I was two when Joy Baba Felunath (in the spelling of which, incidentally, they had used F for Felunath, not PH) had released. Thanks to Doordarshan, I have watched the movie something like 932 times. Or at least it seems so. I have seen Shonar Kella a lot more.
Why, then, do I watch re-runs of these two movies time and again? Why do they show these two movies this frequently? Well, it's because I love thrillers, and our language, however rich, has not provided thrillers comparable to these two.
This means that there was a barren era since 1979, with occasional points of glory like Shubho Mohorot (which had an Agatha Christie story, not an original one).
The wait, though, is over. Baishe Shrabon is THE movie all Bengal had been waiting for. Had Srijit been a relatively veteran director, all India might have said so. And that's not the only reason.
You need to be Bengali to cherish the triumph of Baishe Shrabon. If not, you need to be speak a language whose heritage of poetry you're proud of. If that holds true, you'd gape open-mouthed at the director's knowledge of and respect for Bengali literature (read poetry).
That's not all, though. It has been long since a director has portrayed Kolkata this vividly; especially Kolkata at night, which, contrary to popular beliefs, is rich enough to match the imperial nocturnal experiences of the more glamorous cities of the world.
It's well-paced (though I'd be honest here and admit that romantic relationships have affected the pace of the movie for, say, about ten to fifteen minutes in the second half). It sucks you in and keeps you guessing (two signs of a great thriller) till the last moment, not only about who did it, but also about what the next poetry shall be. For a thriller it's almost glitch-free, and it's an amazing fact that the director himself, apart from the hard has provided us with a plotline this perfect, a concept this unique, a screenplay this gripping, dialogues this authentic.
There are moments that make you smile, even laugh. The dialogues are not forced or cliched, and despite the overuse of swear-words, nothing seems out of place in a scenario dominated by people who deal with criminals day in and day out.
Prosenjit is spectacular, and Parambrata and Raima fit in quite well in their roles. But the surprise of the movie is definitely Goutam Ghose, who puts up a performance that shall be remembered for years to come. Exactly whose idea it was to use him in the role is something unknown to me, but it certainly has been one of the finest brainwaves Bangla cinema has seen in recent past.
I'm not a movie critic, hence the technical aspects elude me. But I can, of course, have the feel to admit that whatever had happened on screen looked good: incredibly good. Good enough to acknowledge that this is the best thriller Bengal has produced since Joy Baba Felunath in 1979.
Srijit had debuted with Autograph. But with Baishe Srabon, we can safely say that he has arrived.
Just the one complaint, though: oh well, it would be a spoiler.