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Bhamakalapam review: Priyamani sparkles in this jerky thriller with lofty ambitions

Writer, director Abhimanyu Tadimeti shows a lot of promise in his debut but falls short in the execution of his script

Bhamakalapam review: Priyamani sparkles in this jerky thriller with lofty ambitions

Last Updated: 08.25 AM, Feb 11, 2022



A goon steals a Rs 200-crore worth Faberge egg from India's most popular museum but it mistakenly ends up at a poultry farm in Hyderabad. Feroz, the owner of the poultry farm, gets hold of it and the egg finally lands at a flat in a strictly middle-class apartment. One of Feroz's neighbours is Anupama, a popular Youtuber and a homemaker, who thrives on gossip and is notorious for sneaking into other's personal lives despite many warnings. When Anupama notices that something is fishy between Feroz and his wife, she lands up at their house, only to find a dead body.


The heart of most crime thrillers is greed, deception and the lust for money but Bhamakalapam tries to utilise this space to convey something more ambitious. The film, in the garb of a thriller, is an unexpected commentary on the very idea of God, religion and also the need to find happiness inward. As much as you want to root for first-time filmmaker Abhimanyu Tadimeti and his out-of-the-box ideas, Bhamakalapam doesn't turn out the explosive thriller it promises to be owing to a dull screenplay and lengthy runtime.

Apart from its ambitious premise, if there's something that works best for it, it's the casting of Priyamani as a homemaker, YouTuber Anupama. She embodies the underdog spirit of Anupama effortlessly and is successful in depicting her vulnerabilities, cocky sense of humour, bringing out her unapologetic side, tapping into her inner Sherlock. Despite the melancholy, the grim tone and the uneven pace of the film, her presence livens up the proceedings and makes us invest in her story.

Bhamakalapam is a wacky universe but the characters are mixed bag. The filmmaker wants every character in the film to suggest one dimension of humanity though the characterisation is abstract. The idea to have a female cop, who's pregnant, at the forefront, handling the investigation of the murder does add intrigue to the setup. The weakling in the film is John Vijay, or let's say his character, who is a criminal but dresssed a lot like a rural zamindar. 

Another Daniel Babu, who misuses people's fears and insecurities in the name of religion, is also a fascinating character, though his part is fleshed out with minimal impact. The relationship between Anupama and her maid is quite interesting. The film is way too leisurely in tying up all the loose ends and is unable to make complete use of its riveting twists in the latter half. Bhamakalapam is a case of a reasonably well-written script falling short in its execution. 

Regardless of the middling result, Abhimanyu, the writer is a talent to watch out for. It's good to see Priyamani having great fun on the screen and there's absolutely no other actor you could've imagined in her place as Anupama. John Vijay's villiany is rather caricaturish and indulgent while it's the underdogs - Shanti Rao, Kancharapalem Kishore who spring a surprise with their earnestness. Sharanya Pradeep is aptly cast as the over-curious maid with Pammi Sai delivering a few laughs. Mark K Robin's background score adds bite to this universe.


Bhamakalapam has lofty ambitions but is an unevenly paced, middling thriller. The film is more or less salvaged by an assured Priyamani and has confident performances by Shanti Rao, Sharanya Pradeep and Kancherapalam Kishore. 

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