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13 Questions That The Netflix Film Bulbbul Got Me Thinking About… Any Answers?

Posted: July 31, 2020

While the Netflix film Bulbbul is set in 1880-1900, more than 100 years later women’s situation seems only marginally better everywhere. Why?

I find it difficult to follow web series. It is a task to keep watching season after season, being left on a cliff-hanger in a season finale, and remembering the previous one when a new season hits. I infinitely more prefer movies, and OTT has made it possible for short movies to be made.

So, when someone recommended Bulbbul to me,  I jumped at the chance. I had seen the trailer; the horror element interested me further. So, we watched the flick one night along with dinner.

*Spoilers alert

Not a ‘review’, but some thoughts

This is not my ‘review’ of the movie. This is a compilation of all the thoughts that came into my mind during and after the movie. I thought about the different aspects of the movie for a long time later, unable to fall asleep.

How can a husband thrash his wife in such a way that all the bones in her feet and leg get smashed and her feet get mangled? (The question morphed in my mind to – how can anyone thrash another in such a way?)

How does a husband trust other people more than his own wife? (This goes vice versa too.)

How does a mentally challenged man even know that rape can control a woman, commits this heinous act?

How do women condone oppression & patriarchy towards their ilk? (I have always believed women themselves add fuel to this hateful fire. Why do we keep quiet? Why do we ask our fellow women to keep quiet? Why do we believe it is okay to be oppressed? That it is our ‘destiny’? Why do women feel it is okay to be tied down?)

More importantly, why do women pull other women down if their own conditions are unsavoury? (Actually, this holds true for men too. “If I can’t get it, nobody else should.” I have seen this in action.)

How do people jump to conclusions without even ‘trying’ to ascertain the truth?

How do literate folks behave in a primitive manner? (With every passing day, the distinction between education and literacy becomes clearer in my mind.)

What goes on in the minds of predatory men/ women? How do they justify this behaviour in their own minds?

How did the 19-20th century never realize just how wrong child marriages were? (Apology for sounding idealistic but I find thought processes fascinating.)

Why are intergender friendships (still) viewed with suspicion?

If a man stands up for a woman (or womankind in general), why is it assumed he has sinister designs? Or worse, that he is effeminate?

However, I did have a discord with the movie. Why are we so keen to label women – either a goddess or a witch? This trope made its way into the movie too.

Another disturbing thought that came to me was – why does a woman have to be broken before she finds her footing? Why can’t we have women who are strong without undergoing any horrors? Why does every strong woman need a backstory? (This extends to men too. In a lot of reality shows, many participants have a sob story. Why can’t we have competitions based on merit/ talent rather than backgrounds/ sympathy factor?)

Now to the less pressing topics –

How does one live alone in a haveli like that?

That red moon!

The old school Bengali look will always remain a favourite for me.

How does a playful character still manage to evoke terror?

That background score!

The protagonist, Tripti Dimri, is brilliant both in acting and looks. She plays the innocent girl and the crazed woman with equal elan. She looks beautiful in her thakurain avatar.

In a nutshell, while this movie is set in 1880-1900, more than 100 years later, women’s situation seems only marginally better. But then, here’s to strong women! Unchaining themselves and rising! May our tribe increase…

First published here.

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There is so much about me. Foodie. Introvert. Opinionated. Photogenic. Pragmatic. Receptive. Walker. Worrier. Blogger.

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