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Movie Reviews by Shubhodeep Biswas

YETI OBHIJAAN REVIEW

বাংলা সিনেমা কে স্বপ্ন দেখতে শিখিয়েছিলেন মানিকবাবু। সেই সময় টাকে বাংলা সিনেমার স্বর্ণযুগ বলা হতো।
কারণ সেই প্রত্যেক স্বপ্ন দেখা কে সত্যি করার মতন Veterans দের নাম আজও বাংলা সিনেমার ইতিহাসে জ্বল জ্বল করছে।
তারপর থেকে Bengali Film Industry স্বপ্ন দেখা বন্ধ করেনি, তবে আফসোস ছিল তার পেছনে ছোটার মতো দৃঢ়তা বা ধক এতদিন কোনো director এর মধ্যে দেখা যায়নি তাই কোনো producerও risk টা নিতে পারেনি।
Cut to 2017,
আমি স্বর্ণযুগের সাথে তুলনায় যাচ্ছি না, তবে এটা বলতে দ্বিধা নেই বাংলা সিনেমা নতুন করে কিছু myth ভেঙে ইতিহাস লিখছে।
And carrying that all important flag is none other than Srijit Mukherjee…(দূরে দিগন্তে যুদ্ধ হাজার, মাটিতে পা ‘পড়তে লড়তে মরতে ভয় না পাওয়া’ রাজার).
All the deserving credits goes to each and everyone of team Srijit Mukherjee and SVF to make this much a challenging film possible that too with all the constraints a local film industry faces.
Now, coming to the film,Yeti Obhijaan is a never seen before cinematic experience for a bengali audience for its landscape, a visual treat like Chander Pahar was that pleases every eye .Courtesy the ever beautiful Swiss Alps and the best man behind the lens , Mr. Soumik Haldar.
The two best aspects of this puja release is the cinematography and the background score/music by Indradip Dasgupta.
You even take back the theme song when you leave the theaters.
Overall, performance-wise, the film successfully rides on the shoulders of Prosenjit-Aryaan as Kakababu-Santu and their conversations.
Their chemistry being a lot fresher and better this time around.
Though Aryaan still needs to cover a lot of grounds i feel.
About the rest of the casts , the notable mentions are Jishu as Rana, mim bidya as Miss Verma, Allex as Cane Shipton and Ferdous as Mr. Gupta (yes, Srijit continues reviving careers).
Amidst all these , the film I felt was a tad slow paced….it takes time to cling on to the main story (blame the lucrative picturesque locales that the director couldn’t resist to show)
The second half also takes time to pick up its form at the beginning.
But, having said all, the bottomline goes Feluda, Kakababu films are beyond judgements, they are emotions every bengalis possess.
They are our childhood.
Nowadays, a lot of people tend to give mandatory opinions without adequate Knowledge. That is quite Dangerous!! Its a request to them to get well informed before you speak.
And to those who are complaining a lack of suspense and thriller element in the film, I am sure they haven’t read about Kakababu.It is a Children’s adventure.
Expect wisely,you will never be disappointed.If you want thriller and suspense, Go watch Chotuskone and Baishey Srabon 😊.

P.S : Go and watch Yeti Obhijaan to relive your Anondomela days and also sit through the End scrolls to witness the ‘Thrilling’ Making video as the icing on the cake.

 

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JAGGA JASOOS REVIEW

Before I went to the theaters I was in a fix on the mixed reviews of the film across the country and rave reviews in Kolkata dailies. Still I backed my guts getting a mental preparation of witnessing what I can term a ‘Unique’ never-seen-before cinema experience in Bollywood.

The Maiden production of Ranbir Kapoor in joint venture with Disney which took as long as 3 years in the making has delivered as per expectations and how? A Comedy-Fantasy-Musical-Adventure-Spy-Thriller genre (A first of its kind) that Anurag Basu has created is a very rare experiment one can ever imagine of.Atleast Bollywood hasn’t tried it in the extreme past.
Now what is Musical genre? Right? The Film has more or less 29 songs.Wait.What?
Yes….  Want to know why?
Because Jagga has a problem of Stammering which is why he has to sing all his dialogues in rhythm as practiced by his father Badal Bagchi (Tuti Futi).Jagga unravelling mysteries with his songs are the most exciting bits. That musical mistery bit sets the tone for Jagga’s investigative methods. And when you have Pritam-Anurag Basu-Amitabh Bhattacharya-Arijit behind,rest assured u are bound to create masterpiece in terms of BGM,Music,Dialogues & Songs. Much like Tukka Laga, Chocolatey Chunnu and Khaana Khaake Daaru Peekey Chale Gaye.

The screenplay is presented as chapters from a comic book; the movie uses Kolkata Boi Mela as its main storytelling device in a form of musical drama. The film unfolds as Shruti(Katrina) narrates stories from the book, and we’re pulled into Jagga’s fantasy world of merry characters and rhyming dialogues and exquisite locales. Plus small tributes to Feluda,Shundi & Goopy Bagha’s “Raining Monda Mithai” transforming into Christmas Cakes.
The film is packed with lots of fun,roller coaster rides,chase sequences, adventure, suspense, emotions and INNOCENCE (yes… Most Important characteristic).

Coming to technical part:
Performances : Ranbir is in his Outstanding Form overshadows everyone.Saurabh Shukla is brilliant as usual but it is our very own Genius Saswata Chatterjee who is the soul of the film. Proud!
Unlike many,to my absolute surprise, I completely fell in love for Katrina’s. The way she has moulded herself for Shruti Sengupta is Applause-worthy.Her best work till date.
Last but Not the Least, Ronydaaaaa……as the oh-so-cute cop, Rajatava Dutta.. I would have loved to see more of u.
But, all of them had one thing in common, INNOCENCE.
Exception : Basheer Alexander (for the details u need to watch the movie, no spoilers here.
Another name u cannot overlook is Mr. Ravi Verman, the cinematographer. It was like watching a National Geographic channel in a big screen.The way he captured nature is the Film’s second best aspect after music.Also, rightful credits definitely goes to the costume and art & make up department for making the characters look really amazing and believable.

Demerits : The Film’s duration.After a brilliant first half, the film fails to up the intensity created by itself thus dragging a healthy 15-20 min in the middle before regaining its tempo.Too clumsy at parts.

Now, knitting all together, All hail Anurag Basu’s unique vision makes this otherwise predictable Fairytale thoroughly watchable & unique.
Add to that an extra star for the SURPRISE Ending.Woo… that was something…!! Intriguing and will leave you curious for……. Clap!! Clap!!  Jagga Jasoos 2.0?? Are u listening?

A Cute Comic Book Fantasy straight from the Heart for every child (inside us) who loves to dream… This is our Bollywood’s hatke version of La La Land. A Must Watch for all Children and for others its a perfect film to discover a child in you.Go for it 🙂
A Cartoon Network favourite for the upcoming kids. (Y)

 

 

HINDI MEDIUM REVIEW

Back to writing ways after a long Gap. Reason : Hindi Medium. Literally forced me to post one review.

“I can Talk English,I can walk English,I can Laugh English because English is a very Funny Language.” – Amitabh Bachchan in Namak Halal

Hindi Medium Explains——–
A film that deserved more than it got may be. Beautifully crafted Handicraft. Most underrated film of the year.
Hindi Medium is director Saket Chaudhary’s third film after Pyaar Ke Side Effects and Shaadi Ke Side Effects and arguably his best although many will choose PKSE.
But if you see the treatment with which he deals a subject which is a scary reality nowadays is heart warming. He throws sarcasm with comedy everywhere and anywhere keeping the soul of the film in the right place.

Yes, the Social Message of the Social Circus of Education ‘Industry’.

In conveying that message he finds the perfect person to demonstrate the ‘India Is English, English is India’ logic. Let us know the name? Irrfan Khan (he owns the film throughout). Alongwith him, the other two main pillars of the success of the film are Mr. Deepak Dobriyal (yes, of Tanu weds Manu fame) and the dominant lady from Pakistan Saba Qamar.Deepak’s Character added the much needed freshness at the right time.
Not to forget is a brilliant Tilottama Shome as the parents-consult-me-in-their-first-trimester admissions consultant. 😀

Hindi Medium is surely on the likes of our very own bengali film Ramdhanu but scores more on cinematic syllabus though the issue remains exactly the same which is a much-needed raise of the Finger on the private school system and how it has become so important in our lives. It’s also a lesson for the government officials who goes blind towards the govt. schools that have millions of potential winners hidden

Despite a little preachy and over-dramatic half cooked climax towards the end, Hindi Medium strongly drives its point home.

You are likely to empathise with Irrfan with his climax speech.

“Iss desh me angrezi zabaan nahi, class hai,”  🙂

 

ZULFIQAR REVIEW

*NO SPOILERS*

THE PROPHET’s SWORD – The Meaning

If we consider Tollywood as ‘PROPHET’, then surely Srijit Mukherjee has evolved as a SWORD.It is a very rare feat for a Director in a comparatively very little time when a film sells by his NAME.That’s the amount of Trust he has acheived from his Friends,Romans & Countrymen. 🙂

This Puja, he introduces us to his most studious child,his 9th Baby to be precise.
This one deals with the dark side of Kolkata that has never been shown earlier and as Kashinath says ‘Nobody remembers the ones who come second’.That is one reason of many that the Film will be remembered as one of the Multi-starrer Cults.Add to that an amazing adaptation of Mr.William Shakespeare’s JULIUS CAESER & ANTONY_CLEOPATRA.The Art of Weaving two plays together in a single thread with mixture of Cross-Stitches & Simple runs is really Praiseworthy.The Masterstroke of Splitting Mark Antony & the Textual references at different junctures of the film has been Brilliantly executed.Several unwanted Truths revealed subtly.Each scene spoke a lot.

Coming to the film,It is Literally A ‘Game of Thrones’ or a ‘Mahabharata’.The character portrayals are the Clear Winners.A Swaggy Param is Brilliant as Tony [the Better half of Markaz 😉 ] and the debutant Deepak Adhikari is Spellbound as Speechless.Wondering why I said Debutant? Because it is a rediscovery.He is in a complete different league.Kudos Rhijuda.Prosenjit was pouring with royal Grandeur & how in each & Every Frame with a larger than life identity.Though his accent could have been better.Nusrat,Kanachan,Rahul(the next big thing) was Fantastic.What can I say about Jishu Sengupta,If Kabir in Rajkahini was a Trailer,Kashinath Kundu is the Blockbuster..You will find striking similarities with Shakuni.
And then there was a boy who debuted in Ekdin Pratidin, Mr. Kaushik Sen as Basheer Khan is a Sheer takeback from the Film.No one more than him deserves to own the Film with the voice modulation.Hats off & Pants down Sir..Jahapana Tussi Great Ho!

On the Contrary, Honestly it isn’t one of his best films with its share of flaws which I rarely find in his Films.The background music could have been more edgy,the mounting could have been far better.Akhtar could have been explored more AND Ankush I suppose is a MisCast specially after the Transformation.I agree he looked stunning but he lacked Grit & Intensity.The Editing could have been better (Blame it on the Objections faced)…looked discontinuos at parts affecting the Zeal.The Trailer could have been less revealing also.
(Completely MY Opinion)

In Short,eto kichhu bolar poreo it is Definitely a MUST WATCH!!
Don’t Go expecting a Suspense Thriller,Because its not.Its an Adaptation.
Begum Jaan er opekkhay roilam. 🙂
Rating : 7.5/10

Oh! I haven’t mentioned Paoli Dam & Srijato? Then Find it Yourselves 🙂

P.S – Nachiketa Chakraborty’s Ek Purono Masjid e is the Much Needed Icing on the Cake.
Shubhodeep Biswas

 

PINK REVIEW

A Moral Blast to give a Wake up Call to the Snorting Society and its Prejudice.
A ‘NO’ means a ‘NO’ !

Shoojit Sircar & Aniruddha ‘Tony’ Roy Chowdhury, Take a Bow for this brave Hindi mainstream film as an advance gift prior to Durga Puja, which focuses on real young women and the irony of our mentalities. Why Brave? Because Hearing the phrase ‘are you a virgin’ in a Bollywood film in a meaningful, non-smirky manner? FANTASTIC. Underlining a woman’s freedom to own her sexuality? PRICELESS.

The Character portrayals were Un-Questionable.. Tapsee Pannu ! The way she emoted responding to every situation she was thrown in is BRILLIANT. She has the film on her shoulders and she is consistently impressive,Kirti Kulhari is marvellous especially when belatedly exploding and Tariang(Googled her Name) doesn’t hit a false note either making the film relatable to reality.Angad was Gritty as Menace.Thumps Up
And there lived an Old man they said in Bollywood Jo aaj v jahan pe Khade ho jaye LINE to wahi se suru Hoga…No Words to Explain MR. AMITABH BACHCHAN as Deepak Sehgal,a retired Renowned Lawyer making a comeback with few jitters/fumbles here & there and then shifts gear to a more Confident Proffessional.STELLAR.

A Very Intense,Reasonable & Detailed Courtroom drama that I have Watched after a Long time.For example :Bachchan responds to an Objection saying ‘Fair Enough’ & in another Scene, as a Stupefyingly Articulate Orator scolding witnesses – “I object… to this awkward performance. He is overacting”.The way he Rhetorically states ‘The Rule Book of the Girls’ Safety Manual.And we have (Special Mention) Dhritiman Chatterjee playing a judge who understands rhetorics..

But it is the STORY(& it had to be in Delhi) which is a clear Winner alongwith great work on the Edit Table & Behind the Lens to Stitch it all together till the End Credits.Kudos our very own Bodhaditya Bandopadhyay & Avik Mukhopadhyay.

The Film Warns us that the mentality of the MARD needs to change..its High Time! It needs to start at Grassroot Level …a Must Watch for Everyone.

P.S : Movie tar Namkoron ta obosso amar thik pochhondo holo na, But Great Debut for Aniruddha Roy Choudhury (though it looked more like a Shoojit Sircar Style….A TEAM EFFORT Nonetheless)

The History of a Butcher (M.A.D)

Huh… It was quite a long wait…. which finally ended. 🙂

Just came back from watching A History of Butchers, a Mad About Drama Production, written & directed Aritra Sengupta based on the play titled The Just Assassins by Albert Camus.
Honestly speaking, I knew nothing about the original play prior to today but realised that The play was a gem.Now coming back to their adaptation, I completely loved narrative style, the metaphorical depictions , the numerous references that cleverly entwines modern day scenarios with the backdrop of 1905 Russia. And God the topic was BOLD, questioning the interpretation of history… “History was never about remembering, its about selective forgetting”.The narration was quite attention seeking with connecting the audience directly as well in indirect ways which I hope the audience could understand properly. I found metaphors in almost every scene and every dialogue and even the props be it with the current political scenario worldwide or references to Illuminati,ISIS,Jihadi,Putin,Che Guevara, Gandhis (yes,both of them),Khudiram,Bhagat Singh.Arektu tight hole valo hoto…2nd half e ektu dragged legechhe..
But with just a JUST Ending,mersemerized me as an audience.
The acting was Brilliant! Their timing was breath-taking, literally. I Dont know the original names, but all the five who played the russian revolutionists or ‘Butchers’ excelled in every departments.Be it Stepan’s postures and movements,Evan’s Dialogue delivery,Boria/Foga’s Voice modulations and versatility and Dora’s Heartwarming emotions.
Now coming to the proud moment.
A boy who had started writting poems from 2nd Standard itself has evolved into such a talented Writer/Director, I think it was destined. Aritra’s direction was bang on as well as the script.I have become a fan , bro..Keep it up. (Y) *I hope he  still gives Doctors a run for their money with his Handwritting* 😛
I really hope and wish that u guys touch the right heights at the right time.Such talents need to be encouraged.
Signing Shubhodeep Biswas
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Oh wait… Special Mention : Saintbrush , u deserve an applause too especially Rohit and Dishani,if i m not wrong with your names😊..Commendable presentation to set the things up .

PRAKTAN REVIEW

 

The Dusk of the Golden Era Tollywood .. It was ’90s when the Bengali Film Industry was slowly dooming , a pair stood apart with nearly 50 films together,celebrated as the second most popular Pair On-Screen, as the lone flag bearers of massy commercial entertainment called Cinema.But somehow they parted ways in films.Come 2016, 14 years since their last film together,two current stalwarts of Bengali Cinema, Prosenjit Chatterjee & Rituparna Sengupta had individually travelled a long way with age,maturity & ofcourse,Taste.

And Then one Fine morning,they finally decide to ReUnite in a film ironically titled ‘Praktan- The Former’ and then its History.It couldn’t have been better than this. 🙂

Shiboprasad & Nandita yet again stitches a Gripping Tale of Relationships revolving around Ujaan,Sudipa & Manali in their Predictable way but with lot more Reality & Relatability after BELASESHE.This is a Poignant Film That Teaches You the Art of Moving On.The film throws upon a lot of questions about modern marriages. Is the husband wrong in expecting his wife to compromise on her career for the sake of his happiness and family? Should a wife cave in to the demands of the husband? Who should be making more compromises in a marriage- a wife or a husband? And more importantly, the film beautifully highlights why it is important to accept the mistakes of the past and move on.

The Director Duo have excelled in managing to Underline the Script in such a way that every audience relates & in turn it simplifies the complexities of most modern day relationships..the compromising issues..the Ego problems..the Sacrifices..the Priorities..the Fate of a Mismatched Relationship of True Love.

They also try to be the modern day Sooraj Barjatya as they mix up the recipe with different sub-plots with real references making it believable which rightly mixes up resulting in a wider reach in terms of Audience acceptance. The film also packs in all the quintessential elements of Bengali culture: music, food, travel, Tagore (Loosely Inspired from ‘Hotath Dekha’) & Kokata.

The Music is fabulous.The Songs of the movie is so Well Placed..’Tumi Jake Bhalobaso’ by Emon in Particular is so Touching that it stays back with you.And with ‘Kolkata Kolkata’ ,the city of Joy has got an Anthem .One must take note of the first few scenes where the camera captures Kolkata in all its glory. From the sunset on the river Hooghly to the historic Writers’ Building to the stunning aerial shots of Victoria Memorial, the ‘Kolkata Anthem’ highlights the rich heritage of the city and almost makes you yearn for a trip to the city.

Camerawork was Excellent as well.Actingwise,everybody played their part with perfection be it Biswajit-Manali’s newly wed cuople or Soumitra & Sabitri’s wierd Hingali language,or Anindya,Upal,Anupam,Surojeet playing their Star-selves.But yes, despite the presence of two mega stars like Prosenjit and Rituparna, the one who virtually carries the film on her shoulder is Aparajita.

Overall,’Praktan’ may be tad bit stretched in the second half with unnecessary exaggerating of sub-stories including an absurd scene of violin playing TT and Biswajit-Manali’s obscene caricatures, and with a few flaws here and there.Technically,It is not Spectacular.But do Watch Praktan for its Simplicity that touches the chord. 🙂

 

TAMASHA REVIEW

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After the Huge Success of YJHD, Expectations were sky high from this Ex-Couple.. They Lived Up to it and delivered && HOW??

The Film is Basically a Straightway Tribute to the innumerable Nautankis, Ramleelas, Tamashas, Bioscopes and also our very own Jatras that were and are still popular in Indian Artistic Platform.
The Screenplay has been woven in such a way that you will feel watching One such Art-form going on specially with the Chapter-wise Storytelling style in Progess & Even Beeping off ‘F’ words & smoothly avoiding Intimate Scenes shows the clear intentions of the director.Add to that the very loud & vibrant Background Score which,at first, will sound unnecessary but you will realize at the end that A.R.Rahman cannot go wrong, Bwoy!!

Imtiaz Surely knows how to narrate a Romantic Story in a Unique way.. 🙂
Imtiaz Ali plots the story of Ved, a boy who grows up listening to the age old iconic stories of all possible romantic couples in the world … be it Romeo-Juliet, Heer-Ranjha, Laila-Majnu, Ram-Sita,Prithviraj-Sanyukta or even The Arabian Night’s Aladin-Jasmine..and stays lost in those stories…
And One Fine Morning, He wakes up to the Cobwebs of his Monotonous Life becoming a Literal Robot running the Rat Race ( Sounds similar to our current situations,Right??  Same Story of Everyone’s Life )
It’s What Happens next that you find out yourselves.. 🙂

RANBIR KAPOOR finally delivers what was pending for a long time (Don Returns 😉 )..He was Crazy, He was Flamboyant,He was Immature,He was a lost soul,He was a Lady Killer, He was Scintillating..
Watch out for the Scene where Ved narrates the Story of Himself to his Family.Pure Gem!!
DEEPIKA PADUKONE nailed it with her Eyes & Expressions as Tara as well as Mona Darling 😉 and the Chemistry she shares with RK is Amazing with its own intensity.
Music is apt as the Typical Great A.R.Rahman Composition but It is Alka Yagnik’s Voice (after a looong time) which just gives a mesmerizing feel to Tum Saath Ho by Arijit Singh, that stays back.

In breif, Dont Expect a YJHD,Its Completely Kind of Role Reversal here..
Overall a very Good Movie..2nd Half is a tad less Vibrant than the first half in terms of Freshness..Lacks the Grip somewhere in the middle though but RK manages to bring back it on Track.Go for It… for Ran-Pika (Y)

Note: Camerawork looked a bit experimental at parts which was refreshing..Specially the Close-Ups.

NIRBASHITO REVIEW

poster-of-nirbashito

Travelling to unknown lands with no plans to return, might sound like an exotic way of escaping the everyday grind. 🙂
But what if you are forced to move out of your country that till yesterday was your own? What if you are banished from your own country because you were penning down words that meant threat to the set up?

Directed by Churni Ganguly, Nirbashito was rightly awarded the National Award for ‘Best Bengali Film’. Inspired by the True story, the Film is about a renowned Author played by Churni herself and her solitary life banished in exile when her own country disowns her.
Nirbashito raises a lot of questions and makes us think & realize when shown from her perspective as she says “Its the SWORD which always wins,not the PEN”.With such a concept (courtesy Kaushik Ganguly), the film points out the shallowness & failure of the whole SYSTEM with Sarcasm.

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Brilliantly written Dialogues are another positive aspect which metaphors a satirical unfortunate truths of life with solid references of Galileo,M.F Hussain & even Salman Rushdie in one of the frames.With Saswata, Kaushik Ganguly, Raima Sen up in the Sleeves, the canvas seems quite Soothing for the audience.But it is ‘Baghini’, an adorable cat who emoted & added an icing to the cake.
Do watch the Film for the sake of Humanity!!

Statutory Warning : Not for Everyone Though 😀

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