‘Bulbbul’ – A story of pearl called Feminism, in the ocean of Patriarchy


Let me brief you a bit about pearl formation. Pearls are formed when an inflammation, let’s say a parasite, enters & embodies a sea animal like oysters, and generates a defense mechanism, a fluid that coats the parasite. Layer upon layer of this coating, called ‘nacre’, is deposited until a lustrous pearl is formed. Now replace inflammation – parasite with women, oyster with a man. Now it’s just the ocean called the world, which flaunts the waves called patriarchy and buries the pearls called feminism.

The film begins with a girl child, who befriends a kid, brother of a young man with whom she gets married to, during 1881, at the Bengal Presidency of India. She shall be taken to a village which is haunted by a bloodthirsty witch, where she waits for a princess to succumb. After 20 years, the children are grown up, wives are widowed, but still, women are abused. With the arrival of the grown-up kid, now a man, mysterious murders take place all around the village, and everyone believes it the work of the witch. Let me not kill the fun of your watch.

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Now that I look at all the ghost stories that were told in the villages, it seems like defense for women. The fear instilled in men that the ghost is a woman and harming a woman might trigger the ghost and shall kill him, refrains him from abuse. What a great pity, how a man was controlled & taught to behave from a fear of getting killed by a lady ghost. How low where we before and how much did we sink further today.

The plot reminds of ‘Charulatha’ by Sri Satyajit Ray, which is based on a story by Sri Rabindranath Tagore. While ‘Charulatha’ showcases the maturity & sacrifice, ‘Bulbbul’ showcases abuse & revolt. Speaking about the crew of the film, the first thing I want to mention is the production design. Right from the ear ornaments to the idols, everything seemed so authentic and ideal. Simply extraordinary. Next comes the brilliant cinematography by Siddharth Diwan. The use of color patterns and mist is impeccable and the establishment of the villages, candlelight conversation, and confrontations, placing of the characters on the screen, the composition, the precision, just the finest. Anvita Dutt, writer & director, is an important filmmaker of this era. Her vision has remained me of Mexican filmmaker, master of gothic horror, Guillermo del Toro.

Trailer – Bulbbul

Stream the film right away on Netflix



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