Director: Amar Kaushik
Form: Varun Dhawan, Kriti Sanon
While visiting Arunachal Pradesh for forest road project, Bhaskar (Varun Dhawan) is bitten by a wolf on a special but magical night that happens once a year. Due to the bite, he develops the features of a wolf and can also transform into a werewolf in certain cases. He is accompanied by Anika (Criti Sanon), Panda (Deepak Dobriyal), Janardhan (Abhishek Banerjee) and Jomin (Paalin Karaak) on this journey to discover the animal in him. What is the purpose of his transformation into a werewolf? What will happen with the forest road project? How do Anika, Panda, Janardhan and Jomin react to his transformation? All questions are answered in Bhediya.
Bhediya has a new thought, something that has not been seen before in Hindi cinema. The vision of creating a creature comedy translates well on screen thanks to the polished visual effects, resulting in some great cinematic shots. It’s one of the best visual effects for a Hindi movie, not in scale but in technical terms. The 3D also enhances the experience, especially the wolf sequences. The movie rides on some really funny jokes, in the first half and the first few frames in the post-intermission scenes. The interactions of Varun Dhawan, Abhishek Banerjee, Deepak Dobriyal and Paalin Karaak often spark laughter. The same can be said of the trio’s first few encounters with the werewolf. Big credit to the dialogue writer for those one-liners.
Bhediya also works due to the quick ability of Amar and his writer, Niren Bhatt, to spread a message without following a preaching path. The post-credits scene is a joke and will make you leave the room with a smile. The music sets the mood of Bhediya and lends itself beautifully to the world of Arunachal Pradesh.
What’s not working?
Bhediya’s core idea had enough potential to translate into something much bigger, especially in the second half, but the team isn’t exactly able to take the conflict to the next level in terms of execution. The director and writer take too long to give the arc of redemption to Bhaskar, making you not choose the protagonist for much of the story. The core human-human conflict is not well established, while the romantic song fails to spark that interest. The pre-climax episode is a bit tedious and while the climax is a gutsy and out-of-box effort, it doesn’t exactly follow the conventional route of satisfying everyone.
Bhediya ticks all the boxes in terms of performance. Varun Dhawan carries the film on his shoulders and is simply fantastic in the transformation scenes. He’s cracked the formula of delivering some one-liners with conviction and also does well in the film’s dramatic moments. Kriti Sanon has limited screen time, but her character adds a new element to this story as the story progresses. Abhishek Banerjee is hilarious and ups the pace of the movie with his dialogues. Paalin Kabak gets his moment to shine in the second half, while Deepak Dobriyal is reliable as Panda. Saurabh Shukla is not given much space in the story. Rajkummar Rao and Aparshakti Khurana’s cameo towards the finale is a huge surprise that leaves you wanting more.
Bhediya mainly rides on the power of jokes, visual effects and performances, but warranted greater conflict regarding a hero and villain in the second half. Despite the flaws, it is a fairly entertaining watch for young people and families who want to experience something unique on the big screen of the Hindi film industry.