Chhattisgarh young film director Manoj Verma has made a film called ‘Bhulan The Maze’ in Chhattisgarhi language, which with its theme, direction, music and presentation of popular life will not only introduce the cinema audience but the entire the film industry to a new experience. It does This is the first regional film to win a National Award.
In Chhattisgarh, we had been hearing since childhood that there is a tuber plant in the forest, the forgetful Kanda, on which if someone lands on his feet, then he is lost. You can recover from this error only when touched by a passerby. We had heard many stories from those who also experienced it. Based on this popular experience, the famous writer Sanjeev Bakshi wrote a novel ‘Bhulan Kanda’ a decade ago.
The fantasy of Bhoolan is presented by Sanjeev ji in his novel with such theatricality that it is a profound satire on the current system. The whole system seems to have lost its balance and has lost its way. She needs a passerby who touches her and removes her wanderings and leads her on the right path.
There is a Birju in the village, a bald sick homeless man. Abodh Bhakhla lives with his wife and his children. During a minor skirmish between Birju and Bhakhla, he dies after falling on the ax as he slips on his feet. Death in the eyes of the law means murder. The villagers collectively decide that the sick baldhead will take responsibility for this death and go to jail. There he will also be treated free of charge. Ganjah happily agrees to this. He is imprisoned for Birju’s murder. It is later revealed that the villagers covered up the events.
The real defendant is not bald. Two cases are now underway, one for murder in Bhakhla and the other for concealing facts from all the villagers. The collective decision of the villagers was in everyone’s interest that Ganjaha receive better care in prison. The innocent Bhakhla’s family will be happy and the peace of the village will remain peaceful. Ultimately, Birju’s death turns out to be an accident at court and all the villagers, including Bhakhla, are acquitted.
Manoj Verma’s script and direction, in addition to lampooning the system in the film, has presented the immutability of folk tribal life and his village panchayat’s tradition of human justice so effectively that the entire film, in addition to raising questions about deep sensibilities and popular life in its most original form seem to be poignant.
Whether it’s the names of the characters, their reactions and spontaneous dialogues, the music or the rural lifestyle, everything has been taken from tribal folk life, which makes this film unique. The melody of the people of Chhattisgarh is absorbed into the song and music of the film. The film’s composer, Sunil Soni, is well versed in folk music and has composed music for dozens of Chhattisgarhi films. Alongside them, Chhattisgarh folk songs come to life in the songs of Tanu Verma and Meenakshi Raut.
The film develops its stardom by breaking free from popular stars. In the film, Omkardas Manikpuri and Anima Pagare, who became famous overnight as Natyas in ‘Peepli Live’, played the role of Hyabkhalahan and his wife Premin. Except for Rajendra Gupta, Mukesh Tiwari, almost all the actors are from the local level. Salim Ansari played the role of Ganjaha in the film, Sanjay Mahanand as Kotwar and the role of Mukhiya. Portrayed by Ashish Shende. It has always made me sad that after Habib Tanveer, no one could become the head of the Chhattisgarhi people’s tradition. After watching ‘Bhulan The Maze’ it was definitely assured that Manoj Verma has succeeded in keeping the tradition of Habib Sahab in the movie, if not in the drama.