Bulbbul is now streaming on Netflix

Today unlike the past having faced suppression and everyday sexism, women have fought against the systemic oppressive forces. Their fate has led them to sacrifice their life almost seeming that they have lost the battle. But each of their efforts is stepping stones to break open the imprisoning forces. Right from the efforts of Baby Kamble to Laxmi Agarwal and the like-minded people who strive to date.

Baby Kamble though a Dalit woman, decided to place her right foot forward and wrote her story in Jina Amucha (English Translation: The Prisons We Broke). Laxmi Agarwal, an acid attack survivor, didn’t let her dreams shattered after her beauty scarred forever. We have many courageous women who fought bravely but lost their lives in the process. That should only encourage us and give us examples of heroic fearlessness. Bulbbul, directed by Anvita Dutt, is a supernatural horror film that is telling a woman’s story of resistance.

High On Films in collaboration with Avanté


In Jina Amucha, Baby Kamble narrates the superstitious beliefs that the Mahar community in Maharashtra inculcated. She testifies to the fact that it is the Hindu Caste system that led to the discrimination of groups of people, especially the women. Her attempts were to emancipate the Dalit women from sick ideologies and belief systems.


During the month of Ashadh, the man or the eldest son is offered, as vaghya or potraja. The women had to bathe the young boy child in preparation for this ritual. Despite the slogging during the ritual bath and doing the household chores, the women would be confined to the house. Or if they are present at the ceremony, interestingly, the women would be possessed by a spirit. She would then be predicting, screaming, and complaining. Bulbbul, too, has a woman who is possessed. Right from the beginning of the movie till the end. Only, in Bulbbul, the character Bulbbul (Tripti Dimri) has a purpose, that is, to take revenge.

Bulbbul marries an older man Indranil (Rahul Bose) at a very young age, in the year 1881 in Bengal Presidency. Indranil loves her, but cannot tolerate her hideouts with his younger brother, Satya (Avinash Tiwary). Indranil beats her till her feet get injured, and she is unable to walk. Indranil’s specially challenged twin brother Mahendra rapes her when confined to the bed. From then on starts the drama of the supernatural. The supernatural makes the best of Bulbbul taking revenge from all those men who have been responsible for causing pain to women.

Baby Kamble bears witness to the fact that women adhered to every word that Dr. Ambedkar said and tried to liberate the Dalit community or women at large. From educating the girl child to getting rid of the oppressive religion, they left no stone unturned. But the history written by men, tells us otherwise. Bulbbul remains restricted to the manor, of which, she might be the queen, but of her body, she was not. Men of her time decided and altered her desires, aspirations, and fate.

Bulbbul had to be possessed to take revenge or mete out justice to herself. Binodini (Paoli Dam), in her spectacular acting, presented the women who perpetuate patriarchy. Jealousy and greed brews in her mind and heart. It was at her word that Indranil doubted Bulbbul. There is a scene where Binodini tries to allure Bulbbul to stay back with her and try out the jewellery. Binodini makes it known that she married Mahendra because of the entitlement of wealth after marriage. It is she who reiterates several times until it becomes unbearable to Bulbbul to remain silent.


It is unfortunate that the movie only resorted to revenge. And towards the end, an unsatisfactory addition of Satya’s changed mindset. He leaves the manor abandoned, having said that, he doesn’t want to become like his brother Indranil. Although, accepting that he is already, unfortunately, becomes one. The superstitious beliefs and earlier customs need a check. Education of everyone, irrespective of gender, must be our top priority. Awareness of how vital it is to live a fruitful life, alongside allowing others to live one, must be made.


Baby Kamble accepts that it is not an easy task to provide education for all and break free from superstitions. The women had to be visionaries as to plan on educating not their children alone, but others as well. Besides, men are troubled by their egos, prestige, pleasure, and honor. Perhaps except Bulbbul in the movie, none of the other women fit into this bracket of striving to emancipate women. Or shall I say that there is less representation of women of her kind in the movie?

Nevertheless, Bulbbul’s attempt alone helps break the prisons built around women. Watching cinema like ‘Sant Tukaram’ and ‘Sati Savitri’ influenced Baby Kamble to brave storms. Hope Bulbbul helps our souls to sing together with it melodiously and join in the victorious dance on the trees.



Bulbbul Links – IMDb

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