Bhaiyya Morey movie review: What could have been an enjoyable outing ends up as a cheap magic trick
Bhaiyya Morey is a short film published by Terribly Tiny Talkies on the occasion of Rakshabandhan. Starring the ever reliable Seema Pahwa and Rajat Barmecha, the young man who played the lead role in Udaan, the landmark Bollywood film, it is a 10-minute-long mystery-horror film. With considerable acting talent at its disposal, spooky atmospherics befitting the genre and a short, crisp run-time, all the odds appear to be in its favour. But it is let down by an all too familiar story, sloppy writing and, worst of all, a tonal confusion stemming from lack of clarity on what it set out to be.
Rajat Barmecha, a rapper, is driving through a forest at night. He is on his way to surprise his sister on the occasion of their first Rakshabandhan after her marriage. Not surprisingly, his car breaks down with no help in sight. As he is looking for ways to get out of the fix he is in, Pahwa’s character passes by. He initially mistakes her for an apparition, an eventuality so common in hundreds of ghost stories and previous films from the genre. She offers to help him charge his phone so he can reach out to a friend for a pickup. They begin walking towards her house in the forest where she says she lives with her beloved brother.
So far, nothing new. Mind you, that’s not always a handicap. There are scores of great films that utiilise this simple setup to produce great results. But this is precisely where Bhaiyya Morey fails to make more than a passing impression. The writing is so clunkily calibrated to push forth the theme of rakhi that the film loses the unique sense of self so vital to a genre effort. Anything and everything is pulled and pushed to serve the cause of the twist ending. The director is aware of the audience’s expectations. So he tries to confuse us by trying to plant the germ of doubt in our minds. We are supposed to ask ourselves whether we are trying too hard to look for what isn’t there. But he becomes so obsessed with the process that the narrative starts floundering and truly hits the downward spiral when the uninspired characterisation meets the by-the-numbers writing. The twist doesn’t register a blip when it finally comes. In trying hard to be ‘wicked’, the film ironically ends up completely confused about its rakhi-based theme and its relevance within contemporary society.
Granted, the director sets out to deploy the modernity versus tradition and urban versus rural trope to investigate the meaning of the festival in the present day. To his credit, he doesn’t put a foot wrong with the performances and atmospherics. But the veneer is punctured repeatedly by the bland exchanges between its main characters. Moreover, the dynamics between these two people on either side of modernity appear too crassly put together to make for engrossing viewing.
In sum, Bhaiyya Morey frustrates you with the promise of truly having something worthy up its sleeve. Soon, the tonal disconnect fostered by the mismatch between the implicit becoming explicit and vice versa runs it aground. What could, and perhaps only should, have been an enjoyable little outing ends up as a cheap magic trick. Somewhere in the middle the film loses its way and tries to make up for it at the end with a dose of mischief. But too many skeletons have crumbled out of the closet by now for the film to register an impact. You finish watching the film and move on to the next item in your watchlist in the blink of an eye.
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Updated Date: Sep 15, 2018 16:04 PM