While one part of the average mainstream Bengali cine-going audience will feel Paglu2 to be a fantastic work by Dev, I would consider taking into consideration Challenge2. Frankly, this is a films which will take your breath away; a film that will make you realize the transformation that has arrived in Bengali film industry. High budgets, costly costumes, etc. may adorn the commercial films but the Bengalis had long nurtured a grievance that the storyline of the films is not upto the mark or is nonsensical. However, just as Paglu2 proved how a commercial film can be insanely entertaining, Challenge 2 proves to be a film that Bengali commercial movie-genre can show and deliver.
The thrill and suspense are so intense that I simply can't reveal them here. A big thanks to Raja Chanda since after the disappointing "Janeman" he has given us such a film, with an absolutely mindblowing story, coupled with able performances.
Challenge2 rightly brings out a new Dev, torn away from the usual rom-com heroic image and explores his hidden talent as an action master. Also, among other commercial film heroes who have become the leading men of Tollywood, Dev is the one (only one perhaps) who has highly expressive eyes and I was surprised to find how he proves himself as a potential actor, how he has deftly portrayed the character -- he really has worked hard and well, the audience getting out of a renowned multiplex too acknowledged that. He for the first time proves that an action hero can be a treat to watch, and he may not just scream. He may retain emotions, and his character may depict delicacy, vulnerability yet undaunted determination and courage - those eyes spoke everything. You take a look at his eyes and his attitude, his mannerism, his style will speak volumes about the character he plays.
Pooja Bose is the lead lady but has limited screen appearance. She looks good and acts quite well. But, she must work on her body and facial expressions.
The supporting actors have delivered well. Tapas Pal is commanding as Dev's father. Labony is good.
But what snatches away the cream of the film is the use of slangs that can cater to the mass audience only. But with the class audience returning to commercial Bengali theatres now, it's a foolish decision to include such cheap entertainment packages.
Musicwise, Pyaar Ka Bukhaar and Challenge Nibi Na are not extraordinary though the latter is more acceptable due to Dev's screen presence, attitude, choreography, etc. Chor Police er Prem and finally Elo Je Ma (reminiscing Dev's Dhaaker Tale of Poran Jay Joliya Re) are delightful. These two are expected to be huge hits not only for their tune but also since they are meaningful and the videos are mindblowing.
Challenge2 never lets our expectations down but heightens them. Dev is expected to do meaningful (okay, commercial films CAN have meaning, e.g. Ley Chakka, Challenge2 and Dui Prithibi) cinema now instead of stupid hits like Paglu which have absolutely no storyline.
Hats off to the entire Challenge2 team!
With such a fine performance and belonging to a very well-told story, Dev is looking towards a sureshot blockbuster this Puja. May his and all others' Puja turn out to be memorable.