Though Rajkummar Rao plays the nominal protagonist and gets a small character-growth arc, this is a film that belongs to everyone, the ‘bheed’.
Anubhav Sinha’s latest attempt at movie-making / conscience-pricking / dialogue-initiating is titled Bheed, and it gets going 13 days after the first pandemic-lockdown, when more migrants began walking back to their hometowns. Let’s dwell, first, on that title, which refers to a crowd. “Bahut bheed hai,” we say, when entering a crowded theatre or bus, but the bheed here refers to the billions that make up India. Yes, on the surface, the title is about the crowds of hapless migrants on the roads, but Anubhav always likes to zoom back a little from the issue in focus and talk a little more about the various aspects of our society, like caste and class. This is a film of metaphors and symbols. The action is set around a check post in Tejpur district, when states clamp down on their boundaries, refusing to let people enter or leave. That check post is the monolithic System through which we have to find ways to sneak through in order to live our lives.
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