Home > Film Reviews > BhoolBhulaiya – The Chudail and the bong connection

BhoolBhulaiya – The Chudail and the bong connection

I hardly manage time to watch movies. I also hardly manage time and money to buy overpriced tickets in a posh multiplex and take my wife with me. So most of the time our ‘watching the movie together’ translates to ‘watching the movie together at home’, the movies being generously shared by friends and colleagues .So last weekend, luckily that being a long weekend I happened to watch BhoolBhulaiya (The maze).I admit unabashedly that I am lazy.

Now why is a Bollywood movie review finding place in my blog? Does this qualify to be a B-grade exploitation movie with poor makeup and gaudy verbal exchanges? NO. Does this movie make you feel that it had been better to waste the time and money somewhere else? NO. Does this movie have anything to do with Bengalis? Heck yes! And that is what I liked and disliked about the movie.The movie has some very good acting from Vidya Balan .I strongly believe that she is qualified for hosting the next great reality show ‘Kaun banega Chudail ki pati ?’ if she decides to sport the ‘Manjulika’ look for now and forever J Now who the hell is this  manjulika ? Please read on!!!

The movie opens with the hopeless homo sapiens aka Shiny Ahuja donning the skin of some son of a king who stays in the US and have had come to India, with his girlfriend for one month- turned wife Vidya Balan who appears to be more in her Parineeta jackets than in a dress and attitude more commensurate to an NRI born and brought up almost entirely in the US.

We have Paresh Rawal at his usual best and the male old hag called Asrani with awkwardly dyed black hair and an attitude towards comedy in true nauseating 70s style.We also have Rajpal Yadav giving us a performance we will remember him for (though he and his family might  not want to have a picture of his achivements here enlarged and put up in their drawing room :)). They all huddle up in a typical purani haveli wherein the reflective Ahuja puts up with his new desi looking NRI wife. Also he has left behind a secret lover Amisha Patel who up till his return with the wife was living in an utopia where she was the only woman eligible for an NRI.

So enough about the characters. Now to the story.It so happens like a B-grade horror movie where an evil ‘Maharaja’ boils with lust over a Bongo Babe called Manjulika who used to be the resident performing artist by profession and deeply in love with the singer of the stage called Sashidhar. Indeed unexplained what a bongo babe was doing out there(will touch that a little later) in the big bad world of the Maharaja but we can safely assume that she was an import or possibly a generous gift from some bongo king. Nonetheless we can be very sure that the king had paid a good amount of import duties on the babe and he didn’t wish to put his investment at stake. So one fine evening when the heterosexual pre-medival pair of performing artists were entertaining on stage, the Maharaja being the royal would be pain in the neck, be-headed the male performing artist (henceforth to be referred as *Beta Male*) thereby establishing himself to be the alpha male around. So the alpha male decided that since the dirty job is done, he must marry manjulika to finish it off in a master stroke. But truly living up to her bongo heritage the bereaving Manjulika committed suicide and became a chudail spitting out curses and curses in Bengali like Mojo Jojo. Some sorcerer then put a big enchanted lock on the entrance to the third floor effectively sealing out the chudail up in the attic. The chudail was living happily ever after there having a view of the scenaries outside from the penthouse until the desi looking NRI housewife took a bold initiative and opened the lock. Strange things began …… though not horrific like Evil Dead but still interesting. So after a good degree of false exorcism rituals and ‘gaowaalon’ style trash talk ,the son of king decided to call in the experts. The expert ghostbuster in this case was our good old loverboy Akshay kumar whose other calibers include groin thrusts (not pelvic thrust,mind you) and gunning down people with a gun in his groin! (for people living under a rock: please watch Om shanty Om).For once….and may be the only time I felt that akshay has acted in something meaningful other than cussing around and doing bhaigiri or showing dames his black belt on the sets and what happens when he unbuckles it at the backstages……

Anyway,what happens from that point is a roller coaster ride that halts all of a sudden with some heavy overdose of parapsychology and its role in exorcism.

But that is not what I want to discuss here.

It’s about what I liked and disliked. Bengalis are the latest fad around. First it was the tamils, then it was the Punjabi influence ,followed by the short bihari influence and now it’s the turn of the Bengalis. Nothing wrong with that though. In fact it feels great that the world now knows that there is something more to Bengalis than the stereo type “Ami tomake bhalobashi”. Speaking of which I do not know why this sentence and the word “Rosogolla” became so much associated with Bengalis. I do not believe no one in civilized india is so prosaic as to say something embarrassing like “Ami tomake bhalobashi” in a gesture of a romantic approach to anyone. There are numerous alternatives and it is considered something called as “nyaka” in Bengali. Similarly I do not know how many times I had to describe to people that Bengali sweet doesn’t mean rasogolla only. Also in some extreme case I had to painstakingly explain that Bengalis do not live on mach bhat and rosogolla.So coming back to hindi movies,this recurring theme is used and overused over the time.This film is something very fresh from that perspective.Though I believe that the voice over actress for vidya balan in the Bengali dialogues was not Bengali herself,but dialogues like “ami tor ghar motke rokto chushey khabo” or “tui aamke bondho kore rakhbi “ really feel natural.”I mean if we read any Bengali story we will come across such simple dialogues.Not something overtly ornate like “Ami tomake bhalobashi”.The only grudge I have about this experience was the strange accent of the voice over actress when she speaks in bengali.Now about the plot.The king and all as shown seemed like the mysore kings. So I would safely assume that the kings were somewhere down south.Why should a Bengali entertainer travel all the way to the south ,fall in between a love triangle and kill herself in the process ?I do not know.

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  1. January 16, 2008 at 3:42 am

    Make love, not war!

  2. May 28, 2010 at 6:39 pm

    Haha I am actually the only reply to your amazing read!?

  3. May 30, 2010 at 8:50 am

    Super awesome post. Really..

  4. shachi
    June 10, 2016 at 9:47 pm

    I think u need to watch movie again because it is setup in banaras though nothing lookslike banaras (Varanasi) …..its not in down south rather the events are happening in neighbouring state of Bengal….

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