By Yashasvi Chaurasia
The story of Bulbbul offers a a glimpse of a bygone Bengali era that is a visual delight. It leaves one numb many a times in its storytelling as it uncovers harsh truths of a "big mansion with big secrets." The movie touches upon some relevant social issues and presents dark realities of a patriarchal society where gender abuse is rampant - be it in child marriage, domestic violence, rape, widowhood or child abuse.
If you ask me, what I loved most was the haunting depiction of silence in the film. Bulbul is portrayed as reticent but smirking. I felt her subtle pauses said so much about her unheard story. The song "kolonkini radha" in the backdrop aptly depicted her predicament as a woman who has always been shamed for summoning to her desires and love.
Bulbbul's story shows that beautiful sarees, jewellery and "bicchua" symbolic of feminine beauty and womanly pleasures are nothing but a bargain in disguise to control women, thier desires, sexuality, power and thier freedom.
This is a fable of a woman's life in a man's world where her identity is scarred and pride is torn apart under the blood soaked blankets of shame. Here a veil covers the dark secret and a "keep quiet" zeitgeist masks reality.
The use of a blurred dichotomy between a Goddess and Witch is a thought provoking take, as often when women revolt against their patriarchal chains of shame for their right to break free or to seek justice, they are seen as chaotic, mad & demonic witches. But the paradox is, in a society like our's even Goddesses are forced to be the same!