Form: Varun Dhawan, Kriti Sanon, Abhishek Banerjee and Deepak Dobriyal
Director: Amar Kaushik
Rating: 3.5 stars (out of 5)
The Street duo of producer Dinesh Vijan and director Amar Kaushik reunite to deliver a movie that’s considerably more than just another horror comedy. It’s in the same zone as the 2018 movie in some respects, but is distinctly different in spirit, content, and style.
It makes room for skepticism, but combines that with a considerable degree of seriousness and teasing humor that keep the film from getting lost in the kind of mind-boggling convolutions that ruined Maddock Films’ previous offerings. Roohi.
Bhediya, crowned by Varun Dhawan who explores the power of a wild transmogrification, rests primarily on the consequences of the conflict between humans and animals – it is set in a tangible yet fairytale setting where the fantastic and the real intertwine. However, as the story unfolds, it hits its ties and lets other essential themes find their way.
Working from a screenplay by Niren Bhatt, the director not only applies a message of environmental conservation in a folksy storyline, but also dwells on issues of language, identity and culture with a touch of robust comedian to spark a debate about grandeur. brighten up. meaning.
Bhediya does a generally successful balancing act between farce and fable. The latter is firmly rooted in local myths and legends. A 120-year-old shaman is a key figure who brings out the role that traditional knowledge and beliefs play in the lives of people who have been sustained by hills and forests for generations.
Parts of the film could certainly have been trimmed a bit, but overall the director maintains an unwavering grip on the tone and tenor of the story, making Bhediya to compel from the audience a willing suspension of disbelief, which is, of course, absolutely essential for a film that builds on free-flowing ideas that could easily be dismissed as avoidable brawls.
The technical features of the film – guided by the mood-defining lighting and lensing (by cinematographer Jishnu Bhattacharjee) and the evocative production design – are of a high order. Particularly impressive are the visual effects in the pivotal scenes that show the process of the protagonist transforming into a wolf and acquiring the ability and strength to jump all the hurdles.
The cast of Bhediya includes Abhishek Banerjee, who was one of three friends Street who encounter a beautiful apparition that portends supernatural troubles for men. In a credits scene, Bhediya admits his guilt Streetthe film that ushered in Maddock Films’ horror-comedy universe that now seems to be almost back on track after the forgettable and idiosyncratic Roohi Detour.
Bhediya reworks the conventions of the genre to create the story of a forest threatened with deforestation in the name of development. The film would have had a lot more power if it had been a little shorter. But despite running for over two and a half hours, the plot elements it pulls together form a cohesive whole without overly credulity.
In the popular imagination, no doubt perpetuated by genre films and stories told to us for decades, a bhediya is a feared animal, a wild predator that has never made peace with humanity. In this film, the creature is given a surprisingly positive outlook that allows the benign and the terrifying to coexist and create space for ambiguities in our reactions to the animal’s violent depredations.
To be sure, the wolf is not native to the part of the world where Bhediya is set. But this is not a film that strives for absolute factual truth. Set in a fantasy world, the wild beast is given a mythical cloak to justify its presence in the wilderness of Arunachal. The creature is a jungle beast, a type of wild dog with very sharp fangs capable of causing great harm to humans, and, more importantly, a warning sign to development proponents that ignore environmental concerns.
A road builder from Delhi, Bhaskar (Varun Dhawan) arrives in the town of Ziro in Arunachal Pradesh in the company of his slow-witted cousin Janardhan (Abhishek Banerjee). He has a blueprint that maps out the dimensions of a proposed infrastructure project that he has reason to believe will completely transform the place.
Joining the Delhi duo is a local captain Jomin (NSD alumnus Paalin Kabak in his first film role), whose job is to help the outsiders convince the locals of the urgent need for a new road through the forest. That is easier said than done.
Bhediya represents the clash between tradition and so-called modernity through a clear and understandable divide between the city elders who view the forest as a sacred space and the younger population who are addicted to consumerist incentives that rely on technology and electronic gadgets.
The wolf bite that disrupts Bhaskar’s plans is central to this allegory about the greed for dollars and the depletion of green blankets and about the enormous capacity of man to harm the environment. It causes panic among the townsfolk. A police station springs into action, but the police are faced with a phenomenon they can barely explain, let alone solve.
Bhaskar and his friends – among them are Panda (Deepak Dobriyal), a native of Nainital who has lived in Arunachal Pradesh all his life and is suspected of being guided by ulterior motives, and Anika (Kriti Sanon), a veterinarian who has no other choice but to deal with Bhaskar, though the complicated case is far beyond her grasp – are held back as the wolf’s enigmatic and deadly attacks multiply.
An important thread that runs through it Bhediya focuses on Janardhan’s attitude towards the place and its people. Impervious to Jomin’s feelings, he makes casual jokes at the latter’s expense, ridiculing his Hindi and making offensive conjectures.
The casual verbal indiscretions threaten to drive a wedge between the Delhi boys and the local boy and become an important part of the story. The resolution is delayed, but when it does, the script powerfully sums up the situation and its consequences, if only in a way that also moves you.
Bhediya, both enjoyable and thought-provoking, aided by lively performances. Varun Dhawan gives the unconventional role its best shot. Abhishek Banerjee and Paalin Kabak are great with their comedic timing as well as their dramatic flourishes. Kriti Sanon has relatively limited footage, but does everything possible not to disappear from the picture.
Bhediyathanks to the inventive and intriguing ways in which it takes on a genre that has spawned many a film over the decades, from Paul Schrader’s Cat People and John Landis’ An American Werewolf in London to (closer to home) Rajkumar Kohli’s Jani Dushman and that of Mahesh Bhatt Junon (both of which find mention in this movie), has its own unique footprint that makes it totally watchable.
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