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BHEDIYA - An entertaining first half followed by a talkative, message-oriented second results in a decent watch ending on an experimental note. (Review By Bobby Sing)

25 Nov, 2022 | Just In / Movie Reviews / 2022 Releases

As a concept, BHEDIYA had got nothing novel or unpredictable for the new-age audience, well versed with the werewolf genre. But its presentation as a horror comedy was the USP of the project that worked in its favour, creating a pre-release buzz. 
Thankfully, the film does not disappoint staying ahead of many recent horror comedies stressing more on comedy than horror. In fact, that has been the case with almost every film of this genre in our recent cinema. The team behind STREE got that potent clue from its box office success and thus they continued doing the same in BHEDIYA directed by Amar Kaushik, who also does a dancing cameo in the film (if I caught that right).
So, the comedy works, the one-liners click, but there is more in the narration talking about environmental dis-balance, the man-animal equation, and corporate greed harming the planet, eyeing all the natural resources. Besides, it also has a mythological angle and the characters even point towards racism and the questionable attitude of people towards the north-east citizens calling them names.
But these references neither become preachy nor conflict with the basic theme of the film. They get cleverly mentioned in the interactive dialogues between characters without losing focus. However, they add to the length of the film and affect the pace too in the second half which is more talkative, missing the eventful action. Plus, the pre-climax comes with a thoughtful experimental twist that was not expected from the film promoted as a horror-comedy. Later the director also tries to build up a cinematic universe of his own, making some surprising inclusions (not to be disclosed here).
In short, BHEDIYA begins with a solid introduction and has an entertaining first half with two enjoyable songs (a rarity nowadays) giving you a good time in the theatre. But its second half does not explode and has got little happening in the script, including an avoidable song. The film again strikes back in the final 30 minutes, offering surprises both in terms of concept and cameos. 
BHEDIA’s most remarkable achievement is its graphical representations, along with the noteworthy background score, camerawork and impressive performances. The VFX superbly showcases the transformation of a human into a werewolf, creating terror and Varun gives it his all, brilliantly emoting the trauma. At the same time, I found the digitally created wolves a bit stiff and mechanical in their movements. Wonder why there always exists a visible difference in the VFX of our films compared to the West, even when a lot of their VFX work is being done by many reputed production houses in India.
Varun sportingly contributes to the comic sequences led by Abhishek Banerjee and his great timing. Abhishek confidently takes charge of the funniest scenes in the film, along with an impressive Paalin Kabak as their helpful Northeast friend. The ever-dependable Deepak Dobriyal yet again makes you smile, but this time he also has something important to add explaining who, in reality, is the outsider in any region and who is not! As the only female protagonist, Kriti Sanon is fine, but she doesn’t get many scenes playing an under-defined character of a veterinary doctor.
The writers smartly include many interesting references in their dialogues, exactly how it was seen in the last horror-comedy PHONE BHOOT. There is mention of all the famous films on the theme, like Jaani Dushman, Junoon, and more, along with an inclusion of the desi Jungle Book song ‘Chaddi pehenke phool khila hai,’ in its key sequences. Apart from that, Varun also says the popular Shehnaz Gill dialogue ‘To main kya karu, mar jaoon?’ in his Govinda-like style, bringing the house down.
Overall, BHEDIYA delivers as per the promise, despite the flaws in its second half and a couple of unwanted songs. A sharper edit would have surely resulted in a superior film. But I really liked the way they incorporated important social messages into the script (showing some spine in the present scenario) exploiting the fresh locations of Arunachal Pradesh.
That said, I also missed the horror in this horror-comedy and hope the balance gets restored in the upcoming films in this genre to satisfy horror fans. 
Lastly, films like BHEDIYA are best enjoyed in the theatre as a collective watch. Though I personally prefer 2D, but it does have a few jump scares demanding a 3D watch. Hence, do not wait for the OTT release of the film missing the theatre experience.
Rating : 3 + 0.5 / 5 (with the additional 0.5 for all the social messages incorporated and the risky experimental climax in a horror-comedy.)

Tags : BHEDIYA Review by Bobby Sing at bobbytalkscinema.com, New Hindi Films Reviews by Bobby Sing, New Bollywood Movies Reviews by Bobby Sing, Hindi horror comedies, Hindi werewolf movies.
25 Nov 2022 / Comment ( 0 )
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