The Varun Dhawan, Kriti Sanon-starrer creature comedy holds promise for its visual appeal and desi humour.
By Mayur Lookhar
The much-awaited trailer of Bhediya  was launched today [19 October] in Mumbai. It’s a maiden creature comedy for Varun Dhawan, Kriti Sanon. As the name suggests, the film is about a man turning into a wolf. The usual comparisons with many such films from Hollywood will be made, but producer Dinesh Vijan, director Amar Kaushik and lead actor Varun Dhawan clarified that their film is based on a legend [Yapum] from Arunachal Pradesh.
Anyways, expectedly, our hero is bitten by a mystical wolf and it doesn’t take long before he turns into a werewolf. Writer Niren Bhatt and Amar Kaushik’s film, though looks at the lighter side of such situation. That doesn’t mean that Dhawan’s friends – [Abhishek Banerjee, Deepak Dobriyal, Kriti Sanon, first-time actor Palin] are scared for their life. We hear Dhawan talking of having Prakash as dinner that sends shivers down their spine. Though unconvincing, he quickly clarifies that he went to dinner with Prakash.
The film is largely set in the hills and woods of Arunachal Pradesh. While the story is all déjà vu, but the trailer stands out for the quality of its desi humour and special effects. The humour stems from the fact that Dhawan’s character is bitten on the bum. Day by day, the wolf instincts take over till finally on a moon-lit night, the man turns into a wolf. Among the many witty one liners, we liked Varun moaning, “How stray dogs now call him phuphaji”. Sometimes it is better to not translate every Hindi word. Desi audiences will get the humour.
Kaushik and Maddock borrow the Jungle Jungle Pata Chala Hai jingle from the dubbed Hindi version of The Jungle Book cartoon that aired on Doordarshan decades ago. It fits humorously into the particular scene. The song compelled us to say, “Chaddi pahen ke Wolf khila hai”. [A wolf breaks out of the underwear].
Dhawan has struggled for the last six years with Badrinath Ki Dulhania  being his last big hit. The humour element allows Dhawan to speak in his typical jovial/hassled tone. But fans will hope for the right intensity from him in the crucial scenes especially where he turns into an animal.
Maddock Films and Jio Studios were smart enough to show the trailer in 3D format to the media, possibly to avoid the Adipurush  teaser experience. However, Adipurush is based on the epic Ramayana, Maddock Films would have largely needed VFX for the scenes where Varun unleashes the beast in him. And the visuals look fairly immersive.
Kriti Sanon gets a new cool hairdo, while the spectacles perhaps bring out the nerdy engineer in her. Maybe, she is playing a character from the North East. We liked the little glimpse of a song where Dhawan and Sanon are indulging in some ‘howling’ steps. We will come to know more of Sachin-Jigar’s music in due course of time.
Needless to say that much of the humour will be down to Abhishek Banerjee and Deepak Dobriyal’s characters.
Honestly, we had kept our expectations low but the trailer pleasantly surprised us. Though an old subject, but Bhediya promises to be a badhiya’ [good] film for the masses.
The film is set to be released in theatres on 25 November. Watch the trailer below.