Bhaagamathie

Bhaagamathie is a 2018 Indian thriller film written and directed by G. Ashok starring Anushka Shetty. Jayaram (in his Telugu debut), Unni Mukundan, Murali Sharma, and Asha Sarath play other pivotal roles. Shot simultaneously in Telugu and Tamil, the film revolves around a woman imprisoned in a haunted house while she is interrogated by law enforcers investigating a politician they suspect of corruption.

Bhaagamathie
Bhaagamathie poster.jpg
Telugu version release poster
Directed byG. Ashok
Produced byV. Vamsi Krishna Reddy
Pramod
Written byG. Ashok
Starring
Music byS. Thaman
CinematographyR. Madhi[1]
Edited byKotagiri Venkateswara Rao
Production
company
Distributed byStudio Green
Release date
  • 26 January 2018 (2018-01-26)
Running time
135 minutes
CountryIndia
Languages
  • Telugu
  • Tamil
Budget₹30 crore[2]
Box officeest. ₹67.2 crore[3]

Principal photography commenced in June 2016 in Hyderabad, and the film was released on 26 January 2018 in Telugu and Tamil along with a dubbed Malayalam version.[4][5] With Bhaagamathie, Anushka Shetty emerged the second Indian actress after Sridevi to have a $1 million grosser at the US box office.[6] The film is remade in Hindi as Durgamati (2020).[7]

PlotEdit

The film starts with Eshwar Prasad, a politician who vows to resign from his post if the government fails to recover idols which were stolen over a period of six months. This troubles his political rivals, who forge a plan to destroy his credibility with the help of CBI Joint Director Vaishnavi Natarajan and Assistant Commissioner of Police Sampath.

The two of them plan to interrogate IAS Chanchala, a close confidante of Eashwar, who is in jail for murdering her fiancé Shakthi, who was Sampath's brother. To avoid attention, they shift her to Bhaagamathie Bungalow, a dilapidated, supposedly haunted house in the outskirts of a village, for the interrogation. The CBI question Chanchala to get some clues against Eashwar but she repeats that he is a good man, and that they are doubting his integrity without any proof in a cryptic but leading manner.

Later that night, the spirit of Bhaagamathie, the Queen of the house before independence, takes control of Chanchala. The CBI team calls upon a psychiatrist to investigate the matter who concludes that Chanchala must be schizophrenic as she seems to take on a different persona and narrate some story from a book as if it were her own. He suggests that the CBI commit her to an asylum. However Sampath suspects that this might be a ploy by her to escape and arranges for a spiritual guru to find out if there is paranormal activity. The guru suggests a few indicators. Later, Sampath discovers that those indicators to indicate the presence of ghosts in the bungalow. He also finds Chanchala hurting herself under the influence of the ghost. This leads to Sampath taking Chanchala to a mental hospital.

Eashwar visit her at the mental asylum and it is revealed that Chanchala had planned the entire thing to escape the CBI in return for 300 Cr. kickback from Eashwar. It is also revealed that Eashwar had forced Chanchala to kill Shakthi (her fiancé) to hide his scam regarding a welfare project.

Meanwhile, Vaishnavi realizes that Chanchala was trying to convey the truth of Eashwar's crimes using the story of Queen Bhaagamathie, which she came across from the various writings and artefacts she had discovered in the bungalow. She also finds evidence of Eashwar's misdeeds and the site where he hid the villagers after killing Shakthi.

Thus vindicated, Chanchala is seen running a charity organization in memory of Shakthi. Vaishnavi then tells her that they thought they knew everything about her but never knew that she was a great magician in her childhood and that she knew Arabic. Chanchala replies by saying that she does not know Arabic, which shocks them, hinting that there was actual paranormal activity in the house.

CastEdit

ProductionEdit

DevelopmentEdit

G. Ashok, who had previously worked on Pilla Zamindar (2011) and Sukumarudu (2013), readied the Bhaagamathie script in 2012 and had written it keeping Anushka Shetty in mind. In late 2012, the team approached Anushka and the actress liked the script but was not able to immediately commit to the film, as she had pending projects such as Baahubali: The Beginning (2015) and Rudhramadevi (2015), where she also played warrior princesses. The film was later delayed when Anushka chose to star in Lingaa (2014), attempt an ambitious size-shifting role in Size Zero (2015) and complete her portions for Baahubali: The Conclusion (2017). Ashok subsequently chose to wait for her, rather than cast a new actress and refined the script during the waiting period. Early media reports claimed that the film would be based on the Hindi queen Bhagmati, but the makers denied this and revealed that the film would be a "social drama".[8][9]

FilmingEdit

Principal photography commenced in June 2016 in Hyderabad. The film's title is derived from the Bagmati river that flows through Nepal, while Ashok also stated that the titled was also inspired by the fact that Hyderabad was formed in the name of Bhagamathi or Bhagi Nagara.[10] Once she began working on the film in 2016, she shed 20 kilograms through a rigorous diet plan to portray her character of an IAS Officer.[11][12] Produced by UV Creations in Telugu and released by Studio Green in Tamil. A dubbed Malayalam version of the film was also prepared to have a simultaneous release with the other two versions.[13]

SoundtrackEdit

Bhaagamathie
Soundtrack album by
Released26 January 2018 (2018-01-26) (Jukebox)
StudioRFC (Hyderabad)
YRF (Mumbai)
Music lounge (Chennai)
V studios (Chennai)
GenreFilm soundtrack, Romantic
Length9:56
LanguageTelugu, Tamil
LabelMango Music
ProducerS. Thaman
S. Thaman chronology
Achari America Yatra
(2018)
Bhaagamathie
(2018)
Tholi Prema
(2018)
External audio
  Audio Jukebox on YouTube

The film's music was composed by S. Thaman.

The song "Mandaara" was released as single from the album of Bhaagamathie on 17 February 2018 on the YouTube page of Mango Music, UV Creations. The song was sung by Shreya Ghoshal. The music video of the track features Anushka Shetty and Unni Mukundan. On the same day of release, it was made available for online streaming at Saavn,[14] Gaana.[15] and iTunes.[16] The Tamil version of the song, lyrics by Vivek and sung by Jyotsna Radhakrishnan, was released at a function held by Studio Green in Chennai, which marked four significant events for the producers — the audio launch of Bhaagamathie, a single launch of Iruttu Araiyil Murattu Kuththu (2018), a single launch of Ghajinikanth (2018) and the success meet for Thaanaa Serndha Koottam (2018).[17][18]

Telugu
Track listing
No.TitleLyricsSinger(s)Length
1."Mandaara"SreejoShreya Ghoshal4:52
2."Theme Song"SuchitraSuchitra5:04
Total length:9:56
Tamil
Track listing
No.TitleLyricsSinger(s)Length
1."Manthaara"VivekJyotsna Radhakrishnan4:52
2."Theme Song"SuchitraSuchitra5:04
Total length:9:56

ReceptionEdit

Critical receptionEdit

Firstpost rated the film 3.5/5, stating "Bhaagamathie is an impressive outing for the whole cast and crew, and it's also a reminder for us that there are plenty of ways to narrate a story despite having a dilapidated house, a ghost, a hapless young woman, and a gut-wrenching backstory. A big thumbs up for the film."[19]

Bollywood Life also rated it 3.5/5 and stated "This is definitely worth a watch. For Anushka Shetty. For the story. and for the two combined."[20]

123Telugu rated it 3.25/5, writing "On the whole, Bhaagamathie is an engaging thriller with good horror and interesting twists at regular intervals. Anushka leads from the front and will surely pull the crowds with her standout performance. The film is made on a lavish scale and because of this, the thrills look quite good on screen. But the story is familiar and the first half gets a bit slow. If you ignore these aspects, Bhaagamathie ends up a pretty decent watch this weekend. Go for it."[21]

Idlebrain.com rated it 3/5, writing "Bhaagamathie is a kind of film that’s difficult make and difficult to position in Telugu market. Director and production house have packaged the film in such a way that it partly satisfies the people who look for horror elements and the audiences who seek thrill. Despite having a complicated screenplay, Bhaagamathie tries to give something for everybody. Plus points of the film are Anushka, screenplay and background music. On the flipside, the narration should have been true to its genre. On a whole, Bhaagamathie is a well-packaged thriller."[22]

Hindustan Times also rated it 3/5 and wrote "The film draws inspiration from history and adds a dash of supernatural to serve us a crime thriller. After the trailer, many believed that this could be a redux of Anushka’s claim to fame, Arundhati. Instead, G Ashok turns it into a riveting thriller that works wonders despite its flaws. You are on the edge of your seat through most of the film, trying to understand if Chanchala is possessed or not."[23]

Box officeEdit

The film collected close to 50 crore (US$7.0 million) at the worldwide box office. It collected 36 crore (US$5.0 million) in the first weekend and 15.50 crore (US$2.2 million) on the weekdays at the worldwide box office. The film collected 51.50 crore (US$7.2 million) at first week.[24]

Awards and nominationsEdit

Date of ceremony Award Category Recipient(s) and nominee(s) Result Ref.
6 January 2019 3rd Zee Cine Awards Telugu Best Actress In A Leading Role Anushka Shetty Nominated [25]
Favorite Actress Nominated
Best Supporting Actress Asha Sharath Nominated
17 February 2019 TSRTV9 National Film Awards Best Actress – Telugu Anushka Shetty Nominated [26]
1 March 2019 Radio City Cine Awards Telugu Best Heroine Nominated [27][28]
Best Actress in a Supporting Role Asha Sharath Nominated
Best Female Playback Singer Shreya Ghoshal Nominated
Best Actor in a Negative Role Jayaram Nominated
Best Music Director S. Thaman Won
Best Background Score Won
15 August 2019 8th South Indian International Movie Awards Best Actress – Telugu Anushka Shetty Nominated [29]
Best Actress Critics – Telugu Nominated
Best Supporting Actress (Telugu) Asha Sharath Nominated
Best Actor in a Negative Role – Telugu Jayaram Nominated
21 December 2019 66th Filmfare Awards South Best Actress – Telugu Anushka Shetty Nominated [30][31]
Best Supporting Actress – Telugu Asha Sharath Nominated
Best Female Playback Singer – Telugu Shreya Ghoshal Won
29 September 2019 17th Santosham Film Awards Best Actress Anushka Shetty Nominated

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ "Bhaagamathie isn't your run-of-the-mill horror flick, it will surprise you: Anushka - Times of India". Retrieved 31 January 2018.
  2. ^ "First look of Anushka's 'Bhaagamathie' out, goes viral". The News Minute. 18 November 2017.
  3. ^ "Tollywood box office report of 2018: highest grossing Telugu movies of year; List of hits and flops". 23 November 2018.
  4. ^ "BHAAGAMATHIE - British Board of Film Classification". www.bbfc.co.uk. Retrieved 31 January 2018.
  5. ^ "Anushka Shetty sheds 18 kilos for her upcoming film"
  6. ^ "With Bhaagamathie, Anushka Shetty emerges the second Indian actress after Sridevi to set this unique record". CatchNews.com. Retrieved 7 February 2018.
  7. ^ "Durgamati Stays Faithful To The Original, Yet Does Not Hold Up". Film Companion. 12 December 2020. Retrieved 12 December 2020.
  8. ^ "A change for Anushka Shetty". 5 December 2013. Retrieved 31 January 2018.
  9. ^ "Anushka to reprise the role of queen Bhagmati - Times of India". Retrieved 31 January 2018.
  10. ^ Raman, Sruthi Ganapathy. "This will be the best performance of Anushka Shetty's career: G Ashok on 'Bhaagamathie'". Retrieved 31 January 2018.
  11. ^ "Bhaagamathie: Anushka Shetty says UV Creations waited for four years to start shooting since they trusted her with the character - Firstpost". www.firstpost.com. Retrieved 31 January 2018.
  12. ^ "Anushka Shetty: Bhaagamathie was very challenging". 18 January 2018. Retrieved 31 January 2018.
  13. ^ "Somehow, I end up playing murderous characters: Anushka Shetty". Retrieved 31 January 2018.
  14. ^ "Mandaara on Saavn". Saavn. Retrieved 24 June 2018.
  15. ^ "Gaana Online Straming: Mandaara". Gaana. Retrieved 24 June 2018.
  16. ^ "Mandaara on iTunes". iTunes. Retrieved 24 June 2018.
  17. ^ "'Bhaagamathie' audio launch in Chennai". Sify. Retrieved 24 June 2018.
  18. ^ "Anushka Shetty talks at Bhaagamathie audio launch". Behindwoods. 18 January 2018. Retrieved 24 June 2018.
  19. ^ "Bhaagamathie movie review: Anushka Shetty shines in this horror-thriller that owes a lot to its technicians- Entertainment News, Firstpost". Retrieved 31 January 2018.
  20. ^ Raveendran, Karthika. "Bhaagamathie movie review: While Anushka Shetty steals the show, the other hero is the engrossing story". Retrieved 31 January 2018.
  21. ^ "Review : Bhaagamathie – Horror meets Crime". www.123telugu.com. Retrieved 31 January 2018.
  22. ^ "Bhaagamathie review by jeevi - Telugu cinema review - Anushka and Unni Mukundan". www.idlebrain.com. Retrieved 31 January 2018.
  23. ^ "Bhaagamathie movie review: Anushka Shetty owns this edge-of-the-seat thriller". 26 January 2018. Retrieved 31 January 2018.
  24. ^ "Bhaagamathie 1st week box office collection: Anushka Shetty's film crosses Rs 50-crore mark worldwide in 7 days". International Business Times. 2 February 2018. Retrieved 16 May 2020.
  25. ^ "Tollywood's first and biggest Awards event of the Year on Zee Telugu". Zee News. 25 January 2019. Retrieved 24 December 2019.
  26. ^ "Balakrishna, Nagarjuna and Keerthy Suresh among TSR-TV9 film award winners". The News Minute. 16 February 2019. Retrieved 23 December 2019.
  27. ^ "Ram Charan, Keerthy Suresh, Sukumar, crowned as winners of City Cine Awards Telugu Season 2". Mid day. 2 March 2019. Retrieved 23 December 2019.
  28. ^ "Radio City Cine Awards Telugu". Radio City. Retrieved 23 December 2019.
  29. ^ "SIIMA Awards 2019: Here's a complete list of nominees". The Times of India. 19 July 2019. Retrieved 23 December 2019.
  30. ^ "Nominations for the 66th Filmfare Awards (South) 2019". Filmfare. Retrieved 22 December 2019.
  31. ^ "Winners of the 66th Filmfare Awards (South) 2019". Filmfare. Retrieved 22 December 2019.

External linksEdit