A Dip into Srijit’s Multiverse
Lockdown or what they say, Home Quarantine? During the times of Coronavirus or COVID-19, time is all we have to spend in home with friends and family. Watching movies with context is a favorite task of mine but due to hectic schedule it’s not sometimes possible to do so. But keeping in mind the amount of time to exercise, I chose the talented Srijit Mukheri’s (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Srijit_Mukherji) recent creations to have a go.
Baishe Srabon (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Baishe_Srabon), Mishawr Rawhoshyo (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mishawr_Rawhoshyo) & Chotushkone (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chotushkone) was his creations that I have finished previously. Tried to engulf into Autograph (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Autograph_(2010_film)) and Jaatishwar (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jaatishwar) but couldn't match my expectations hence had to cut of with his makings for a time being.
In the past few days I’d shortlisted four of his films to go with one by one. The criteria was that all of those would be later 2014 hence followed the following sequence.
Considering Srijit Mukherji is a thriller expert, I had expectation only on Ritwick Chakraborty (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ritwick_Chakraborty) for this movie. The movie started with a story and narration of an stuggling Makeup Artist in Tollywood Cinema’s who was unable to make his mark due to his straight forward approach and love for prosthetic makeup. He was hired by a mysterious man who proposed him to work on a facial makeover and body suit of a famous businessman for a movie. With his desire to be a famous person in Movie Makeup scenario, the talented Vinci Da A.K.A Rudranil Ghosh brilliantly portrayed the first makeover of businessman Mr. Jaiswal. Later he found out on TV that the man Adi Bose who have hired him, proclaimed himself as a serial Lawyer is on a mission of vengence of unsolved cases. By binding Vinci Da with some video evidence, Adi Bose makes him work on two more cases. Terrified over Mr. Adi’s advancement can Vinci Da escape from him? What happens to Vinci Da & Adi Bose in the end? A two hours plus thriller awaits. Two superb characters played by Sohini Sarker (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sohini_Sarkar) and Police Officer Mr. Poddar (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anirban_Bhattacharya) blew me out. Overall a well constructed cinema which had zero scenes to be counted as obsolete. This movie encouraged me to complete the next three in a row. What a good start!
Based on the infamous Bhawal Case (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bhawal_case) this movie had an extra attention from the Bangladeshi Viewers due to excellent acting by none other than Jaya Ahsan. Detailed review won’t be necessary for this amazingly made cinema rather than making and character analysis is more imporant to shade upon light on this creation. Jissu Sengupta (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jisshu_Sengupta) made his mark with Jaatishwar but he excelled exceptionally in “Ek Je Chilo Raja”. No other actor can fill in the shoes of Bhawal Raja considering the character he was compiling with the Sadhu he was for a few years. We saw Not one but 3 Jissu Sengupta in this movie, it was indeed hard for any actor to portray all three characters at a pace. Without his presence over almost every frame on this movie, it would have been incomplete.
The two lawyers played by Anjan Dutta and Aparna Sen, depicted the war of words in a harmony no other can be imagined of. Their on screen chemistry, the off court history and choice of words ignited fire to build the overall suspense. Unlike the previous movie, both Anirban & Rudranil played two very important characters to complement the overall scenario. In course of acting, everyone acted way good to make it a movie watch in a single sitting. Kudos to the choice of actors made by the director, shown how mature he have been in 8 years of cinema making. A few words to adore the making of this masterpiece. The set, attire, overall ambience of 1900s will take you back to the time to make you a part of the frame. It feels more like a journey rather than a cinema experience. Take a bow Mr. Mukherji.
Watching almost 40% of the film in a bus ride to Asansole from Kolkata back in November 2019, trust me the jerking was enough to consider not to watch it during that time. Forward to yesterday, compiling the cuts and pieces decided to watch it again for none other than the superstar of Kolkata Bangla Cinema “Bumbada” A.K.A Prosenjit Chatterjee (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Prosenjit_Chatterjee). He played extraordinarily the roles of both Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose and Gumnami Baba. His voice, dialogue delivery, calm yet rigid acting, looks into details was phenomenal. None other could have been doing it perfectly than him. He truly have outdone himself with both the characters.
Details of the storyline can be found in Mukherjee Commission Hearings (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Death_of_Subhas_Chandra_Bose#Mukherjee_Commission_2005) so won’t bore you by repeating it. Two things could have been improved in the movie, the prosthetic makeup of Bumbada and the Plane Crash Scene (Tbh in some shots the vfx looked really childish). Also storytelling overall could have been improvised as it was in some case monotonous. Although the revisions from historical viewpoint was quite refreshing which complemented the making perfectly. Now come to the character of Chandrachur Dhar played by Anirban showed the obsession to a cause resulting breakdown of his nuclear family. A strained relationship between him and his wife Ronita (Poorly played by Tanusree Chakraborty) resulted in a mild patchup during the penultimate stage of the movie. Although the results they have found was not accepted by the authority, the fighting spirit was the burning flame beneath.
Succeeding Baishe Srabon is a monumental task but a figure like srijit would definitely take the challenge. An extended cast to the already existing strong one, no presence of Inspector Prabir Roy Chowdhury portrayed by Master Actor Bumbada, gluing the audience towards the screen would have been a tough job. Although Mr. Mukherji knew it, he threw all the stones during his wedding Shenanigan to make it a proper sequel. After hearing contradictory reviews from film enthusiasts, it was a bit difficult for myself to sit calm and watch Dwitiyo Purush. I would openly admit that Parambrata Chaterjee is not a favorite actor of mine and I find it somehow discomforting watching him in a lead role. He tried to improve himself from the first one, tried to work on the chemistry with Raima Sen (Who Mostly played a cold role throughout) but not that much convincing. The role played by 15/16 year old KHOKA by Rwitobroto Mukherjee was excellent. He did everything possible to secure a cut from this movie. He made alive the role in the frames available.
Gaurav Chakrabarty played second fiddle to DCDD Avijit Pakrashi. Despite being the first born of famous Sabyasachi Chakrabarty, his acting is yet to be hit in the ceiling of topliner actors in Bengali Cinema. He played an important part in the movie and as it’s a thriller I’ll let the audience find it. KHOKA as an adult ( Or Someone Else ) played by my recent favorite Anirban hit a masterstroke. Throughout the four films as I have watched, his role kept increasing and unlike Gumnami he played the joint lead role in Dwitiyo Purush. The name of the movie is hidden in this character. My opinion is the first half of this movie could have been better but the last 45 minutes made it clear how much suspense can Srijit Mukherji throw to his audience. It’s still a riddle to me that how film after film he’s delivering and in 2020 he have hit another milestone of making great cinemas.
My few takes after watching this quadruple marathon of Srijit Mukherji’s Multiverse,
> Currently in the thriller genre, he’s the most talented in Tollywood Cinema. His periodic drama making is improving constantly.
> Prosenjit is surely the best after Uttam Kumar.
> Jaya Ahsan can bail out any of the current stars with her acting. Brilliant screen presence. Sohini Sarker is a gem in Kolkata Cinema. Her Acting is just fab.
> Anirban is a masterclass finding of Mr. Mukherji and oh I wish I wish he can be Feluda one day (May be the most deserving after Sabyasachi)
Would love to hear your findings in the comments.
Stay Safe, stay home let not the COVID-19 come.