‘Baishe Sraban’ is a memorable day for Bengalis as it marks the death anniversary of Rabindranath Tagore.It is a landmark for them. The film which has just hit the theatres is also a sort of landmark film for Bengali cinema by way of a crime thriller.
The film is the most awaited, hyped film during this pujas as people have a lot of expectations from Srijit after his Autograph’ last year, which released last year during the pujas and become a rage all over and set the path for Bengalis to watch cinema in a big way again.
The film initially will seem as a take of on the ‘Stoneman Murders’ which took place in Kolkata in the 1980s, but the case was never solved. The victim always used to be a pavement dweller who would have his head smashed by a stone. The difference here is that the victims are not neccessarily pavement dwellers, but also prostitutes and other people of the lower section of the society. Investigating this case is Abhi who is asked to take the help of Prabir, a brilliant ex cop suspended because of his behaviour and the way he treated criminals. He is a care free, foul mouthed ruthless cop who decides to assist Abhi on the request of Abhi’s superior who was his classmate. They discover that when all the victims get bumped off, the killer leaves some poetry behind on a paper which is by some great Bengali poet or the other who is no longer alive. They zero in on Nibaran, an ex criminal and an eccentric poet who is struggling to make his end meet and always seems to be calling up ‘Rabindranath’.He even commits suicide later on and the case is closed as he is considered to be the killer. Now! Now! Just when you thought when the case has been solved and the film will end, comes the real ‘big’ twist in the tale which will ‘surprise’ most as it comes from nowhere out of blue and reveals the real identity of the killer.
The film is the first, contemporary edge of the seat (in it’s own way mind it, not by action) thriller which Srijit ahs gifted us during this pujas by way of story telling is brilliant and he has particularty been able to extract two brilliant performances from Prasenjit and Gautam Ghosh.Now Prasenjit, we all know and have seen what he is capable of in Autograph and several other films recently. He is brilliant in his expressions, his dialogue delivery and the way he changes his appearance in his character from Prabir-the ex cop with long hair with a complete disheveled look to the new look Prabir who is a cool ex cop investigating the case in his own way. He again marvels and shows that it is his film all the way. The person who does surprise is noted filmmaker Goutam Ghosh who had last acted in Buddhadev Dasgupta’s ‘Grihajuddha’ 29 years back. He simply comes back with a bang! His performance as Nibaran, a struggling ex criminal and an eccentric disillusioned poet who is completely disillusioned with the sytem, the society, it’s people and is always seen calling up Rabindranath and blabbering is a treat considering that he is a filmmaker is a treat to watch.Parambrata starts off well, but then for the rest of the film does nothing which we have seen before.Raima as Abhi’s girlfriend Amrita and Abir as Surjo, Amrita are good in their own ways.
The film is a very dark thriller because the killings are all gory and the characters specially of Prasenjit and Goutam Ghosh are all very dark which sets the tone of the film. One must remember that this is a musical thriller so songs(most of them centered around Abhi and Amrita) as well the progress of their ‘love story’ has been shown which may not be to the liking of a few. This might have been done either to keep us in the dark about the way the film progresses or maybe the director wanted to show us what other characters are all going through as a result or not as a result of the case. The plot involving amrita and Suryo trying to make a story of the ‘13th’ serial killer by trying to trick Nibaran in to providing them with facts about Rafikul Ahmed though doesn’t hold much value.
The film has been beautifully shot in the dark alleys and a mansion in North Kolkata .The film is full of profanity and abuses which Prabir constantly utters to show him as an extremely foul mouthed cop. This will seem extremely appealing to the younger generation and this has most probably been done to draw the front benchers and the general crowd to the theatres rather than have added these word to make Prabir’s character more realistic. The songs are very nice, but somehow they don’t fit into a thriller of this kind. Maybe again we need to remind ourselves that this is a musical thriller.
Srijit has another winner up his sleeve with Baishe Sraban as it has introduced a very kind of a crime thriller which Tollywood has not seen before.