The story commences and we see a wedding happening in 19th century in Bengal. A little kid Bulbbul probably at the age of 5 or 6 gets married to a much older man Indranil Chaudhary (Rahul Bose) and comes to a big haveli, where she starts living with his husband’s mentally challenged twin Mahendra (Bose again), Mahendra’s wife Binodini (Paoli Dam), and younger brother Satya (Avinash Tiwary). She becomes a good friend of Satya who is almost her age. The story then takes a leap of twenty years.
Now Bulbbul aka Badi Bahu (Tripti Dimri) has grown up to be a beautiful woman. Mahendra has died and Indranil has left the house. Satya has come back home from abroad after five years. Bulbbul who is the sole responsible of the haveli has now found a friend Dr Sudip (Parambrata Chatterjee) who comes regularly to the house. Satya is in the search of the evil spirit the whole village is talking about who allegedly killed his brother followed by other deaths that are happening in the village.
The story goes on and shows some heartwrenching moments which makes you feel disgusted and angry. It shows the different timeline of Bulbbul’s life where she and Satya become friends, she grows up and falls in love with him, and Indranil sends him away followed by several unfortunate incidences.
Though at a point the story becomes predictable, what makes you stick to your seats is the narration and screenplay. Writer and director Anvita Dutt Guptan have done a tremendous job in gripping and wonderfully portraying every single space of the film. Every plot has been very beautifully unfolded. Every single detail has been taken care of from costume, makeup to lights, and the dialogues.
Brownie Points to the lead actor Tripti Dimri, the Laila Majnu girl, she has delivered such an outstanding performance that it would be difficult to believe that she is a newcomer. Even if she is not delivering any dialogue her smile and eyes are enough to do the talking.
Talking about the other actors, all have done a decent job. Rahul Boss, Paoli Dam, and Parambrata Chatterjee are already experienced and polished actors and their performance has reflected it. However, Avinash Tiwary seemed overshadowed in the whole film. The way he performed in his previous film like Laila Majnu for which he was critically acclaimed, this time he failed to cross his own mark.
While the film is said to be a horror drama, there is no single scene where you are going to scream. Cinematographer Siddharth Diwan has managed to make the whole set spooky and mysterious. The color red has also been used a lot in the film which refers to goddess Kali or blood and gore. It also gives you a hint of Rabindranath Tagore’s story world.
Bulbbul is much more than a horror drama that Anushka Sharma’s production has once again managed to pull out the right cords. The true feminist films with reference to goddess Kaali is the need of an hour. The film unfolded the unspoken and evil truths of society. The stereotypical odds from which a female suffers even today have beautifully expressed in the story. The film makes you question, what has changed from 19th century to 21st century?