'Bhediya' review: In Varun-Kriti starrer, Abhishek Banerjee is real star
Varun Dhawan and Kriti Sanon-starrer finally Bhediya hit the theaters on Friday, November 25. This marked the return of ace director Amar Kaushik to screens with Dinesh Vijan's horror-comedy universe after the 2018 hit film Stree. Bhediya might be a regular werewolf story but it comes with a local flavor and some strong punch lines. Here's our review.
A story of development versus conservation
Bhaskar (Dhawan) is a contractor who comes to Arunachal Pradesh with his cousin Janardhan (Abhishek Banerjee) to construct a road that cuts through jungles but promises development. In his pursuit to convince the tribals, he's helped by Jobin (Paalin Kabak) and Panda Ji (Deepak Dobriyal). But when one evening Bhaskar gets bitten by a wolf, he's taken to Dr. Anika (Kriti Sanon), a vet.
The twist of a local folklore
Things soon begin to change for Bhaskar when he realizes that his body is changing and that he has some wolf traits in him. While Dr. Anika is secretly treating him, a contractor is killed and rumors of a'vishanu (werewolf) take over the village. The story then begins to unfold showing how local folklore is often forgotten under the shadow of science.
Movie is hilarious but barely frightening
Although Bhediya is a horror-comedy by genre, it will not make you jump from your seats, as Stree did. Kaushik has lost on probably the most important element, horror. However, Bhediya does make you laugh every now and then with well-written dialogues and punch lines. The heart and soul of the film truly lie in its well-timed dialogues.
Film delivers important messages packed in a fantasy world
While Stree was about witchcraft, Bhediya is based on werewolves. Most importantly, it addresses two issues—one is how in the name of development, jungles are being destroyed, and the second is about Northeast citizens being treated as outsiders in India. Kabak's dialogue: Pura North East Shaolin Temple hai tumhare liye (The whole of North East is Shaolin temple for you) will hit you hard.
Unlike 'Brahmastra,' 'Bhediya's VFX is more realistic
Vijan recently said that the VFX for Bhediya was done by the same team which did it for The Jungle Book. His tall claims that the film's graphics will leave the audience impressed stand true. Compared to Brahmastra, Bhediya doesn't run high on VFX but its graphics are far more realistic. One of the highlights is the transition of Dhawan from human to wolf-man.
Dhawan delivers performance that is out of his comfort zone
With Bhediya, Dhawan clearly has stepped out of his comfort zone to deliver a fine performance. On the other hand, even though Sanon's role is an important one, her screen presence is limited. The only off-factor about her character was the hairstyle, which the makers could have really let go of. And if you're expecting their chemistry like Dilwale, this film is not that!
While Banerjee has outperformed everyone, Dobriyal has been wasted
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.
Should you buy a ticket for 'Bhediya'?
Kaushik has done a fine job with the third part of the horror-comedy universe. From its bone-tickling dialogues to the impressive cinematography that captures the beauty of Arunachal Pradesh, Bhediya does make it a one-time watch. But most importantly, the film shows how Indian movies are finally growing strong with the VFX. Verdict: It deserves 3/5 stars, an extra only for the graphics.