"Throughout the film, the director plays with the minds of his audience," writes Nayan Basu.
Mounting a film like Dwitiyo Purush, a sequel of one of the most successful movies of the previous decade, Baishe Srabon (2011) is never easy. While one must remain true to the cinematic universe of the previous film and be careful about the minutest details regarding timelines and character sketches, it also comes with the enormous burden of audience expectation. Comparisons are bound to happen and as a writer you must keep that in mind.
By now, we, the movie going audience in Bengal, can safely say that Srijit Mukherji looks at home when he's making thrillers. I personally believe he understands the genre better than most of writers/directors in India today.
At the very outset, I must let the cat out of the bag: Dwitiyo Purush is by no means a perfect piece of art. Though there was no dearth of eventful moments in the film, given the number of murders that happen during its run time, I got a feeling the plot was dragging itself towards the all-important climax, and until that time, the characters simply existed and went on with their lives. The last thirty minutes is when the film comes alive. And, it feels almost deliberate from the part of the director to keep it that way before the big reveal happens in the climax.
The film, set in Kolkata’s Chinatown, has quite a few chase sequences which are pretty mediocre. The action scenes are not too convincing either. There was nothing in those scenes which would make the audience go crazy, simply put, the scenes were not new. That being said, the film still worked for me.
I liked Dwitiyo Purush primarily because the film grows on you. It is not one of those films where you can come out of the theater and not think about what happened in the film. You will feel the urge to go back and reconstruct the scenes in your head to reach the climax. And director sacrifices a lot of time, energy and dead bodies, quite literally, to reach there at the end.
There are clues all over. Throughout the film, the director plays with the minds of his audience. You might not get it while you’re watching it. But, in retrospect, you will be forced to put the pieces of the jigsaw puzzle together. That is where the film succeeds for me.
The duo of Srijit Mukherji and Anupam Roy has given us a lot of memorable music in the past decade. And in this film too, the music is top notch. The songs are catchy and were topping the charts long before the film released. With Dwitiyo Purush, I think, I have seen the best of Anirban Bhattacharjee and Parambrata Chatterjee, both fantastic performers.
Both are phenomenally good in their respective roles. Being someone who has followed Parambrata’s career for the last fifteen years, I think I can safely say this is his best work so far. The bathroom scene with Raima Sen, just before the climax, is emotional, intense and scary, you could feel the level of desperation and anger in his eyes. The scene, which is one of my favorites from the film, reveals the greatness of the actor and one of his in his entire career.
Anirban too is getting better with his every new performance. In carrying out his performance as a roadside gangster, through his chilling stares, dialogue delivery, gait and mannerisms, who doesn’t flinch before slitting the throats of his victims, he creates a character to remember.
Rest of the cast, including Gaurav Chakraborty, played their part well in whatever screen time they got. The female characters, unfortunately, didn’t get enough scenes, but whenever they fill the screen with their performances, they do leave a mark.
The film, mostly shot in Topsia, shows the underbelly of Kolkata's Chinatown like it had never been shown before in any other film. The lanes and bylanes of Kolkata Chinatown, which is popularly known for its delicious Chinese food, add brilliantly to dark and gloomy imagery of the film.
Nayan Basu is a Learning Experience Designer by profession and Blogger by passion, with a penchant to read, write and travel.
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