Bhavai movie review: Pratik Gandhi sometimes breaks free in this loud, dated film


What’s the point of recreating Ramlila onscreen unless there’s something in it that we’ve never seen before? At the heart of Bhavai is an excellent idea, which has been explored by versions of the Ramayan. What if Sita developed a soft spot for Raavan? Would that change everything? Could one of the greatest epics ever written have been read differently? What if Purushottam was not automatically affixed in front of Ram? It’s a good idea to play Pratik Gandhi as Raavan in a small town of Ramlila, located in a small village in Gujarat. The traveling troupe is looking for a Raavan, and a young man who cares about becoming a performer gets his big chance. The irony of her name of Raja Ram Joshi is not lost on anyone, let alone the young woman who plays Sita (Aindrita Ray).

An interesting group of actors – Abhimanyu Singh, Rajendra Gupta, Rajesh Sharma – are part of the cast. By right, this should have been an entertaining and stimulating watch, especially since it is performed in the colorful folk style of Bhavai. But the whole is so dated, everyone being obliged to declaim aloud, that the tone that the film wishes to achieve is lost.

Gandhi, who caught our eyes in Scam 1992, manages to break free from time to time. Some of its lines are powerfully rendered. But Ray doesn’t make a worthy Sita, and the other performers get stuck too.
Some dialogues have been muted: we see the lips moving but no sound comes out. The original name of the film was “Raavan Leela”: how delicious would it have been if the filmmakers had stuck to it and given us the right amount of subversion while we were there?

Cast of the movie Bhavai: Pratik Gandhi, Aindrita Ray, Rajesh Sharma, Rajendra Gupta, Abhimanyu Singh
Director Bhavai: Hardik gajjar
Bhavai movie rating: 1.5 stars


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