Bhediya review: A strong cautionary tale on the importance of environment

Director Aamir Kaushik’s perfect blend of horror and comedy along with some top-notch performances make this a worthy howl.

ByPrabhatha Rigobertha

Published:Nov 26, 2022

Bhediya movie review
Varun is brilliant, while Kriti gets relegated to the background!

Bhediya (Hindi)

  • Cast: Varun Dhawan, Abhishek Benarjee, Deepak Dobriyal, Paalin Kabak, and Kriti Sanon
  • Director: Aamir Kaushik
  • Producer: Dinesh Vijan
  • Music: Sachin-Jigar
  • Runtime: 2 hours and 36 minutes

Aamir Kaushik is known for his wacky sense of storytelling: his previous films Stree and Bala are examples.

Stree was based on the folk tale, “Oh Woman Come Tomorrow”. He gave it a feminist touch, elevating the film from the usual horror-comedy genre.

In Bala, Kaushik used humour to convey an important message on baldness and societal standards of beauty.

With Bhediya, Kaushik once again scripts a folk tale with a strong message. This time, the setting is Arunachal Pradesh.

In Bhediya, he focuses his lens on how progress should not be at the cost of the environment. There is also a commentary on how the northeast people are alienated.

These are heavy themes but Kaushik makes them non-preachy through his storytelling.

The plot of Bhediya is centred on a small-time contractor Bhaskar (Varun Dhawan). He gets the opportunity of a lifetime when he is given a road-construction contract inside the dense forests of Ziro in Arunachal Pradesh.

This is his biggest project. But he is aware that this project will destroy the environment.

He also knows that the project would not benefit the local population. Still, he wants to continue the work for the benefits it brings.

His cousin Janardan (Abhishek Banerjee) accompanies him. He has a local friend, Jomin (Paalin Kabak).

kriti sanon and varun dhawan

Kriti Sanon and Varun Dhawan in ‘Bhediya’. (MaddockFilms/Twitter)

Deepak Dobriyal plays sub-contractor Panda. One night, Bhaskar is stranded in the jungle and is bitten by a bhediya (wolf).

Veterinary doctor Anki (Kriti Sanon with a weird hairstyle) provides him first-aid.

However, things start getting worse for Bhaskar because he was bitten by a supernatural wolf. As a result, he too gets some supernatural powers now.

On the other hand, certain people associated with this controversial project are getting killed due to a particular animal.

The rest of the story is about how this mystery is solved and how Bhaskar manages to overcome his inner conflict. This is the synopsis of Bhediya.

Terrific visual effects

varun bhediya

The visual effects in Varun Dhawan-starrer ‘Bhediya’ are impressive. (Twitter)

The best thing about the movie is how the director balances horror and comedy.

The scenes of Varun transforming into a werewolf at night will give goosebumps to the audience, more so if you are watching it in 3D.

The background music by Sachin-Jigar coupled with the cinematography of Jishnu Bhattacharjee heightens the impact of these scenes.

The computer-generated ‘wolf effects’ are in perfect sync with the nature of the film. The hard work that has gone behind the scenes is evident.

Comedy is a mixed bag

Abhishek Benerjee mostly handles the comedy part. He is a real hoot and often leaves the audience in splits.

Varun’s camaraderie with both Abhishek Benerjee and Paalin Kabak gives the film some of its best moments.

abhishek banerjee bhediya

Abhishek Banerjee, Paalin Kabak and Varun. (MaddockFilms/Twitter)

Paalin Kabak also stands on his own, particularly in the scene where he expresses his frustration about the stereotypes associated with northeastern people.

Deepak Dobriyal is fun to watch.

But some of the jokes are rather in bad taste. A case in point is the scene where Varun’s bum becomes a point of discussion; there is also some unnecessary toilet humour which dragged quite a bit.

There are also some avoidable racist jokes.

Varun is brilliant, Kriti is underused

Another major win for the film is how the character of Varun has been designed coupled with the actor’s terrific performance.

Bhaskar is someone who starts with an indifferent attitude towards nature. Becoming rich is his only ambition. However, all these changes after he gets bitten by the supernatural wolf.

The audiences get to see him going through a lot of internal conflicts and eventually changing for the better.

kriti sanon in bhediya

Kriti Sanon in Aamir Kaushik’s ‘Bhediya’. (kritisanon/Twitter)

Varun captures all these shades meticulously. He also deserves huge credit for the physical transformation that he goes through when the wolf takes over.

Kriti Sanon has a mysterious presence much like Shraddha Kapoor in Stree. And just like Shraddha, Kriti is largely relegated to the background except for the pre-climax twist.

It has a good emotional touch. However, the impact would have been more if Kriti was better used it from the beginning. Her romance with Varun is rather half-baked.

Sachin-Jigar’s music was better in Stree than in this film but they more than make it up with their background score.

Rajkumar Rao and Aparshakti Khuranna make a surprise appearance, in the end, leaving the audiences curious about a possible crossover film between Bhediya and Stree in future.