There is just one Thakur-o ka Ghar in West Bengal – Jorasanko’s Thakur Bari – the place the Nobel laureate poet, Rabindranath Tagore, was born in 1861. In Netflix’s new providing Bulbbul, debutante director, Anvita Dutt, takes you again to a darkish and neo-classical model of that Thakur Bari, as she introduces her audiences to the ladies in Tagore’s life and his tales, all rolled into one character — Bulbbul.
Nonetheless, make no mistake. Dutt’s movie is just not one other retelling of Tagore’s previous tales, neither is it an addition to the checklist of movies based mostly on the poet’s life, however the similarities and influences of Tagore’s love life on Dutt’s script is tough to overlook.
To start with, on the coronary heart of the movie is the story of a kid bride, Bulbbul (Tripti Dimri), who finds compassion and camaraderie together with her brother-in-law, Satya (Avinash Tiwary) as a result of he’s a lot nearer to her personal age than her new husband, Bade Thakur (Rahul Bose) who appears to be at the least a few many years older.
Bulbbul and Satya quickly turn out to be shut, sharing ghost tales, and writing them collectively, they develop up into their teen years and all is effectively till Bade Thakur suspects that there’s a romantic relationship brewing between the 2. He rapidly sends Satya off to London for additional research, in order that they are often separated.
Anybody who has ever learn Rabindranath Tagore and his sister-in-law Kadambari Devi’s love story will let you know that the resemblance between Bulbbul and Kadambari’s tales are uncanny.
Very similar to Kadambari Devi, Bulbbul too is from a poor household and is married into the Takur family actually younger. Within the case of Kadambari Devi, she grew to become Jyotirindranath Tagore’s (Rabindranath Tagore’s elder brother) bride on the age of 9, and was usually handled as an outcast, due to her humble origins. Throughout these days, Rabindranath Tagore grew to become Kadambari’s playmate and buddy, and as they grew, their relationship turned romantic.
In Bulbbul, we see Satya and Bulbbul discussing that they’d rework a wing of their haveli right into a author’s retreat, and paint it blue, however that by no means actually occurs as a result of Satya is distributed off to London which leaves Bulbbul in agonizing ache and distress. Nonetheless, in Kadambari Devi’s life, she did rework the terrace of Thakur Bari (the residence of the Tagores) right into a rooftop backyard – Nandan Kanon — the place literary milieus and salons had been held ceaselessly, throughout which Tagore recited his poems within the presence of literary stalwarts of Bengal. Kadambari Devi not solely organized these gatherings but in addition participated in them freely, which wasn’t a norm again within the day as a lady’s participation in such occasions had been frowned upon.
Very similar to Satya, Rabindranath Tagore too was despatched off to England due to his closeness with Kadambari Devi, which left her devastated. It was, nonetheless, Tagore’s father Debendranath Tagore, who took the choice of sending him away, not his brother Jyotirindranath Tagore.
Nonetheless, Bade Thakur of Bulbbul, performed with a pitch-perfect depth by Rahul Bose did have some similarities with Jyotirindranath Tagore, within the sense that each these males have a relationship with their sister-in-law. However, whereas Bade Thakur is proven because the egotistical and chauvinistic wife-beater, Jyotirindranath Tagore is alleged to be no such factor. He was extraordinarily liberal and inspired Kadambari to study music, and literature in addition to horse driving, and regardless of the buzzing rumors of the connection of Kadambari and Rabindranath Tagore, he by no means explicitly questioned her about it. As a substitute, it’s usually mentioned that on the time he was concerned in a clandestine affair with a ravishing theatre actress, Nati Binodini.
Unsurprisingly, Paoli Dam, who performs the position of Bade Thakur’s sister-in-law in Bulbbul can also be referred to as Binodini within the movie. Binodini finally loses her husband Mahendra (the dual brother of Bade Thakur), and turns into a widow, like one other well-known Tagore feminine character by the identical title in his story, Chokher Bali, which was performed by Aishwarya Rai in Rituparno Ghosh’s 2003 movie by the identical title.
Bulbbul additionally offers a giant nod to Noshtonirh, the quick novella that Tagore wrote, which was later made into a movie by Satyajit Ray, titled Charulata. That Novella too, was based mostly on the Rabindranath Tagore-Kadambari’s Devi relationship.
One other unusual coincidence, if in any respect it’s a coincidence, is that Tagore had nicknamed his beloved Kadambari, ‘Hecate’ after the Greek Goddess of magic, the moon and the night time, and of witchcraft and ghosts, and necromancy. In the event you watch Bulbbul (which you need to), you will notice how the churel within the movie is a manifestation of all of these issues.
Tagore’s sister-in-law, Kadambari Devi had taken her personal life, Bulbbul too meets dying in some sense, however she transmogrifies into one thing new and powerful after that. All similarities to Tagore tales finish right here, as Dutt’s creativeness takes flight below a blood moon, unfolding a fantastical feminist story.
In barely over a one-and-a-half-hour length, Bulbbul adjustments from an opinion much less, docile, subservient woman to a robust, assured, and justice delivering Badi Thakurain, who’s not a sufferer of circumstances. There’s a lot to unpack on this tight movie, however a very powerful factor that it makes apparent by the half time is that the actual villain of the movie is just not the churel, however patriarchy.
The second Satya returns from Bidesh, he’s instantly intimidated by an empowered Bulbbul, who’s now the top of the haveli. He rapidly assumes, that simply because he’s the one man in the home, he’ll routinely overtake her, because the decision-maker. He additionally disapproves of Bulbbul’s friendship together with her physician (Parambrata Chatterjee), and suspects that they’ve a romantic relationship, and tells her that he’s solely prepared to miss her transgressions if she guarantees to surrender such habits as whether it is for him to resolve and forgive. All these items level fantastically on the systematic patriarchy, which was as existent within the early 1900s as it’s now.
Satya can also be satisfied that there isn’t any churel, however all of the killings are the work of a person. When he says so to Bulbbul, she playfully retorts, “Koi aurat bhi toh ho sakti hai’, however he doesn’t even register it, as a result of how can a lady (who in keeping with him are of very delicate sensibilities) commit such gory crimes?
The ‘chudail’ on this movie is a concoction of many Indian folklores on demon girls, with ft turned backward, and Dakini like fangs. However she can also be a form soul in a ravishing girl’s physique who believes in justice and would not tolerate discrimination or violence towards girls. That’s the reason Bulbbul is just not a horror movie, it’s a feminist fairy story.