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Review Bengali

Drishtikone review: Poignant thriller and unusual love story presented with finesse

Release Date: 27 Apr 2018 / Rated: U/A / 01hr 52min


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Roushni Sarkar

The director's treatment of the plot and powerful performances by all the artistes make the film worth a watch.

Widow Srimati Sen (Rituparna Sengupta) approaches advocate Jiyon Mitra (Prosenjit Chatterjee) to take up the case of her husband Palash Sen (Koushik Sen) who died in a road accident two years ago. Srimati believes the accident was not the sole cause of Palash's death.

Before Srimati meets Jiyon at his chamber, an acquaintance shows her a few photographs of the advocate. Now, why would a client need to see her advocate’s photographs before meeting him at his chamber?

Kaushik Ganguly’s Drishtikone, thus, has a strange beginning.

Jiyon takes up the case and sends his assistant Avik (Soham Majumder) to record the testimony of Pritam (Kaushik Ganguly), Palash's elder brother who was travelling with him in the car when the accident occurred and has been left paralysed waist down.

The film eventually takes a romantic angle as a chemistry slowly builds up between Srimati and Jiyon, which is not hidden from the eyes of Rukmini Mitra (Churni Ganguly), Jiyon's wife.

The gradual growth of the extramarital affair is convincing; however, at the same time, Srimati’s eagerness to be part of Jiyon’s family baffles the audience. Srimati, too, asks Jiyon a number of times whether she is “overdoing it”. Despite the questions in mind, the audience cannot help but believe Srimati’s approaches to be the mere passionate outbursts of a lonely young widow.

Director Kaushik Ganguly’s treatment of the storyline is such that one feels the pulse of a thriller despite the romantic unfolding of the relationship between the protagonists. Rukmini's jealousy is depicted with maturity and doesn’t appear cliched, thanks to Churni Ganguly's powerful performance and her character's poignant dialogues.

Jiyon, a family man who slowly gives in to the attentions of the helpless and insistent widow, does not lose the dignity of his character. As the love story progresses, one wonders, what exactly is the lawyer doing regarding the case, apart from secretly meeting his client?

The director cleverly pulls out these aspects too with twists and revelations at the most unexpected moments. Not a single moment in the film can be missed as the mystery may lie in the most subtle expression of one of the characters.

The story is about the undefined yet strong bond between the advocate and his client, hemmed in by Rukmini's effort to save her marriage. At the same time, it is the story of the truth of Palash’s death.

However, there are more subplots to this story, wherein perhaps lies the truth. Palash died before he could establish an eye-donation camp at Bolpur, one of his unfulfilled dreams. After his death, Srimati takes up the responsibility and runs the Drishti eye donation centre in Kolkata.

Jiyon has his own ghosts. He had gone through a dark phase 12 years ago, when he lost his eyesight due to an optical infection. After many failed attempts, only his right eye could regain sight with the help of a transplant. Owing to his inspirational journey, Srimati insists Jiyon also become a part of Drishti.

Throughout the film, Kaushik Ganguly, who also happens to be the writer, manipulates the idea of Drishtikone, meaning perspective. It seems whatever is presented, be it a character's identity or relations, everything can change any time with a different perspective. He also infuses the important role of the Drishti eye donation centre with the theme quite smartly.

None of the sequences in the plot is fitted in for the sake of turning the film into a breathtaking thriller. There is no unnecessary lift in the pace or the background score. The true cause of Palash's death is a simple, yet shocking revelation.

However, when the audience feels that the climax has arrived, the director offers it the biggest surprise. The ending, too, is very maturely saved from its banalities by the director, as he incorporates the right amount of emotion in the part.

This said, the end is not abrupt. Rather, it gradually sinks in, leaving a trail in the audience’s heart and mind.

The climax eventually justifies specific cinematic shots, particularly those of the eyes, thoughtfully composed by cinematographer Gopi Bhagat. His camerawork in the flasback sequences as well as in the climax leaves a deep imprint in the mind.

Editor Subhajit Singha and Bhagat both do a commendable job maintaining the intensity and keeping the underlying suspense, increasing the pace just when it is needed.

Both Rituparna Sengupta and Prosenjit Chatterjee deliver fine performances in this film. The way they act out their parts, the audience cannot help but empathize with them despite their illicit relationship. Churni Ganguly’s expressions are pronounced; her performance helps in enhancing the film’s realism quotient.

Koushik Sen, as always, shows dedication in etching out his brief yet distinguished role. In a very few moments, he brings out the layers in his character brilliantly.

The actor who truly stands out above all, however, is Kaushik Ganguly, the director and writer of the film. He successfully puzzles the audience as he sometimes appears shrewd and other times helpless. His fear and anxiousness are the moments that leave the audience with a heavy heart.

Actress Dolon Roy, too, delivers an endearing performance and puts depth in her apparently flat character. Newcomer Soham Majumder seems convincing in his character as well.

Music directors from the Bengali film industry should take note of the background score by Raja Narayan Deb. His inputs never give the impression that the film is trying to impose the thrill with the music. Rather, the music accompanies and enhances the mood of the sequences. Anupam Roy’s songs, too, add to the emotional elements of the film.

Drishtikone deals with the subject of an unusual love story with finesse. The storyline, with meaningful dialogues, despite being a thriller, tugs at the heartstrings. The director's treatment of the plot and powerful performances by all the artistes make the film worth a watch.

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