Saturday, June 3, 2023

Bheed, Covid drama from India

 We are still recovering from the Covid 19 pandemic.  Bollywood has decided to add its interpretation of what happened with the film "Bheed" (2023) now available with subtitles on Netflix.

India is a poor country.  Many poor people from rural areas migrate to cities for jobs and periodically return home which was hastened by initial surge of Covid 19.  Trying to cope with the pandemic lockdowns were used.  Few masks are used and it seems social distancing is not possible.  There are caste differences (referred to as communities) and religion.  A large number are vegetarians who refuse meat tainted food packages.  

The main protagonist is Surya Kumar Singh Tikas who has just been given a promotion and put in charge at a border point.  The crowd is much larger than expected and he doesn't gain the respect he needs to do his job.  He sees a lot of injustice and in fact aids some of the migrants.  His love, Reenu Sharma is a doctor, but of a different caste with her parents wanting to control any marriage.

One of his subordinates feels he should have been the one promoted and turns other staff against him.  One of the migrants Balram Trivedi becomes aggressive in trying to provide food for his community.  At one point he places a gun on Surya's head, but before too long they become allies.  The film is reminding us of the turmoil caused by the pandemic.  The consequences are ongoing.

Many of the cast and crew have a history of advocating for social causes and this film certainly reflects concerns for justice and artistic expertise. 

Anubhave Sinha is director, writer and producer.  His 14 film credits include "Article 15" (2019) "Thappad" (2020), both of which had political and social issues.  Check 

Bhushan Kumar was another producer  At age 19, his father died and he took over the music business turning it into a major force.  Then he got involved with films.   Has 180 film credits  including "Hindi Medium" (2017),  "Kabir Singh"(2019), "Chandigarh Kare Aashiqui" (2021) and "Drishyam 2" (2022).  Check:

 Music handled by Mangesh Dhakde.  61 credits including "Article 15" (2019), "Thappad" (2020) and "Anek" (2022)     check

Soumik Mukerjee handled the cinematography.  The decision was made to record in black and white to emphasize the starkness of the situation.  With 20 film credits including "Thappad" (2020) and " Jaadugar" (2022) .

 Atanu Mukherjee was the editor.  He has 23 film credits including also for writing and directing.  One of his films was "Serious Men" (2020).

 Rajkummar Rao played Surya Kumar Singh Tikas.  He acted in two theatrical groups before heading to the films.  He has been on a streak of films including "Shaitan" (2011), "Shahid" (2012), "Talaash" (2012), "Kai Po Che" (2013), "Queen" (2013), "Hamari Adhuri Kahani" (2015), "Trapped" (2016), "Bareilly Ki Barfi" (2017), "Stree" (2018), "Made in China" (2019), "Ludo" (2020), "White Tiger" (2021) and "Badaai Do" (2022).  check

Pankaj Kapur plays Balram Trivedi who was a desperate migrant.  He has 71 film credits (acting, writing and cinematograhy) including "Gandhi" (1982),  "Ship of Theseus" (2012) and "Jersey" (2022).  Check:

Bhumi Pednekar plays Renu Sharma, a doctor.  She started with casting.  Big break came when asked to help cast "Dum Laga Ke Haisha" (2015) where she auditioned for and had to gain a lot of weight for an unusual romance where she played an overweight bride that had been arranged to solve a revenue problem.  She went onto a number of memorable films such as  "Toilet: Ek Prem Katha" (2017), "Shubh Mangal Savdhan" (2017)  and "Bala" (2019).  With Rajkummar she played a lesbian to his gay role in "Badhaai Do" (2022).  Having gained a lot of weight to get a role she lost a lot of weight to get other roles, but fortunately she is a very credible actress.  Check

Aditya Srivastav  played Ram Singh, a rebellious subordinate staff.   His film credits include "Raat Akeli Hai" (2020), "Super 30" (2020), "Haseen Dillruba" (2021) and "Human" (2022).   Check

 I have bolded the first mention of films I have seen.  The links for this film are among the most of all my blogs and many could have been used multiple times, because the cast and crew have participated and contributed to more of my favorites than almost any other film.  That does not necessarily mean it is my top favorite, but that it certainly received a lot of expert and artistic attention.  Available on Netflix.

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