Kolkata, 26 May 2019 5:43 IST
Durgeshgorer Guptodhon succeeds in the unpredictability of the plot and the way in which director Dhrubo Banerjee has incorporated the clues to the treasure into the traditions of the family.
Dhrubo Banerjee’s Durgeshgorer Guptodhon is a better attempt than the previous Guptodhoner Sondhane (2018), with the director focusing on the genre of treasure-hunt films and trying to improve the content in terms of retaining intrigue, creating suspense and incorporating more dramatic intensity.
However, there was a lot more that could have been done. Durgeshgorer Guptodhon has certain repetitions of Guptodhoner Sondhane. The film needed greater cinematic finesse and the screenplay required a flow that would prevent certain sequences from appearing staged.
Where Durgeshgorer Guptodhon succeeds is in the unpredictability of the plot, though a closer analysis shows the hunt for the treasure could have had more twists in itself than just the feud in the family to which the treasure originally belonged.
Also, the director does not allow the audience the joy of decoding clues, as they are designed in such a way that they are only in the grasp of Subarna Sen, the mastermind behind unearthing the treasure.
On the birthday of Jhinuk (Ishaa Saha), Subarna Sen aka Sona-da (Abir Chatterjee) receives news of the theft of an antique dagger from the inspector of Manikantapur (Joydip Kundu). Sona-da learns that the dagger belonged to descendants of Durgagoti Roy, a close friend of raja Krishna Chandra Dey, one of the confidants of Jagath Seth, controller of finances under nawab Siraj-ud-Daulah and later party to the conspiracy against him.
The inspector loses custody of the dagger in dramatic fashion and Sona-da is increasingly intrigued by Durgagoti Roy's history. By a coincidence, he finds out that one of his students, fondly called Dumbell (Aryann Bhowmick), is descended from the family. Dumbell graciously invites his professor and his accomplices Jhinuk and Abir (Arjun Chakraborty) to his ancestral palace to enjoy the Durga Puja festivities.
While Dumbell’s family welcomes him with warmth and is more than pleased to be informed about the treasure, an older brother Trishulpani Deb Roy (Kaushik Sen) does not seem too pleased with the idea of the exploration; he fears he might lose out on the treasure if it is investigated by outsiders.
Their cousin Aparup Chandra (Kharaj Mukherjee) comes across as a man of knowledge with a lot of interest in the family's history. He promises to aid the trio in their expedition.
It is interesting how Banerjee has incorporated the clues to the treasure into the traditions of the family. In the hunt, sometimes the lines of a song dedicated to the goddess Durga turn into a clue, a rhyme has more meaning than its playfulness, or a simple wall painting has more information to give away.
Family feuds have always been associated with treasure-hunt stories and Banerjee has done justice to the trope. However, when other than Trishulpani, all members of the family express shock over the news of inheriting treasure, the ignorance appears a bit unrealistic.
The climax is interesting yet sudden. The sequences in which the hooligans successfully overpower the trio are followed by an engaging fight by Sona-da, Abir and Jhinuk.
Tanmoy Chakraborty’s art direction deserves special mention. He does not overdo any of the sets and keeps the interior of the treasury and the palace simple yet convincing. The palace bears the weariness of the years and yet exhibits a subtle grandeur. The cave in which the trio gets caught up is designed to raise anticipation among the audience. The use of the colour red synchronizes with the significance of goddess Durga in the entire hunt.
Abir Chatterjee is in his usual smart, suave character, without much vulnerability or change of expression. Ishaa Saha simply exists on screen and it is hard to remember a single moment that belongs to her.
Arjun Chakraborty’s character is annoying at times, but he does full justice to it, with the required mixture of buffoonery, innocence and quick timing.
Kharaj Mukherjee and Kaushik Sen deliver the most dramatic performances, successfully depicting the grey shades of their characters. Though the climax lends a bit of confusion in the flow of their respective journeys, both actors stick to their consistent acts.
Lama Halder is subtle, yet his act makes an impact. Amit Saha has more potential than the limitation of his character that reduces him to a buffoon. Lily Chakravorty is natural in acting her age. Aryann Bhowmick makes a mark with his spontaneity despite the dominating presence of the trio.
Bickram Ghosh does his best to lend body to the film with fillers and befitting sound to magnify the mood of the sequences. The kirtans are beautifully rendered by the vocalist.
Soumik Haldar could have perhaps refrained from frequent close-ups. Some of his frames are not very soothing to the eye. Editor Sanjib Kumar Dutta is another hero of the film for not allowing the audience to get bored for a moment.
Durgeshgorer Guptodhon is certainly worth a watch for lovers of this genre.
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