Tag Archives: Neel Dutt

Nirbaak (2014)

Nirbaak review

written by Abhikendu Deb Roy.

Ratings: 3.5/5.

‘Learn to love yourself first. Everything else will fall into place.’

Four distinct subplots with the common denouement as death – We surely have heard of this before, in another Srijit Mukherji film. After filming Chotushkone, he tries this format again, but with an enriched and mature execution in his latest work, Nirbaak. Srijit infuses the theme of obsession luring in every subplot of the film. Narcissism, obsession with a living immobile object, the fixation of a bitch towards her master, the passion of a man for a cadaver – Srijit touches upon all the aspects of obsession in his 1 hour 49 minutes film.

Mukherji’s crew states that he loves his crew immensely, but he loves his film the most. This compassion is pretty much visible in his direction. Not only that, he is so possessive about his film that he pens down the script and the dialogues all by himself. He expatiates his script so much so that every intricate detail is translated on screen like magic. This film is not one such where we see conversations happening between the characters, it is a film where the characters’ emote and speak volumes for themselves.

When the structure of the film demands powerful performances, you need actors of that stature to exude their acting skills. Sushmita Sen, the thread that binds the four subplots, appears simply stunning, even with very less makeup. This non-glamorous side to the 1994 Miss Universe was something which was never explored before. Her voice and her ‘Bong’ accent bring in more appeal to the character. But it is the men of the film who steal the show. After one subplot ends, you start missing the man of that plot all the way more till the power of the next encroaches your mind. Anjan Dutt’s character is the conglomeration of the ‘naked’ truths of a loner. The magic he weaves on screen, all by himself, is powerful and can literally leave you speechless. This subplot, however, might bring a few frowns to the hypocritical section of our society. Jishu Sengupta, we all know, is a classy performer and Srijit brings out the best in him here. You are bound to empathize with the crimson red eyes, filled with fury, beating up his pet. The third and the last of the men brigade is Ritwick Chakraborty, for whom I probably don’t have any words. He must engage himself in many more films like these, else it would be the audiences’ loss that they wouldn’t witness how brilliantly he performs. He is one of those very few actors who do not act, just behave.

The aspect of the film which is par excellence is the cinematography. Soumik Haldar and Srijit Mukherji have always been working together, but this is probably the outcome of the highest degree.  You would want to grab a DVD of the film, once released, solely to watch and re-watch the dance sequence, choreographed by Sudarshan Chakraborty. The sequence has been brilliantly shot, under the tree, in the midst of a dark night, with the intelligent use of low lights. Soumik proves that he indeed can be a cinematographer of international stature.

Pranoy Dasgupta sits on the edit table and does a pretty decent job. He executes his work well, but the visionary with which Srijit had imagined the film, individual sequences tend to drag a bit and makes the entire film a little slow. This is something which is contrary to what Srijit’s films had been always.

Last but not the least, Nirbaak will leave an impact on you after the end credits have finished rolling. The major cause of the long lasting impression is Neel Dutt’s background score. The BGM complements each and every moment of the film in a mesmerizing manner. The only song of the film, Jodi Akasher Gaaye, which comes up at the very end of the film, sticks to your mind. Credits go to Bodhaditya Banerjee for the lyrics and the composition of the song, which complements the vocals of Arka Mukherjee.

Special mention, without which this article would be incomplete, must be given to the Shadowgraphy Titles. Srijit has always come up with something new in each and every work of his, but this style of honoring his cast and crew with the usage of shadows moves you completely.

Final Verdict: It is not a film which will appeal to one and all. It will be praised only by a certain limited section of the viewers. You might think you do not like the film at all after walking out the plexes. But when you give it a thought and you rethink more about the film, you learn how entrapped you are in the aura of the script. It is surreal, beyond the understanding level of an average individual. For this, the film can be likable to some, repulsive to some. Srijit’s attempt at surrealism is indeed a brave attempt.

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Byomkesh Phire Elo (2014)

Written by Abhikendu Deb Roy.

Ratings: 3.7/5.

Byomkesh Bakshi is a brand who has been adapted by several filmmakers across the country. Bakshi is not exactly a detective, instead a truth seeker as they call him.

Byomkesh series have an underlying layer of the social issues of that period sandwiched between the whodunnit thrilling cases. Social sattire, wearing the mask of a thriller drama, is precisely what you’d call Byomkesh Bakshi.

Director Anjan Dutt chose Saradindu Bandopaddhyay‘s ‘Benishonghar’ as the plot for his latest release ‘Byomkesh Phire Elo’. This is the third among Dutt’s Byomkesh films and undoubtedly the best of them all.

Abir Chatterjee is comfortable as Byomkesh Bakshi. He looks and feels the part aptly. Saswata Chatterjee as Ajit has hardly a few scenes but stands out in them all.

While the rest of the ensemble cast of this film play their part fairly, the extremely talented actor who needs mention here is Koushik Sen. He seems to be a natural as the drunkard son-in-law of the house and we surely wanted more screen time from him. He is one helluva performer.

Anjan Dutt has always been a master of shooting in the ancestral houses and by-lanes of North Kolkata, adding a 60’s feel to it. It was a plain sailing ride for him to have recreated the era through the consultation of his art director. The use of different colour tones to distinguish between the time frames is plausible.

The film, kept limited to a couple of hours, makes the screenplay more intriguing and appealing for such a thriller. Adventure has never been the forte of Byomkesh Bakshi, but is present in situations which help him deal with his ongoing case.

Neel Dutt does an amazing work with the original background score of the film. The trademark ‘Byomkesh Theme’ by Neel is something we had wanted throughout the film but sadly creeps up only at the end credits.

Final Verdict: Anjan Dutt’s third Byomkesh is an all-in-all interesting thriller with almost all the elements required present in it. It is however saddening that Abir who is so much in his comfort zone playing Byomkesh, has switched roles to Feluda and will not play the role of Bakshi in future. You must go for this adulterated thriller during your Christmas Break, but surely not with your little Santas.

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Hercules (2014)

Written by Abhikendu Deb Roy

Ratings: 3.5/5

In today’s world, we are so caught up with our hectic schedules that we do not have time to respect sentiments. ‘Hercules’ teaches us how to cling on to our memories and march forward into a new future.

Director duo Sudeshna Roy – Abhijit Guha are back with their satirical comedy drama film ‘Hercules’.

Haru, played by Parambrata Chatterjee, is a peon at a Govt. Office, who prefers to stay back at home to going to work on a working day. He, hereditarily, is the owner of an age-old house, which is being eyed by a Building Promoter Mr. Bajoria for the construction of a mall.

Saswata Chatterjee’s Mosh is the “Para’s Gunda” who is the middle man for Bajoria-Haru faceoff and tries to lure Haru into handing over the plot to them.

How Haru, single-handedly, saves his plot from being converted into a mall is all about Hercules. There is obviously a romantic angle in this ‘jomi dokhol’ story, exactly where Paoli Dam’s Meenu comes into play.

The synopsis might have a huge ‘Bhooter Bhobishyot’ hangover, but the underlying layers and the subplots make this all the way more interesting.

Director duo Sudeshna Roy – Abhijit Guha successfully execute the simple tale of Haru, penned down by Padmanabha Dasgupta. It might seem that the story has been loosely inspired from Tagore’s poem “Dui Bigha Jomi”, translated beautifully in modern times.

Parambrata has a double role in this movie and it is quite a pleasure watching him on screen. The best moments of the film are when the two Parambrata’s are having a conversation between them.

Paoli, who even though doesn’t have much to do in this film, is good enough in the scenes she appears in. Saswata has been a veteran in playing the role of a “Para’s Gunda” and is a riot in every scene he comes in.

The makers have tried to keep the film short and crisp, the running time being 1 hour 52 minutes. The first half is so engaging that you are craving for the next moment to arrive. The pace of the second half drops a bit and is a bit dragging, nonetheless ending it just when it might have had got on your nerves. The edit team has surely done their job nicely.

The music by Neel Dutt is ho-hum and could have been done away with. Two songs popping out of nowhere post-interval is also a negative point to the not-so-engaging second half.

Since the story mainly revolves around an ancestral house, the outdoor shoots remain limited. The art director must be applauded for his immensely beautiful portrayal of the age-old house. Usage of similar camera angles is one of the few flaws in the technical department of the film.

Hercules is the story of a timid man, entangled with the memories of his ancestral house, coping up with the pressures of the ruffian.

Hercules is the present day analogy of the middle class man trying to cope up with the pressures of the party politics.

Hercules is the resurgence of the hero within Haru. Hercules is the resurgence of the hero within us.

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SexTP15yGfI

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