Yes...in a word, Raj Chakrabarty-Dev's deadly combination "Challenge" is a winner. The loverboy who had pleased audiences with extremely expressive eyes and cute face in "I Love You", "Premer Kahini" and "Mon Mane Na" is full-on to prove to the public that he can effectively and successfully be an iconic action hero. Perhaps the raw freshness in him helped the process.
A comedy cum romantic cum action movie, Challenge brings to us a new pair, Dev-Subhashree. Dev is the rough and tough action hero while Subhashree is a darling - this contrast has much helped in the success of the movie. Though it lacks uniqueness or novelty, Challenge enjoys unique presentation and style. Excessive melodrama has been avoided and silly jumping of heroes has been deducted.What shines throughout is the intelligence of the director.
Dev has established himself as a successful action hero. But while "Premer Kahini" and "Mon Mane Na" required acting, Challenge demands style. Dev shines in his style. That is unique. But he gets rarely the scope to act as he has played the angry young man throughout. Obviously we can't judge Dev as an actor in this movie. But, is it then a movie that requires no acting at all? Then how come it's a movie? No, it needs acting, at bits, from Dev. He has pulled off those parts well and the roads are open for him to improve much more. Particularly watch out for the romantic scenes and the comedy scenes where he hides from his father, Biswajeet!
But, his romance with Subhashree is a treat to watch. Subhashree needs to improve her acting but well, a nice effort on her part. But she dances well and looks slim in the song sequences!
Rajatava as the over-possessive father of Subhashree is FABULOUS! He has done the humour shows with 100% perfection and they will set you laughing, of course! In fact, he's one of the best for this job.
Biswajeet is FLAWLESS as Dev's father, with extra-ordinarily perfect comic timing and expressions. Labony sparkles as a caring mother.
Comedy has been dealt with very well in this movie. But what is that X factor that separates Challenge from other commercial Bengali cinema and adds a new dimention to this genre? Its the smart editing, and smart direction. The director has not elongated anything exceptionally and this is commendable as the audience rarely gets time to be bored. The director has placed the pictures one after the other and the whole movie is like a book of coloured photos, each page gripping you.
Ending could have been better. The most imperfect point is that a second ago, Ronyda grimaces in anger when he finds Dev and Subhashree are going to get married but the very next second, he laughs and agrees to the wedding! The ending seems forced. Otherwise a well-told story.
Overall, Challenge has a style.