"Paglu" was a super-hit, so people expected a different film from Dev. Now here's the challenge: Should I consider "Romeo" as a hardcore commercial film or should I consider it as an offbeat cinema? There's this dilemma as the movie begins as a commercial film but continues into almost an offbeat film.
To be precise, "Romeo" Dev starts as a lover but the story turns into a drama ending with the ultimate re-union of his separated parents. Why is this union important? Coz his love, Pooja (played by Subhashree) has a father who wants her husband to be "perfect" and believes that he whose parents are separated, will not understand the true essence of love.
The story covers a variety of genres like romance, comedy, drama, etc. but exclusively lacks action as when Dev tries to beat the goons, he's always called by Pooja to stop! Anyway, maybe action would have removed the "offbeat" tag from this movie and the director did an intelligent job as he tried to present this movie differently.
It is again one of those films that require strong acting skills. Dev, I should say, had been a strong actor, and here also he is good. Subhashree is a treat - she has excelled herself, both acting wise and appearance wise. Labony and Sabyasachi deliver stellar performances. But Biswajit is completely wasted. Partha Sarathi Mukherjee is good in some places but not uniformly. Perhaps everything coming out of his mouth should not be a joke! A man cannot joke the whole day!!
Coming to romance, it is one of those conflicting family dramas where the lovers get angry at each other followed by obvious re-unions. But here, the lovebirds try their best to unite Dev's parents so that their marriage can be successful. Now, I must say, the innovative techniques adopted by them, and their hilarious failure along with Dev's comedy expressions will not fail to brighten your face with a smile. Romance is obviously there, it contributes 80% to the movie. There is enough space for romance and it has been well-performed. Like Dev's touching Subhashree's face to forget his deep sorrows...
Songs are very nice, but too many! Best ones are "Eta Ki Bhool", "Ghum Ghum Ei Chokhe" and "Mon Toke Dilam" which are romantic numbers. Title track is quite catchy and once again proves that Dev is by far the best dancer today in Bengali commercial cinema. The comedy song "Kobe Aibe Amar Pala Re" and sorrowful "Jai Pakhi Ure" are also very good.
Last, but not the least, Romeo delivers a strong social message. It's not the film you'll go to watch and then forget altogether. It teaches you to sacrifice for a relationship, to be responsible towards your parents and most importantly, to say "Sorry". Sabyasachi learnt it from Dev that a small apology can bond together a whole family.
I would say that performances are commendable, not the storyline. It drags in many places but perhaps that helps to prove how strong is Dev's energy and screen presence. His uniformly energetic performance prevents spectators from going out, at least. Kudos to Dev for this.
Script should have been "brighter". The writer could have used exciting expressions but okay! Offbeat cinemas need to lack pace!!
For the second time in his life, Dev has tried his hand in a parallel film (I would call this "half-parallel" rather as here the hero is just a supporting actor, the expressions matter) after "Dui Prithibi" (where Dev's Sibu was the offbeat character). And I would say he has tried his best and his performance, his attempts to impress the audience have not gone in vain - at least they have pleased us!
I personally feel Dev is a great potential actor and he has not been utilized by Bengali cinema to that extent. Like Prosenjit Chatterjee had to do commercial films so long till he got to work with Rituparno Ghose's "Chokher Bali".
Subhashree's chemistry with Dev is STUNNING! I think their magic will go a long way, provided better scripts come. I feel Bengal lacks good scripts. But thanks to the sincere performances and the message it conveys, Romeo will not be able to fade away from the public mind so easily.