Is Bulbbul the feminist horror flick we’ve all been waiting for?
A mysterious fable set in Bengal
The story revolves around a child bride and a murderous witch. The young innocent Bulbbul gets married to Indraneel (a man much older than her) who lives in a big haveli. Bulbbul, however, enjoys spending time with Indraneel’s younger brother, Satya, who is the same age as her. Seeing this close companionship, Indraneel’s fragile male ego is obviously hurt, and Satya is immediately sent to London for his higher studies. In the meantime, a chudail – ‘the demon woman’ with ‘ultey pair’ is murmured for killing people in haveli.
Bulbbul is a dark fantasy
It oozes suspense which is aptly depicted by the characters involved. However, we do feel that the script is slightly weak and too predictable from the on-set, but the camera work and post-production make up for it. The way scenes are beautifully shot, framed and edited; the way the screen radiates rich, vibrant colours – reds, yellows, pinks – the viewer might feel part of a magnificent painting. Especially, the scenes of the witch swathed in shades of red crimson with a supernatural tinge, will keep you hooked.
The plot exhibits a feminist depiction
The tragedy brings to light how the voice of free-spirited girls is silenced as the mores of the society expect them to play the role of obedient wives; how self-contained, independent and outspoken women are obviously dangerous in the face of the patriarchy; and, how emotional manipulation like “Woh thoda paagal hai …par gehne milenge …chup rahena.” (He’s crazy, but you shall get the riches and luxuries, stay quiet) suppresses the tad-bit agency of women – all of which makes one wonder: if women are far from fighting such rampant ills prevalent in our society?
We rate this gripping tale at 4/5.
A must-watch for movie-night!
Hiba Shoaib is a student of social development and policy at Habib University. She is currently working as an Undergraduate Research Fellow at Center for Transdisciplinary Design and Innovation Lab. As an aspiring policy-practitioner, she aims to address socio-economic concerns. She uses her research and critical-writing skills to empower people and advocate for social justice.