Bhediya

wogma rating: Even the keen, wait for it to come on TV/online (?)

quick review:

Quick-fix, unnuanced writing skims over some social issues preachily. Tries hard to have its heart in the right place. Loses out on a relatively fresh and charming take that had the potential to appeal to the urban conscience.

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Director: Amar Kaushik
Cast: Varun Dhawan
Running time: 135 minutes
Genres: Fantasy, Social, Thriller
More Movie Info

Bhediya has long stretches where nothing happens—and that nothing happens in a boring fashion. Leaving you a lot of time to wonder if Bhediya really has its heart in the right place or if it is pretending so. If it really meant well, in all that time, it could have built a better world that conveyed the message with conviction rather than with fear and/or easy, convenient mocking.

The development versus environment and indigenous population arguments come out in spurts.

Some of the jeering might make sense because of how true to life it is. For instance, the stereotyping of the manner in which urban Indian population in the rest of India think of and talk about Indians from the North-eastern states of India seems about right. But then, when it tries to have a conversation around how problematic it is, it shabbily ends in a similar ‘joke’. Why the discomfort in accepting that putting someone down is not funny? And if you can’t own up to your uneasiness, are you doing any good?

This discomfort is even more jarring because the film has a clear agenda. It wants to say our attitude towards those who aren’t like us is not right. It wants to say our definition of development needs to change. But at the micro level, Bhediya chooses to add details in very superficial ways. It doesn’t bother with nuances and suffices itself with portraying the most drawing-room-level discussions on screen. No, parents showing nose hair on video calls isn’t enough to capture the world it is building, even if it is based on very real life.

Bhediya is stuck between wanting to be close to real life and building a fantasy world. The ideation of this world seems to be restricted to the one-line description of man turns into a wolf. Any fantasy beyond that isn’t given enough thought. Just saying the wolf can do whatever it wishes doesn’t explain why it does what it does? Why do storms brew suddenly? How can they open a locked door but not a locked cage? And so on.

Bhediya wants to convey a messages and few, and it wants to do it with a dose of humour. Unfortunately, it relies heavily on slapstick right down to toilet humour and innuendo. All of it, unfunny. When it is not trying to be funny, it is delivering preachy monologues. The inconsistency with its arguments are made worse by the logical gaps in the situations. It is also predictable with its sub-plot like in the “Boy who cried wolf.” Situation or in the main twist of the film.

What then makes the film worth watching even ‘sommme’ day? The basic concept is endearing. Also, Varun Dhawan has put in his all. While the other cast with very good actors are more or less required to stick to slapstick, Kriti Sanon does well in the one scene she has to show a different facet of her character. But Varun Dhawan makes up for the rest. The first time he’s shown transforming completely, you could sense his character’s resistance to the transformation. He plays the confused and reluctant hero well too. That along with the prosthetic work and the CGI brings some thrill.

The development versus environment and indigenous population arguments come out in spurts. And some bits are stretched and repeated. Enough for you to wonder if they did a carbon footprint analysis of going into the forest to shoot the film versus doing it all on CGI.

- meeta, a part of the audience

23 reviewers(?) - 9 yays 13 so-so 1 nays

Warning: clicking on "full review" will take you to an external website that could contain spoilers.

Thumbs up, by Bobby Sing, Bobby Talks Cinema.com : ...lastly f; lim 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 OTT release of the film missing the theatre ecperience.... full review

Thumbs up, by Devesh Sharma, Filmfare : ...The film’s creature effects and computer generated imagery is excellent. Cinematography and the background score are good as well. The film is a tad long and could have been better at a crisp 140 minutes. It does keep you in the laughs throughout and has an important message to convey. If nothing else, it’ll make you want to explore the pristine beauty of the North East for sure…... full review

Thumbs up, by Nitin Jain, galatta.com : ...Overall, the film reminds us of the ‘Bhediya’ in all of us that we exert for our selfish motives and benefits without considering the damage that we are doing. The film leaves you with an experience and a thought to ponder upon, maybe deeper than the forests of Ziro. Waste no time, this one is a must watch.... full review

Thumbs up, by On another level, the film reminds us of our anima, Hindustan Times : ...Sachin-Jigar's music is decent, but not all songs leave a mark. Jungle Mein Kaand makes you groove for its peppy music, Baaki Sab Theek is interesting with the quirky rap. Background score is extremely on-point and creates an impact in the jump-scare moments.... full review

Thumbs up, by Tushar P. Joshi, india today : ...But if you leave aside these flaws, the rugged wolf on the full moon night is a howling entertainer. Watch this in 3D to get the full bang for your buck.... full review

Thumbs up, by Mayank Shekhar, MiD DAY : ...man vs nature... Nope, greed’s not good — this wolf’s against Wall Street, you know… Baaki sab? More than theek thaak!... full review

Thumbs up, by Saibal Chatterjee, NDTV : ...Bhediya, both enjoyable and thought-provoking, is helped along by lively performances. Varun Dhawan gives the unconventional role his best shot. Abhishek Banerjee and Paalin Kabak are terrific as much with their comic timing as with their dramatic flourishes. Kriti Sanon has comparatively limited footage but does all that it takes not to be swamped out of the picture.... full review

Thumbs up, by Sukanya Verma, Rediff : ...Varun Dhawan ups his entertainer game exponentially in Bhediya. Between a smooth talker channeling Anil Kapoor, ever the symbol for all things hirsute (as if to confirm the similarity, a character actually quips, 'Anil Kapoor ki tarah kyun chal raha hai?' and a lycanthrope bewildered by the sudden shift in skin and status quo until compelled to preserve the only pair of pants he's left, the actor finds much to wag his tail about.... full review

Thumbs up, by Dhaval Roy, Times of India : ...On another level, the film reminds us of our animal instincts and how there could be a bhediya in all of us. But how we wish to unleash it, for better or worse, is up to us. Beauty and the beast are all in us, we only have to look deep within. The film leaves you with an experience and a thought, maybe deeper than the forests of Ziro. So, set out and watch this one. For a howling good time, this one's worth a hike to the theatres. There's also a delightful surprise at the end. The film that releases in Hindi, Tamil and Telugu is best viewed in 3D.... full review

So-So, by Nikita Thakkar, Bollywood Life : ...Bhediya is a one-time watch film but only if you watch in 3D.... full review

So-So, by Rahul Desai, Film Companion : ...The big picture is the actual picture; broad daylight is the only colour tone. After all, the fury beneath the frolic matters. Otherwise, Bhediya is just a film with a penchant for fleshy narrative jackets. Otherwise it’s just a sheepish creature comedy in wolf’s clothing.... full review

So-So, by Prathyush Parasuraman, Film Companion : ...Our man Bhaskar, who needed to be bitten in his bum, transformed into an animal, fall in love with a mysterious vet with dense bangs, and have that snake in his pants stare him in the face, to realize — hey, cutting trees is not cool.... full review

So-So, by Rohit Bhatnagar, Free Press Journal : ...Overall, Bhediya is a good one-time popcorn entertainment and a decent distraction from the monotony.... full review

So-So, by Akansha Tiwari, India TV : ...Director Amar Kaushik has done a good job and has taken up the subject of the film well. There is a need to work on the matter of environment which is shown in the film. The weakest part of the film is its music. Sachin Jigar's music is not showing anything special. Hard work has been done in the background score but the songs of the film are average. A star of the film can only do its VFX, which is amazing.... full review

So-So, by Shilajit Mitra, indian express : ...It feels strange to say, but Bhediya is more forthright and observant about the everyday problems of the Northeastern states than the more politically-minded Anek some months ago. Bhaskar’s appeal to the villagers isn’t so much evil as a practical eventuality. He too, in time, finds a compromise.... full review

So-So, by Shubhra Gupta, indian express : ...A couple of moving moments, shared between Sanon and Dhawan, break the ha-ha-hee-hee, and provide a bit of depth. But so determined is the film to not get ‘serious’, that those moments come and go, making you wish there were more of them. Clocking 2.36 hours, ‘Bhediya’ starts wearing out its welcome around its stretched-out climax. But when the going is good, this rumble in the jungle is quite a romp.... full review

So-So, by Sameer Ahire, Movie Talkies : ...Bhediya could have been cleaner and sharper, but Kaushik does unnecessary and unwanted stuff to bring it down. That organic humor, like Stree and Bala, is badly missing. Don’t see any reasons why someone like Amar Kaushik would need the kind of “below the belt” humour and cheap jokes we see in Sajid Khan or Farhad Samji movies. Bhediya couldn’t hunt that myth of Bollywood filmmakers and, hence, remains at an average height. This one was expected to reach the top of the roof but jumped down somewhere close to the side windows. Watch it for some laughs and a few visually amazing scenes. Dinesh Vijan‘s horror universe seems to be in trouble again. They desperately need Stree back!... full review

So-So, by Sonil Dedhia, News18.com : ...shortcomings... full review

So-So, by Divya Bhonsale, NewsBytes : ...Since the time its trailer was released, high hopes were held with two actors—Banerjee and Dobriyal. Most of the film's humor is on Banerjee's shoulder which makes him the star of the film. Unfortunately, the makers could not utilize Dobriyal to his best, knowing his past performances, such as in the Tanu Weds Manu franchise. Dobriyal's character lacks the meat and falls flat.... full review

So-So, by Himesh Mankad, Pinkvilla : ...Bhediya rides primarily on the strength of gags, visual effects, and performances, but warranted a bigger conflict with regard to a hero and villain in the second half. Despite the flaws, it makes for a fairly entertaining watch for the youth, and families, who wish to experience something unique on the big screen from the Hindi Film Industry.... full review

So-So, by Nandini Ramnath, Scroll.in : ...Kaushik’s shaky hold on his narrative steadies when it comes to his actors. Deepak Dobriyal and Paalin Kabak are memorable foils to an in-form Varun Dhawan. Putting his buffness to good use and sportingly letting himself be the butt of humour, Dhawan display heroic levels of commitment to a film that doesn’t trust its audiences or its own animal instinct enough.... full review

So-So, by Pratikshya Mishra, The Quint : ...Jishu Bhattacharjee as the DOP does a commendable job and editor Sanyukta Kaza uses his well-shot scenes to their maximum potential to tell a story. The music by Sachin-Jigar with lyrics by Amitabh Bhattacharya is catchy but for some might be an acquired taste... full review

Thumbs down, by Akash Hegde, Deccan Herald : ...Bhediya’ fails to emotionally resonate with the viewers because of poor character development and weak chemistry between the leads. The man vs nature conflict too is resolved in a rather unspectacular fashion. Read more at: https://www.deccanherald.com/entertainment/entertainment-news/bhediya-review-an-over-the-top-varun-in-a-tame-horror-comedy-1165803.html... full review

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This page has additional observations, other than the ones noted in the main review.

Parental Guidance:

  • Violence: Animals devouring humans.
  • Language: Curse words muted.
  • Nudity & Sexual content: Varun Dhawan in his boxer shorts
  • Concept: Development verus environment and indigenous population
  • General Look and Feel: Can get scary with its sudden cuts to ferocious animals running in the forest.

Detailed Ratings (out of 5):

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Bhediya - Cast, crew, links

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Running time:
135 minutes
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Comments (2)

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Raj

Dear Meetu, extremely well written review, and left a smirk on my face with the last line.

@Raj Glad you notices ;)

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