satya. The way Bulbbul's character is born and dies beats the logic of the very world that they are built in. No good build up to the climax when Satya and the doctor fight to burn down an entire forest. 50 shades of Red color filling the frames gets irritating beyond a point.
Set in the British occupied Pre Independence India, the set design and the costumes have been well taken care of. Performances are top notch but beaten down by the story. Especially Tripti and Paoli deserve a good applause. Production values are high and uncompromising.
However good the packaging, it can't guarantee you long term sales. The customer is not only going to write a bad review but also never come back again.
Bulbbul is packaged beautifully like a piece of painting, but the product needed upheaval.