It is premiere Friday and like the last two weeks, here is another early bird review of the film, Bhonsle that has premiered on The Sony Liv app. And to be honest, I just got lucky. I had logged in to watch and review another film(and Bhonsle was to be reviewed on Saturday). But the movie was out a night before, and Thank God for that. So let us jump in to the review, Bhonsle worth it or not…lets find out.
Bhonsle is the story of a retired Maharashtrian police constable who befriends a brother-sister duo from Bihar. Lets just mention this much as the story is layered and touches upon a host of other issues other than the migrant one that is mentioned. The screenplay is a slowburn but so well written. For example, the main character Bhonsle being a man of few words. Now this has a huge impact rather than a character whose motives would be highlighted through dialogues. There are ample esoteric images that are open to interpretation(that is right, no spoon feeding here) that oddly convey the mood(or mental state) of a character or that of the surroundings. And the proceedings get murky towards the latter half and end in a poetic yet dark and unsettling end. The dialogues are like the ones we use in our routine lives. The BGM is quite good. A special mention to the cinematography(particularly the 4 minute climactic sequence) which is simply outstanding. Director Devashish Makhija who had directed the twisted ‘Ajji'(highly recommended and available on Netflix) and the excellent short ‘Tandav’ just shows how good he is at his craft. Excellent style of story telling that culminates in a twisted end just displays the genius that he is!
Abhishek Banerjee in a cameo as Rajinder is such a natural. He is as effortless as ever! Virat Vaibhav as the little kid is impressive in his debut outing. Ipshita Chakraborty Singh as Sita, the migrant, is the find here. Her little and subtle moments are filled with innocence that ultimately leave a lasting impact. And the fate of her character simply breaks you. Santosh Juvekar as Vilas is outstanding and his performance is also worth taking notice(particularly being at the opposite side of the spectrum). And Manoj Bajpayee as Bhonsle in another acting masterclass! When you have minimal dialogues, it is difficult for an actor to express and only the ones with control over their craft can actually sail through. He does and how! He holds onto each pulse of his character, that also requires some amount of physicality from him(as he plays a 60 year old).
Bhonsle(ready since 2018) has already travelled the world in multiple festivals(Cannes, MAMI, Busan) yet it is sad that it did not have any buyers back home. But the least you can do is watch it now! It is a masterpiece and storytelling of the highest order. Available on The Sony Liv application and Highly Highly Recommended! Do not miss this one!