Not many know that Bulbbul actress Tripti Dimri actually started her film career with Sunny Deol and Bobby Deol starrer Poster Boys. She then appeared in Laila Majnu, before witnessing a meteoric rise in stardom with her digital film Bulbbul. Calling her journey in showbiz ‘interesting’, Tripti says, “I had never thought I would get to do Bulbbul during my debut with Poster Boys. From then till now, I had to wait for a long time in between. But, I am glad I did because it allowed me to stay in Bombay and meet the right kind of people. There were days when I wasn’t going to auditions, because I was told to be particular about what I pick next and it is difficult for any actor to be hopeful that something will come up. But I devoted my time to improving my craft. Once Bulbbul happened, I got to meet and interact with people.”
In Netflix’s supernatural gothic drama, Tripti plays the titular role of Bulbbul, a confident and coquettish young woman, who turns into a vigilante while battling the demons of her past. It’s a rather primitive mindset that a woman vigilante gets termed as a ‘witch’, while a man, in such cases, is touted to be a superhero. “That’s how this society works. Powerful women are a threat to society, especially the moment they see a woman who takes a stand for herself. Men are supposed to be powerful instead. This mindset will take a lot of time to change, but we can certainly fight the idea with our films. I am glad that people are now talking about it and an awareness has seeped in. We certainly can hope the change will finally come. Hearing things like ‘Bulbbul was a goddess and not a witch’ from men too, made me feel great,” Tripti says.
Set in a backdrop of 1880’s Bengal presidency, the film portrays horrors of patriarchy that exist under the facade of aristocracy and Bulbbul sets out to seek vengeance against it. Claiming that director Anvita Dutt rightfully achieved what she wanted, Tripti asserts, “The film is set 200 years ago, but the same problems are faced by women today. Women are not allowed to walk or talk freely and some of them actually feel this is how they are supposed to live. They don’t know that they need to stand up for their rights. The ones who fight are brave enough to let go of their fears and that’s what Anvita wanted to point it out.”
Ask her how she took up the emotionally challenging role and shoot the rape scene, which was criticised for being ‘too pretty’, Tripti says, “I had issues when I read the script as I found the scene might be a little disturbing for people. I was nervous before the shoot, but was made comfortable on the day of the shoot and the credit goes to Anvita and my co-actor Rahul Bose. A huge portion of the scene was cut, because we didn’t want to show something horrifying to the audience. That was not the intent. This is the reality that many women have faced and still experience. I thought I would not be able to pull it off, because Bulbbul doesn’t cry. She has other modes of expression. But when Anvita liked it, it gave me more confidence in my craft.”
Calling her bond with director Anvita “wonderful”, Tripti says she feels elated to have shot in an old Haveli outside Kolkata, which beautifully reflected the neo-classical era. She signs off by happily saying, “Things are definitely better than what they were before Bulbbul. People are now considering me for lead roles and things have been going in the right direction. Keeping my fingers crossed.”