“If you want to marry into royalty, you must pay a royal price.” These chilling words – spoken by an older sister-in-law to the young lead character in Bulbbul just after she is unspeakably brutalised – define the horror of Indian patriarchal society more than its pet storytelling motif of the ‘chudail’ (witch) ever could. In the new horror drama Bulbbul on Netflix, director Anvita Dutt takes on this folklore of the female demon but gives a feminist twist.After a long career as dialogue writer, screenplay writer, storywriter and lyricist in peppy mainstream Bollywood romances, Anvita’s directorial debut goes headlong into dark subjects – child marriage, rape, domestic violence and sex slavery.“As a commissioned writer, you write to the director’s brief and try to deliver to their vision. But when I decided to direct my own film, I worked on a genre of my own choice – on the kind of story that I wanted to tell – basically a fantastical tale talking about real pain,” she explains.Close Starring Tripti Dimri, Rahul Bose and Paoli Dam, Anvita says she had always planned the film for an OTT release. Having a producer and platform that allowed complete freedom to just do… Read full this story
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