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'Thodelu' Movie Review
Cast: Varun Dhawan, Kriti Sanon, Deepak Dobriyal, Paalin Kabak, Abhishek Banerjee, Saurabh Shukla, Dosam Beyong, Madang Pal and others.
Music: Sachin - Jigar
Cinematography: Jishnu Bhattacharjee
Producer: Dinesh Vijan
Writer: Niren Bhatt
Direction: Amar Kaushik
After a huge promotional campaign, 'Bhediya' has finally hit the screens today. Starring handsome hero Varun Dhawan in the lead, this movie has tall beauty Kriti Sanon romancing him. Touted to be a horror-comedy, the expectations on the movie increased heavily after the trailer and the catchy songs. Directed by Amar Kaushik, renowned banner 'Geetha Arts' released this movie in Telugu with a title 'Thodelu'. Let us dive into the review to find out how the movie is.
Bhaskar (Varun Dhawan) is a contractor who was assigned the task of building a road through the jungle in Ziro. In need of money, he takes up the contract and tries to convince the locals. They warn him not to mess with the nature but Bhaskar proceeds along with his friends Panda Ji (Deepak Dobriyal) and Jobin (Paalin Kabaak). Suddenly, he gets bitten by the wolf and is taken to the local veterinarian Anika (Kriti Sanon). She treats him and they start bonding but Bhaskar starts transforming into a wolf during full moon night. How Bhaskar and his friends handle this situation with the help of Anika forms the rest of the story.
We regularly see people turning into snakes in Indian films and TV serials. These kinds of fantasy movies used to be regular in Indian cinema but they went absent in recent times. After a long time, the team of 'Bhediya' (dubbed as 'Thodelu' in Telugu) has arrived with the story of a man who turns into a wolf. Taking inspiration from a few Hollywood projects like 'Vampire Dairies' and 'Twilight' movie series, they came up with this story and tried to add ingredients that suit the Indian movie lover.
Touted to be a horror comedy, 'Bhediya' succeeds in the entertainment department. Despite some jokes crossing the line and below the belt, it is the fun part that keeps the movie ticking. The comedy the friends' gang generates doesn't make you feel bored. With Kriti Sanon and her romantic portions in the mix added with a bit of suspense and drama, the movie runs at a decent pace in the first half. The actors who played the hero's friends were at the top of their game and stole the show completely.
Though we know where the movie is heading from the beginning, 'Bhediya' keeps you interested. While the fun continues in the second half too, things get a bit predictable and starts overstaying its welcome especially during the climax. The pace slows down and the becomes a bit too preachy at times. The messaging gets a bit too much thought what they said is true. On the whole, the movie makes for a decent watch with a lot of laughs, good performances and technical prowess. Had the writing been a bit gripping during the second half, the movie would have been a perfect entertainer.
Varun Dhawan has a charming screen presence and has good comedy timing. He uses it to the maximum effect which helps the proceedings a lot. His action during the transformation scenes are quite good and he has shown ample chemistry with the actors who played the roles of friends. His energy and performance during the fun scenes is fantastic and did a decent job with emotional sequences too.
Kriti Sanon looks beautiful despite the different look she sports in this film. She shares a great chemistry with Varun and did very well within the limited screen time she was given. She was too glamorous in the 'Thumkeswari' song. Abhishek Banerjee stole the show as hero's friend in the movie. He brings the house down with his one-liners and perfect timing. He got the best scenes and lights up the screen every time.
Paalik Kabaak does a good job in both comedy as well as drama. He got a full-length role too. Though his character leaves a lot to be desired, Deepak Dobriyal pulls it quite convincingly and manages to make his mark. Shaurabh Shukla got a small role and the rest of the cast were apt.
Music by Sachin-Jigar jells well into the story. The songs as well as background music enhanced the proceedings a lot. The visuals are fantastic and the beauty of North East has been captured pretty well. The VFX used during the transformation scenes are well executed. The production values are top-notch and production design is quite artistic too.
Amar Kaushik as a director did a good job. The movie scores on the comedy front while they never emphasized heavily on the horror part. He tries to say too many things in this movie starting from comedy, horror, situation in North East, racism, how people are stereotyped, the ill effects of messing with nature and many more. This affects the movie, especially in the second half. This makes you grow a bit impatient but the movie manages to give a decent viewing experience throughout.
Verdict: Decent Fun Film With A Strong Message At The End!