Manoj Bajpayee starrer Bhonsle recently released on SonyLiv, and this is one film that fans of good cinema, and powerful performances, should certainly not miss.
The film, which premiered at the 2018 Busan International Film Festival, has already been screened at 4 international film festivals, including the MAMI Film Festival and the 2019 International Film Festival Rotterdam. It even won the Best Screenplay and Best Director Award at the Asian Film Festival Barcelona.
However, the film deserves to be on your weekend watch-list not just because of the awards conferred to it. But also because of a storyline that is extremely relevant in current times, and because, it boasts of one of Manoj Bajpayee's finest performances to date.
The story revolves around a retired cop who emerges as a silent but strong hero for two North Indian siblings being driven out of Mumbai by local politicians because they're 'migrants'. It also stars Abhishek Banerjee.
Just before Stree I shot for this gem of a film #bhonsle So glad that a wider audience will get to watch it.I learnt so much as an actor by just looking at @BajpayeeManoj sir on set.Our director #devashishmakhija the crew,actors made this ride an easy one#ipshita #SantoshJuvekar https://t.co/F2g2wPfxVE— Abhishek Banerjee hathoda tyagi (@nowitsabhi) June 19, 2020
The film raises the question that the pandemic forced all of us to consider - how can a nation differentiate between its citizens? How can citizens be considered 'migrants' and less worthy of attention in the nation they call home?
Bajpayee, who previously worked with director Devashish Makhija in the short film Taandav, has also co-produced the film.
As Ganpath Bhonsle, his performance is being cited as a masterclass in acting, and rightfully so. He brings a quiet restraint to his role as a retired cop who chooses to rise against racism and hate-mongering because it's the right thing to do, even if not the easy thing to do.
He totally made #Bhonsle the relatable stubborn old uncle , without coming out as sympathetic for his situations— Niteesh Madithati (@niteesh_m_v) June 27, 2020
From the first frame they put is how he's going to be treated with juxtaposition of #Ganapati which in irony his name 2, Brilliant performance, a masterclass that's 💯
Far removed from Bollywood's favourite 'macho' cops who use violence and chauvinism as a solution to society's evils, Bhonsle is one character that will remain with you, long after the credits roll in.
If you're looking for a political drama that raises the right questions, and performances that have the capacity to move you, then Bhonsle should be your pick for the weekend.
The film is currently streaming on SonyLiv.