"Bhediya," starring the charismatic Varun Dhawan, weaves an enchanting tapestry of cinematic brilliance that mesmerizes audiences. With its thought-provoking storyline and spellbinding performances, this film is a feast for our senses. Released in 2022, "Bhediya" showcases Dhawan's breathtaking versatility as an actor, fearlessly immersing himself in unconventional roles. In this article, we will talk about the key elements that render "Bhediya" an unmissable gem, while shining a spotlight on Varun Dhawan's portrayal, which effortlessly outshines his already stellar repertoire of memorable performances.
"Bhediya" is a film set in the picturesque state of Arunachal Pradesh. The mesmerizing landscapes and abundant forests of the northeastern state set the stage for a battle between indifferent humans and the forces of nature, with some portions appearing almost otherworldly due to clever visual enhancements.
The story revolves around Bhaskar, a young man who is determined to construct a road through a dense forest. Accompanied by his cousin Janardhan and his friend Joe, Bhaskar explores the ecologically fragile zone, only to have a wolf bite him on the posterior.
A significant portion of the film's 156-minute runtime is dedicated to Bhaskar's comical condition, with Janardhan, Joe, and veterinarian Annika constantly fixated on his derriere. The humor reaches absurd levels when Bhaskar, with his tail peeking out of bright blue underwear, howls at the moon. However, amidst the frantic direction, non-stop dialogue, and distracting background score, some of the film's better gags and plot points may go unnoticed.
As the story progresses, Bhaskar makes a startling discovery, but his friends fail to react, possibly due to the mountain's thin air affecting their mental faculties. While one of the werewolf's victims receives medical help, Bhaskar has no option but to rely on Annika. The plot takes a while to develop throughout the movie, but it finally gels in the post-intermission scene, creating a satisfying standoff with a tease for the end credits.
"Bhediya" bears a resemblance to Amar Kaushik's debut feature, "Stree," with elements such as a blend of chills and chuckles, a trio of bumbling young men, a mystical character, an evocative location, and a background-focused heroine. Actor Abhishek Banerjee adds further continuity, reprising his role as the slack-jawed character from "Stree," while Deepak Dobriyal replaces Pankaj Tripathi as the provider of enigmatic statements.
Although "Bhediya" has its share of wild moments and a dedicated cast willing to engage in buffoonery, it lacks the deft touch of "Stree." Written by Raj & DK, "Stree" recognized the inherent silliness of this genre and benefited from not taking itself too seriously. The film also addresses the issue of stereotyping people from the North East, with a sermon delivered by Joe, although it falls short of being convincing.
Despite its flaws, director Amar Kaushik maintains a firm grip on his actors, with Deepak Dobriyal and Paalin Kabak leaving a lasting impression alongside an energetic Varun Dhawan. Dhawan's commitment to the film, utilizing his physicality and willingly becoming the subject of humor, showcases heroic dedication in a movie that lacks faith in its audience and its own instincts.
1. Varun Dhawan's Role:
Varun's commitment and dedication to his role shine through in his captivating performance. He underwent an impressive physical transformation for the character, training extensively with an animal flow teacher. Despite the director's preference for a flexible physique, Varun's hard work paid off as he flawlessly embodied the essence of a Bhediya.
Throughout the filming process, Varun faced challenges that pushed him to his limits. One standout scene required him to repeatedly dash through a wall with unwavering energy, showcasing his dedication to delivering an exceptional pperformance His lighthearted anecdote about applying sprays to promote hair growth on his entire body reveals his willingness to go the extra mile for his character.
Varun Dhawan showcases his versatility as an actor. His physical transformation, unwavering dedication, and ability to infuse humor into his performance make him a force to be reckoned with. 'Bhediya' promises to leave a lasting impact with Varun's compelling portrayal.
2. Supporting Cast:
"Bhediya" has an amazing cast that enriches and entertains the story. With her stylish new hairdo, Kriti Sanon gives her part a new depth, even if it is not fully developed on screen.
Her presence, however, does not hinder flow of the story, as the director, Amar, focuses more on exploring the comedic chemistry between Varun and Abhishek Banerjee, who portrays Bhaskar's friend Guddu. Abhishek's character receives the best punchlines and effortlessly delivers them with a deadpan expression, showcasing his comedic prowess.
The seasoned actor Deepak Dobriyal infuses the film with memorable dialogue delivery. Additionally, the newcomer Paalin Kabak adds to the texture of the film, showcasing potential and talent.
Direction and Cinematography:
1. Director's Vision:
Director Amar Kaushik, once again showcases his vision for creating immersive experiences that blend genres seamlessly. Building on the success of his previous film, Stree, Kaushik takes things a notch higher with this intense yet funny horror comedy. His clever writing and strong screenplay ensure that the audience is captivated throughout the film. Kaushik's direction brings out the best in his talented cast, with Varun Dhawan delivering a top-notch performance and successfully pushing the envelope by trying a new genre.
The transformation scenes from man to wolf are stunning and chilling, adding to the overall impact of the film. Kaushik's ability to blend horror and comedy is commendable, and he skillfully balances intense moments with well-placed humor. The film also addresses important themes such as man-animal conflict and stereotypes, delivering a message without being preachy. Overall, Amar Kaushik's vision for Bhediya shines through in every aspect of the film, making it a memorable watch on the big screen.
2. Cinematography and Production Design:
The cinematography and production design of Bhediya are truly noteworthy, contributing to the immersive experience and visual appeal of the film. Jishnu Bhattacharjee's cinematography brilliantly captures the deep and dense forests of Ziro in Arunachal Pradesh, showcasing the breathtaking beauty of Northeast India.
The way the natural landscapes are framed, and captured on screen is mesmerizing, adding to the overall atmosphere and tone of the film. The visual effects and special effects in Bhediya are also stunning, on par with some of the best in Indian cinema. The seamless integration of these effects enhances the transformation scenes and the portrayal of the wolf, creating a sense of awe and suspense. The combination of exceptional cinematography and meticulous production design elevates the overall visual experience of Bhediya, making it a treat for the eyes.
While there are moments of self-awareness where the filmmakers seem uncertain about how to further develop the underlying concept, these passages provide a quirky charm that contributes to the overall atmosphere.
The editor, though occasionally lenient in allowing some crucial scenes to meander, eventually allows the central idea of the film to shine through. Together, this ensemble cast adds depth, humor, and texture to the world of "Bhediya."
Impact and Reception
1. Audience Response:
The audience reception of the movie Bhediya has been mixed. Prior to its release, the film generated a good pre-release buzz with its trailer receiving appreciation from all corners. The concept and VFX work were particularly praised, with netizens comparing it favorably to Adipurush's VFX.
However, the film lacked ground-level promotions and faced competition from the success of Drishyam 2, which stole much of the thunder. As a result, the advance bookings for the opening day were low. The initial start of Bhediya at the box office was low to decent, with mixed reactions from the neutral audience.
While some appreciated the attempt and the film's focus on creating awareness about nature, others felt that something was lacking. The film was considered family-friendly and a treat for children due to its theme, humor, and overall setup. However, the slow screenplay and the inability to fully satisfy other age groups were seen as negatives.
2. Critical Reception:
The movie has been praised by critics for its novel approach and Varun Dhawan's performance. Director Amar Kaushik has also been applauded for his choice of a unique storyline.
Film critic Taran Adarsh gave the film a three-and-a-half-star rating, describing it as captivating. However, Adarsh did mention that the film could have benefited from a more gripping narrative in the first hour, although the interval block compensated for it. Adarsh specifically commended the performances of Varun Dhawan, Kriti Sanon, Abhishek Banerjee, Deepak Dobriyal, and Paalin Kabak.
Another film critic, Rohit Jaiswal, gave Bhediya a four-star rating and praised the film for its wholesome entertainment, brilliant visual effects, and international-level 3D effects. Jaiswal also highlighted that the film lays the foundation for potential sequels. While there were some mixed opinions on Twitter, with users expressing a desire for a stronger second half and better writing, the blend of comedy and horror was generally appreciated.
Overall, Bhediya has garnered positive responses from critics, with Varun Dhawan's performance and the film's concept receiving particular praise.
Amar Kaushik's "Bhediya" is a compelling movie that combines comedy and horror and exemplifies his goal of creating immersive storytelling. Varun Dhawan's outstanding portrayal of the title role gives the story depth and humor while also showcasing his acting range. The breathtaking photography, outstanding production design, and astounding visual effects of the movie improve the whole viewing experience. While Varun Dhawan's performance and the film's original premise received positive reviews from critics, the film's ponderous narrative received negative feedback. Nevertheless, "Bhediya" is a notable film that makes an impression and highlights the skills of its cast and crew.