Review Bengali

Guptodhoner Sondhane review: A treasure hunt with less of hunting and more of romancing

Cinestaan Rating

Release Date: 27 Apr 2018 / Rated: U / 02hr 13min

Roushni Sarkar

Guptodhoner Sondhane offers no adventure and it seems like an amateur ghost story at times. Apart from creating an uncanny ambience out of the age-old locations, the film offers no thrill.

Dhrubo Banerjee’s Guptodhoner Sondhane does not live up to the hype of being 'the biggest treasure hunt of Bengal', despite having a strong star-cast.

Apart from the smart appearance of the protagonist Subarna Sen a.k.a Sona da (Abir Chatterjee), the history professor from Oxford University, and the dilapidated yet magnificent palace of erstwhile king Nrisingha Narayan Singh Roy of Manikantapur, the film hardly offers any engaging element.

The storyline, too, is way too simple for an adventure film.

The film begins with the last inhabitant (Gautam Ghosh) of the mansion, a descendent of the Singha dynasty, who refuses to sell his ancestral home to the local thugs, headed by Dashanan Da (Rajatava Datta), a descendent of the subjects of Nrisingha Narayan, and dies a mysterious death.

The story then travels to the present day and has Sona da arriving from London. His nephew Abir (Arjun Chakraborty) receives him at the airport with his father (Arindam Sil). Abir, a student of law, is none other than the last descendent of the Singha lineage, from his mother's side.

Soon Sona da, becomes aware of the fact that the palace of Nrisingha Narayan belonged to the era of Mughal prince Shah Suja, the son of emperor Shah Jahan. Intrigued he sets on a trip to Manikantapur with Abir.

The caretakers of the palace hand Abir a letter, left by his maternal uncle before his mysterious death. They also warn the duo that the palace is home to eerie activities. Abir is easily scared by the update, but Sona da regards it as an important information.

The following morning, they meet Akhilesh Babu (Kamaleshwar Mukherjee), a close friend of Abir’s deceased maternal uncle, and his daughter Jhinuk (Isha Saha), who also happens to be Abir's love interest.

They open the letter and find a riddle. Abir informs Sona da that his uncle was an interesting man who loved to baffle people by speaking in rhymes and code words.

Akhilesh Babu discloses that when prince Shah Shuja was attacked by Aurangzeb, he had visited the palace of his loyal subject Nrisingha Narayan and asked him to hide a portion of his treasures in the palace.

Intrigued, Sona da sets out to decipher the riddle and soon realises that it is nothing but a clue to the hidden treasure that Abir's uncle had discovered before his death.

However, the film takes an unexpected turn from here on. One would expect a thriller, but sadly, the story turns out to be a romantic drama. It does not build up any kind of anticipation towards getting the answers to each riddle. Rather, the laid-back progression of the plot is filled with Abir’s mindless buffoonery, that eventually leads upto Sona da accidentally discovering answers to the riddle.

The plot is thick with repeated conflicts between Sona da's team and Dashanan da’s gang. Netiher is there a complexity in the rivalry, nor any dramatic elements in the storyline.

Only the queer movements in the darkness of the night, manoeuvring through the corners of the palace, accompanied by the implication that someone is continuously watching Sona da’s activities send chills to the bones. Cinematographer Soumik Haldar deserves credit for that.

For story that is dealing with the treasures of the Mughal period, Guptodhoner Sondhane could have drawn more reference from the period in the course of the treasure hunt to make it more interesting, rather than just recounting history with animated sequences at the beginning.

Abir Chatterjee, as the young and intelligent heartthrob, puts his best efforts. However, the script doesn’t really demand him to exhibit any special intuition or skill as there are hardly any moments that require them.

Rajatava Datta suits well as the street-smart villain for whom nothing matters more than money. Gautam Ghosh’s throwing of dialogues appear unnecessarily theatrical. Kamaleshwar Mukherjee delivers a decent performance.

Throughout the film, Arjun Chakraborty’s act is over-the-top. The childishness of his character seems nonsensical at times. Scriptwriter Subhendu Dasmunshi and director Dhrubo Banerjee could have done better if they had invested more in creating elements of a thriller rather than in insignificant comic moments with Abir's character.

Isha Saha, too, delivers an average performance.

Bickram Ghosh’s background score sometimes helps in lending a few suspense elements but then sometimes overpowers those sequences as well.

Composer Bickram Ghosh turns singer for Guptodhoner Sandhane

Guptodhoner Sondhane offers no adventure and it seems like an amateur ghost story at times. Apart from creating an uncanny ambience out of the age-old locations, the film offers no thrill.

The art director of the film, could have well been given credits only if he had not built up a temple, that was supposed to be 350 years old, in a way that it seems only a few days old.

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