It is still Thursday but we are already looking at the new set of releases. And with that I finished watching the new Marathi film Bali which is out of Amazon Prime. Here, I nust say that I was lucky to come across its trailer simply because Amazon Prime hasn’t been promoting a lot of the Marathi and Gujarati content, despite it being a brand new release and more so a direct OTT release. I really feel they should be promoting the new films irrespective of the language, something that SonyLiv should be doing as well. This is because there are some real gems waiting to be discovered! Coming back to Bali, the one reason that got me excited other than its lead protagonist was that the film was directed by Vishal Furia who had earlier directed one of my favourite horror films Lapachhapi and later its hindi remake Chhorii. That said, does Bali live upto the expectations, lets find out.
Story & Screenplay
Bali follows the story of a father whose life takes an unexpected turn once his son(undergoing diagnosis) starts stalking a mysterious nurse. The story instantly evokes that sense of intrigue but it also makes you skeptical if the movie is headed the conventional way with standard jump scares thrown in. The screenplay is thrilling but a slow burn. There is considerable amount of buildup where slowly things begin to unfold bit by bit. The element of mystery is also well maintained here. My criticism here was that things get slightly monotonous here and similar events are repeated. While it is intriguing to witness the mystery behind the mysterious nurse, a part of me thought the drama was slightly edging towards the conventional route. There are atleast a couple of jump scares that are terrific but because the drama is a slow burn, its impact may seem slightly less. But things take a drastic turn in the last 20 minutes. And this is when the genius of Vishal Furia sets in like it did in Lapachhapi. You are definitely caught napping as the story turns on its head culminating into a shocking final act. It was quite a satisfying end to be honest, something that I did not see it coming. The messaging at the end is also well intentioned and quite relevant. Overall, a high concept screenplay as it turns out to be!
Dialogues, Music & Direction
The dialogues are decently well penned, routine at times, hard-hitting towards the end. But this did not need to be a dialogue heavy film and hence the dialogues are fine. The BGM is outstanding and it does its bit in heightening the drama. The cinematography is extremely well done. The colour pallets used to depict horror(like the dark red at the window) is brilliant to witness. The editing is good but a crisper edit particularly in the first hour could have helped the film even better. A run time of 103 minutes could easily have been a 90 minute horror fest. Director Vishal Furia is single handedly revolutionalising the horror genre. His films are high concept films with an element of mystery and thrill infused with horror. And it is no different here. He is in excellent form!
The performances are first rate. When you have experienced actors, it really helps! Pritam Kagne and Shradha Kaul are impressive in their cameos. Samarth Jadhav as Mandaar is fabulous and such a natural onscreen. His performance is haunting. Pooja Sawant as Dr. Shenoy is brilliant particularly at the backend. Her role maybe limited but this is another excellent outing by her. Swwapnil Joshi as Shrikant is an actor par excellence and he does a phenomenal job. He holds your attention throughout and commands your attention in every scene.
Bali is a high concept horror film that definitely deserves to be watched. Available on Amazon Prime.