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Bulbbul Film Review: A film in which colors speak more than the characters.

Aakash Mishra

The colors of the film convey deeper meanings than the characters of the film. The unique usage of the colors sets up a  suitable dark atmosphere for a haunting period drama. But there isn’t anything more other than that to keep you glued to your screens.

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

Director: Anvita Dutt

Streaming: Netflix

Anvita Dutt’s Bulbbul set in early 20th century Bengal is like a Stree minus fun in a period drama.

Bulbbul opens with a wedding sequence, we later get to know that it’s a child marriage to a full-grown adult. Cut to 20 years later, Satya, the kid who you used to stay with Bulbbul all the time, telling stories of witches, or as the subtitles of Netflix says ‘ Demon-woman’, visits his mansion. But, both Rahul Bose i.e… the elder brother Indranil is away and the younger brother Madhav is dead. Meanwhile, Bulbbul is busy smiling charmingly halfway throughout the film. As Satya returns he gets to know that people are dying and a witch is being blamed for all the murders, so he starts searching for clues to remove the superstitious beliefs of everyone around him.

The colors of the film convey deeper meanings than the characters of the film. The unique usage of the colors sets up a  suitable dark atmosphere for a haunting period drama. But there isn’t anything more other than that to keep you glued to your screens. The film selects a bloody red palette whenever things are happening outside the mansion at night which somehow indicates the possibility of incoming danger. Blue as a color provides serenity and calm but here the overuse of blue color like a deep stormy sea, it indicates the negative associations of the color that tells about the unsettling feeling of the secrets deeply held inside of something, someone or as Binodini ( Paoli Dam) says the secrets of big royal families. Deep indigo color also portrays sadness and depression. We see a deep indigo palatte whenever there is a scene related to the mansion because it is filled with dark secrets. It can also be said that the colors used in the film are set according to the state of the protagonist. Whenever she is furious it’s bloody red all around, whenever she is sad and depressed like inside the house, everything is deep indigo around her. The film comes into a normal color palette for a while in the end indicating the absence of major terror or sadness.

The male characters are there either to hunt or to die, they play a subsidiary role in the progression of the drama. The women have always been at the center much like Anushka Sharma’s previous productions. Phillauri was a supernatural family film. Pari was about a fantasy related to folk horrors while Bulbbul is a supernatural revenge folk drama. Tripti Dimpri somehow tries to build uncertainty with her expression that are completely opposite to each other but isn’t able to maintain it throughout the film. Paoli Dam as Binodini and Parambrata Chattopadhyay as Dr. Sudip are really effective and did an amazing job. Avinash Tiwary and Rahul Bose were somewhat satisfying.

Cinematography is well detailed and really helped the film in maintaining the horrifying aspect of the film even when things aren’t much scary around. As far as the plot is concerned things can be predicted a mile ago and even if you aren’t able to guess, still you will realize that it’s not very dauntless in its approach. And so even the interesting elements  seem to fall flat and thereby underlines the ineffectiveness of the narrative to jump up from the tree ( basic usage of things inserted in the plot) like the witch does in the end. The music score by Amit Trivedi is helpful for the plot but it isn’t great.

Overall, Bulbbul has some bricks but doesn’t have sufficient cement to hold everything together till the end.

FINAL VERDICT – Very predictable but you can go for it only if you want to see a unique use of colors.

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