Bulbul Can Sing (2019) review [Full Review]
For a Non-Spoiler Review of Bulbul Can Sing, click here.
Violence: 10% Nudity showcased? : No Slangs : 0%
Family/Adult: Family (13+) Genre: Social Issues, Drama Short verdict: Experience the beautiful yet tragic tale of an Assamese girl. Watch it now. It's worth it.
My overall score: 8.9⭐/10 ⚈⚈⚈WARNING: SPOILERS AHEAD⚈⚈⚈
Bulbul Can Sing is a beautiful and emotional movie. Rima Das directed it excellently. Her cinematography is beautiful and marvellous to look at. She has a way of telling the hidden meanings through her cinematic shots. Let's decode one by one:
🌟 Director Rima Das has a unique way of portraying the social issues facing by women in a daily life. Several instances can be found in the movie.
• One such instance is when the movie begins with Arnali Das (Bulbul) relaxing with a flower on her chest and her two best friends: Bonita Thakuriya (Bonny) and Manoranjan Das (Suman) sitting up on a tree and tying the rope to make a wooden swing. Bulbul then starts to swing by standing over the swing. Suman noticing Bulbul's hair let down and complains about it to her and says that she is beautiful due to which she might be an easy target for ghosts which will catch her. [The message is deep. The superstitious beliefs that are present in the society holds back the women from moving forward. The society thinks that women are bound to be tied like a knot and not to flow.]
• Also when going for school, the three of them (Bulbul, Bonny and Suman) takes an auto. They sits at the auto and starts talking at the top of their voice. A male passenger sitting before them starts staring at them. [The director showcased another flaw of the society where the society wants women to have composure and not to be too loud in presenting her thoughts.]
• A male teacher touching a female student by misusing his authority over her.
🌟 Rima Das also addressed the social issues facing by transgenders. In this movie, the premature stage of figuring out his gender is mainly focused. Manoranjan Das (Suman) acted brilliantly. It is painful to see how the society treats a boy who acts like a girl, stay with girls, have friends only with girls. Rima also pointed out the bullying culture in her movie. Even the little boys who is less than Suman's age teases him and bullies him. There is also a scene when Suman wants to dance and the little boys wants to pull his dhoti down. Even when he wants to catch fish, the elder boys teases him that he will never be able to catch fish and instead should return to his home and cook.
🌟 Rima Das in this movie also showcased teenage romance in a village and society's beliefs about it. The teenage or pre-mature romance is the purest form of love a youth experiences. It is unfiltered and raw and pure. In this movie, Parag, her schoolmate, who also dreams of publishing his own book of poetry falls in love with nature-loving singer, Bulbul. Parag writes a beautiful poetry for her. She later reads and blushes.
But the judgements of society is passed here as well. Even Bulbul's own little brother admonishes her as he finds the poetry that Parag has written for her.
In a later scene, when the local people finds Parag, Bulbul, Bonny and Bonny's boyfriend in a place, the people thrashed them, humiliated them and threatened them. According to the society, it is against their culture to love someone before marriage.
Even the school threatens to suspend them. Bulbul even goes through a ritual process organized by their family where according to them, some ghost might have led them to such evil doings [loving someone at such age is shown here as evil doing].
Unfortunately, the society's behind-the-back talks took a heavy toll on Bonny and she takes her own life by jumping into the pond. Also, the relationship breaks between Parag and Bulbul.
Bulbul Can Sing : Movie Title Explained
Why Bulbul Can Sing and not some other title? Rima Das could've easily choose other title for the movie as there are topics like friendship, social issues, depression that is shown in the movie but she chose the former because however diverse the story may seem, the plot surrounds itself around Bulbul. It is shown in many instances that Bulbul gets nervous whenever she is asked to sing before public. When the singing teacher asked her to sing, she couldn't sing. Even in the cultural competition, she is asked to stay back in the group. Also, it is shown that when a manager of a certain choir came to their village, the manager or the head refuses Bulbul's father's request to take her in the choir. The manager simply replies that she needs more practice. Bulbul's singing has been used in this movie as both literally and metaphorically. Metaphorically, it is shown that she feels pressurized by society's superstitions and illogical beliefs. She gets dominated and doesn't seem to be herself when society asks her to sing or here in this case follow according to society's dictations. However, she could sing when she is completely alone and no one is there to watch her and distracts her. She becomes one with the nature and immerses in it. She sings with the beats of rain touching her skin. She sings with the gentle breeze standing alone in the field. She becomes free and the society can neither see her nor stop her. She is on her own now. Bulbul Can Sing ENDING EXPLAINED
After the tragic incident, Bulbul don't talk with her friends. The friendship is broken as can be understood from the scene where Manoranjan Das (Suman) is waiting for the auto alone and without taking the auto to go to school, he returns back all alone. Even the broken swing is an indication of the broken friendship.
Even Bulbul lost her faith in love. When Parag waits for Bulbul, Suman shows up and tells him that she doesn't want to meet him because she has forgotten him.
Later, she is seen standing alone and then, she starts singing. [This shows that when she is alone and immerses herself with the nature, none can stop her from singing. She will sing and sing and sing. She doesn't care about anyone and all the superstitious beliefs. (note how her hair is not tied and is let down)]
Next scene, she is seen with Bonny's mother. Bulbul is helping Bonny's mother. She is filling the void left by Bonny and ,in turn, it is seen that Bonny's mother is taking care of Bulbul as if she is her own child. She ties Bulbul's hair and tells her not to listen to the society and should follow what her heart tells her to do.
Both Bulbul and Bonny's mother is looking at the sunset and enjoys the breeze. A little later they walks away.[This depicts that all the fear and negative thoughts are left behind as the sun goes down. They are ready to face the real world and face the challenges together.]
Available on: NETFLIX (click here to watch)
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