Bhonsle (film)

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Directed byDevashish Makhija
Produced byManoj Bajpayee
Piiyush Singh
Abhayanand Singh
Saurabh Gupta
Sandiip Kapoor
Written byDevashish Makhija
Mirat Trivedi
Sharanya Rajgopal
StarringManoj Bajpayee
Santosh Juvekar
Music byMangesh Dhakde
CinematographyJigmet Wangchuk
Edited byShweta Venkat Mathew
Release date
  • 5 October 2018 (2018-10-05) (Busan)
Running time
132 min

Bhonsle is a 2018 Indian Hindi-language drama film written and directed by Devashish Makhija. The film stars Manoj Bajpayee, who is also the co-producer, in the title role of a retired Mumbai cop who befriends a North Indian girl and her brother, when the local politicians are trying to get rid of the migrants. Its first look was launched at the 2018 Cannes Film Festival.[1] The film was premiered in the 'A Window on Asian Cinema' section of the 2018 Busan International Film Festival and was also screened in the non-competitive India Story section at the MAMI Film Festival, the 2018 Dharamshala International Film Festival, the 2019 International Film Festival Rotterdam and the Bengaluru International Film Festival.[2][3][4][5][6]



Makhija started writing the script of Bhonsle in 2011 and completed it in 2015 but could not find the producers. In 2016, Makhija directed an 11-minute short film titled Taandav starring Manoj Bajpayee, about a head constable who breaks out into a dance to deal with the strains of his life.[3] Bajpayee had suggested him to make a short "to prove that they could carry off the idea."[3] Makhija said that he made the short because he was not able to make Bhonsle. He said that the purpose of the short was to "show the world that a film about a havaldar (constable) could be interesting."[3] Makhija took inspiration for Bhonsale's mannerisms from his father who had become "something else" after Makhija left for Mumbai from his hometown Kolkata.[3] The script was selected by the National Film Development Corporation of India for their event, Film Bazaar in 2016.[7]

The film's principal photography began on 21 October 2017. The Ganpati festival scene was shot for two days in Mumbai in August that forms a backdrop in the film.[8] For the pullout shot on the day of the Ganpati immersion, Bajpayee was placed in the crowd of 70,000 people. The scene took six retakes to complete and throughout the shoot no one recognised Bajpayee.[3] The filming was completed in late December, 2017.[9] Several scenes were shot in closed narrow spaces as Makhija wanted to "create a sense of suffocation."[3]


Deborah Young of The Hollywood Reporter praised Bajpayee's performance in the film and said that his "hermit retiree emerges as a quiet-spoken hero who opposes the racist hate-mongering around him with cool disdain." She felt that the film "builds tension well as it goes along", but called its first half "punishing".[10] Anupam Kant Verma of Firstpost wrote: "To Makhija’s peculiar blend of technical proficiency and poetic beats, Bajpayee brings the gravitas and masterful restraint that tugs at the kite of the director’s imagination the moment it threatens to pull away, in effect, harmonising the film experience."[11] J. Hurtado of Screen Anarchy wrote: "It's an exceptional film bolstered by a nearly silent performance from Manoj Bajpayee, one of India's finest actors, who also stepped in to produce the film when things were looking dire during production." He also included it in his list of 14 Favorite Indian Films of 2018.[12]


  1. ^ "Cannes Film Festival 2018: Manoj Bajpayee returns to French Riviera with Devashish Makhija' political drama Bhonsle". Firstpost. 12 May 2018. Retrieved 2 October 2018.
  2. ^ "Manoj Bajpayee's Bhonsle to be premiered at Busan International Film Festival 2018". India TV. 4 September 2018. Retrieved 2 October 2018.
  3. ^ a b c d e f g Ramnath, Nandini (26 September 2018). "In 'Bhonsle', Manoj Bajpayee's Mumbai constable has something to say on the insider-outsider debate". Retrieved 2 October 2018.
  4. ^ Khan, Murtaza Ali Khan (8 November 2018). "I like proving people wrong: Manoj Bajpayee". The Hindu. Retrieved 9 November 2018.
  5. ^ "Bhonsle's outing at Rotterdam film fest". The New Indian Express. 26 January 2019. Retrieved 23 February 2019.
  6. ^ "BIFFes 2019: Chat with Debashish Makhija of 'Bhonsle'". Deccan Herald. 27 February 2019. Retrieved 14 March 2019.
  7. ^ Laghate, Gaurav (10 November 2016). "'s 'Bhonsle' starring Manoj Bajpayee selected by NFDC for Film Bazaar". The Economic Times. Retrieved 2 October 2018.
  8. ^ Ramachandran, Naman (13 October 2017). "Busan: Helmer Devashish Makhija set for "Bhonsle" (EXCLUSIVE)". Variety. Retrieved 2 October 2018.
  9. ^ "Manoj Bajpayee wraps up Devashish Makhija's Bhonsle in Mumbai". Hindustan Times. 29 December 2017. Retrieved 2 October 2018.
  10. ^ Young, Deborah (28 October 2018). "'Bhonsle': Film Review: Mumbai 2018". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved 1 November 2018.
  11. ^ Verma, Anupam Kant (5 November 2018). "Bhonsle movie review: Devashish Makhija's fascinating character study is enriched by Manoj Bajpayee's performance". Firstpost. Retrieved 7 November 2018.
  12. ^ Hurtado, J (3 January 2018). "J Hurtado's 14 Favorite Indian Films of 2018". Screen Anarchy. Retrieved 4 January 2019.

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