I wont waste much space in reviewing Kaushik Ganguly’s latest, for I have nothing much to say, apart from cribbing about the film’s claustrophobic grimness and raving about Ganguly’s spectacular blind-act. The director gives himself the maximum footage, and quite effortlessly steals the show as a visually challenged writer (Partha) who dictates his novels to Subha (Ananya Chatterjee) all through the day. Subha and her noisy typewriter become his constant companion in the dimly lit apartment smarting under almost palpable depression. Subha’s reticence and sombreness adds to the darkness of the atmosphere; yet, it is in her very presence that Partha feels most animated. Struck by his remarkable insight into feminine desires, Subha once asks him: “Dekhen ki kore?” (How do you see?).
Apart from this part of the story, which incidentally constitutes a major chunk of the plot, Laptop has nothing much to offer. In fact, the way in which the laptop changes hands is rather un-dramatic and a tad incredible. It ruins a family while partially reunites another. It is because of the laptop that Jiyon (Gaurab Chakraborty) has to carry the burden of a failed affair and a false allegation of theft all his life. Indra (Rahul Bose) finds out that his son is being raised by a tea-planter’s family in Darjeeling through some data stored in the laptop. The way in which the film connects the ensemble cast at the very beginning is quite remarkable and raises expectations; but it sadly fails to live up to the expectations as the story unfolds. In fact, there is not a single moment that provides comic relief, and the existential angst becomes a bit too taxing, even when the story moves out of stifling interiors to the hills of Darjeeling. The last part of the film sentimentalizing on impotency and a father having to stay away from his son is unbearably long and monotonous. The film required heavy editing, in general.
The ensemble cast of TV actors is good; but Rahul Bose is atrocious and Churni’s mannerisms grate on your nerves. She is becoming extremely repetitive by the day. Apart from Kaushik, it’s Ananya who stands out. Anyway, at 180 minutes the agony the characters suffer grows into you, leaving you rather distraught. In a word, Laptop is a major disappointment of sorts. The evening show at Fame (Hiland Park) had but a thin crowd, and none seemed sufficiently excited after the curtains came down.