‘BOB BISWAS’ IS ACTUALLY ONE DISASTER OF A STORY

Rating: 2/5
A strong character let down by pointless writing, Bob Biswas helmed by director Diya Annapurna Ghosh takes the spin-off of the Kahaani character to an all new low

Saswata Chatterjee played the character in Kahaani. Abhishek Bachchan takes the charge in Bob Biswas. The choice is convincing. The stepping in the shoes is also effortless. The character by its notions and nature and all the eccentricity put together is also a strong one. But this film here lets it all down. How the character is treated here is still fine in terms of what background has been given to him, but how the flight has been taken from there is sure to crash and it does.

Watch the trailer here:

PLOT

Bob Biswas (Abhishek Bachchan) wakes up after 8 years from a coma and has lost all his memory. Or has he? He has been a contract killer in the past. But what will be his life from here on?

STORY/SCREENPLAY/GENERAL

The story and screenplay are penned by Sujoy Ghosh with dialogues by Sujoy Ghosh and Raj Vasant. The story as a standalone entity is still fine. But because the story is based on a popular villain from a blockbuster film, it doesn’t make sense at all. Projected as a thriller and a murder mystery, the film has gone haywire completely in its approach. The story has faults and majorly only faults right from the beginning, which become more evident as the film progresses. It is a uni-directional and uni-dimensional story with no layers and depth. There is some background and backstory with something to chew upon as flashback, but when that finds its relevance, it is made to disappear in no time.

In a thriller of such positioning, you rightly expect more layers and nuances to play for you. Nothing of that sort happens. How the film begins, it ends on a similar note. When you have a character as weird as Bob, you should receive some element of trick or mind-games or mental wizardry in the form of narrative to keep things complex. Here, everything is utterly simplistic in a way that it doesn’t seem like a film on Bob Biswas, except for the famously infamous ‘Nomoshkaar‘. There is also a social issue attempted but even that doesn’t find getting its justice.

bob biswas, zee5, review, hindi, film, 2021
Abhishek Bachchan in the character of the film (image source: timesofindia.com)

When you have a killer for you, there are many ways that Sujoy could have taken the story in. And Sujoy, being the genius he is, is well capable of doing that. But it doesn’t happen. The parts where Bob kills with a plain face exhibiting no remorse or repentance, are good to watch and understand the character deeply. But that’s never enough. You want more to think of the character in terms of what goes in his mind, or what is his plan, or is he actually like what he is behaving like? These things could have rendered the required thrill or some entanglement in the frame of the narrative.

The expectations were high and audiences were excited to see this character. But not this way. What is the point of this film then, you would ask. Hardly anything. The point at which the film ends makes you thinking if you actually got to know the character better? The answer is No. Infact after watching Kahaani, you had some information about the killer. But even after Bob Biswas, there is no addition whatsoever in your knowledge of the character. If someone asks you to describe the graph of the character or give a character sketch, no wonder if you can’t proceed beyond Kahaani. Because ultimately that’s what that matters in the end.

PERFORMANCES

Abhishek Bachchan slips into the character effortlessly and slaps all those people who keep shouting that he can’t act. It’s a real question as to how many more films does he need to prove that he is a good actor? He performs ably carrying the film and character well on his strong shoulders. His calm and cool expressions work wonders for this one.

Chitrangada Singh not only looks gorgeous but also contributes with strength to the role. Her mere presence in the frames adds to the confidence that you develop for the film, the little that you manage to get.

bob biswas, zee5, film, hindi, review, 2021
On sets of the film (image source: instagram)

Samara Tijori shines nicely in her debut. She comes across as a seasoned actor and totally dominates the scenes she is in. You wish there was more to her character in terms of hidden metaphors or meanings. Tina Desai in a special appearance is powerful as a policewoman.

Paran Bandopadhyay is very good as someone who always has suspense surrounding him. You look at him and want a film on his character now.

OTHER TECHNICALITIES

Barring the loopholes of the film, it is technical aspects of the film that make the film rooted and watchable. The score by Clinton Cerejo and Bianca Gomes is strong, much to the benefit of the film. The moods are created phenomenally well during the scenes so that you get into a zone feeling some thrill and a sense of horror. But the writing again, lets it down.

Cinematography by Gairik Sarkar is visually enticing. Capturing Kolkata in a little different way makes you feel that you are watching something new, despite the fact that Kolkata has been presented many a times in films. Not just outdoors, even indoor sequences have been shot with warm style exuding warmth and affection where needed and a cold attitude when it was the time. Production design by Madhumita Sen Sharma, Ajay Sharma and Rajesh Chowdhury especially during the indoor scenes is fantastic. You get visual relation with the context and that’s enough for you to sit through the film.

Editing by Yasha Jaidev Ramchandani makes an impression by cuts on sound and action in many of the scenes. The pace is inherently slow and it is not a problem because that is the nature of the film. Editing hence, brings some respite in the plot, shattered at the writing stage.

This one is a disappointing film. This character deserved so much better. The least one could do is not make a film at all. And Sujoy doing this is all the way more heartbreaking.

Rochak Saxena

Rochak Saxena a Mass Media Teacher, former journalist at DNA and an ardent lover of Hindi films - literally. The blog derives its name from the popular term ‘Willing Suspension of Disbelief’, most commonly used in the world of literature and cinema. Meaning to immerse yourself in an unreal world (where you know what you see on screen is fake) with a self-proclaimed/declared belief/wish to consider it real, the willing world becomes magical. It’s the same magic every Friday that drives Rochak to share things in the perspective that it needs to be observed with. Every film is different. And the difference needs to be cherished.

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