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Bhediya review: Varun Dhawan's clamouring werewolf act stands out in the film with top-notch VFX

In its greatest effort to show that the demon is human in a forest setting where animals are the genuine inhabitants, the movie goes deeper into lycanthropy.

3/5rating
Bhediya review: Varun Dhawan's clamouring werewolf act stands out in the film with top-notch VFX
Varun Dhawan in and as Bhediya
  • Aishwarya Vasudevan

Last Updated: 05.29 AM, Nov 25, 2022

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Story:

Bhediya, which is set in the captivating forests of Arunachal Pradesh, tells the tale of Bhaskar (Varun Dhawan), a man who is bitten by a mythological wolf and starts to change into the animal himself. A lot of surprises, turns, and hilarity happen as Bhaskar and his motley crew of friends search for the answers.

Review:

Within just the first 20 minutes of the film, Varun Dhawan as Bhaskar is attacked by a wolf. In no time, it's established that he becomes the shape-shifting werewolf that attacks the people. But to see him transform into a Bhediya, one has to wait until the intermission block, which stretches the first half for no reason at all. That is one of the biggest problems with the movie, which has an interesting idea and is well made.

Bhaskar, along with his cousin Janardhan (Abhishek Banerjee), heads to Ziro in Arunachal Pradesh for a project. He is assigned to make roads by cutting down jungles, which doesn't go well with the locals and many tribal residents. However, in repetition, he says that nature only sounds good on social media, but in reality, only development matters. After the beast in him is unleashed, the dual personality makes both Bhaskar and Bhediya two sides of the same coin. One wants to destroy the jungle, and the other wants to destroy the destroyer.

Along with these reality checks and without being preachy, director Amar Kaushik discusses the issues that people face. This time, he addresses the racial discrimination that North-East Indians face from the rest of the country. Bhaskar's other friend is debutant Paalin Kabak, who is always there for him. But his talking about how he is being made fun of due to his race is needed.

Talking about Bhediya, the legends believe that a werewolf, or occasionally a lycanthrope, is a human with the capacity to transform into wolves on full moon nights, either of their own volition or as a result of a curse or other affliction. Sticking to this idea, Kaushik respects the beliefs that are reinforced by it, along with the top-notch VFX.

The epic transformation scene of Dhawan into Bhediya is incredible and doesn't look caricaturish at all. It's the much-awaited scene, but the wait was too long. But what comes later is, hands down, the best scene! Today is the era of making references to popular culture and memes. Bhediya does the same as it goes from cracking a Himesh Reshammiya song reference to even Shehnaaz Gill's "Meri Koi Feelings Nahi Hai?" It's the timing and the situation that are important when references are made, which they nail perfectly, and kudos to the dialogue writer, Niren Bhatt.

However, I am definitely not a fan of bathroom jokes, and one sequence just reaches cringe-pro-max, which I hope is erased from my mind soon. The scene is uncalled for and not needed in the name of humour.

Having said that, the film's main focus is on Bhaskar trying to prevent his beast from being unleashed because he no longer wants to live a dual life. Probably because he enjoys being the brainchild of the nature destroyer, as it's all about the money and the so-called development of the country. However, in a little sequence when he finally realises that he can be wrong, making the plot more intriguing, it just whimpers and moves on quickly.

As the major shift is from destroyer to protector, the film doesn't find it important to make that story the centre of the plot. I can't say it here because it would give away the most important part of the movie, but even though it was emotional and important, it just didn't work.

That being said, the biggest shortcomings are that the film fails to give the right representation in every possible way. Kaushik's Stree (2018), which set a benchmark in the horror comedy genre, was about a female ghost seeking justice and making men live in fear. Even though the name of the movie was about a woman, it was told from the point of view of three male friends, who still respected the other gender in every way. An almost feminist film in the true sense

The female lead was concerned with bouncing back and forth. Dr. Aneeka, played by Kriti Sanon, is the most underwritten character in the movie, even though she has a lot of potentials and could easily fit the role. The actor does a decent job with what she was offered, but there could have been more details.

Meanwhile, Dhawan's performance is fantastic, and the actor is just getting better and better. It's fun to see his beastly side as well as his naive side, which the actor balances well throughout the film.

Without a doubt, the show-stealer has to be Abhishek Banerjee, whose expressions and command of Hindi will have you in splits in no time. The actor's presence brings a lot of nostalgia and will make people happier if they figure it out immediately.

Kabak, for a debutant, has got an amazing role and delivers it well with good comic timing and expressions. On the other hand, Deepak Dobriyal is also one actor to watch out for in Bhediya. The actor in a limited role gets great punches and will crack you up instantly.

Jishnu Bhattacharjee's cinematography captures the beautiful state of Arunachal Pradesh and makes the land look mystical and green from every angle possible. Sanyukta Kaza's editing helps it stitch better together but fails to do it well in the dialogue sequences. The movie has a hard time choosing which parts should be longer and more important.

Sachin Jigar's music will take time to grow on you. But Jungle Mein Kaand and Baaki Sab Theek are two songs that sound more like conversations. While Apna Bana Le is a soft love ballet, the video sequence will remind you of Twilight, where Edward (Robert Pattinson) takes Bella (Kristen Stewart) to the top of the mountains to show her the real him.

Bhediya's dialogue is full of pop culture references and is influenced by movies like The Twilight Saga, X-Men Origins: Wolverine, and more. They're a little much for the face, but they're not unpleasant.

Despite having a lot of shortcomings, Bhediya is an entertainer due to its star cast, incredible VFX, and the beauty of AP. It's a theatrical experience that cannot be missed!

Verdict:

Bhediya is a story about unleashing your inner beast for a good cause. The film delves deeper into lycanthropy and demonstrates, to the best of its ability, that the demon is the human in a jungle world where animals are the true residents. 

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