Kolkata, 14 Apr 2018 18:00 IST
The strenuous efforts of shooting the film at the real locations could have resulted in a successful venture if the makers had focused on the content more, rather than on offering visual treats.
Aniket Chattopadhyay’s Kabir promised to spread the message of humanity, delving into the psychology of terrorists and exploring the manipulation of religion.
The film hits a few notches but fails to meet with the expectations raised by media hype and the large scale promotions. It offers certain amount of suspense that keeps the audience glued to their seats, but the storyline appears vague at times.
The interaction between the two protagonists in a 24 hour train journey, from where multiple sub-plots emerge and the story unfolds in a series of flashbacks, is undoubtedly a smart concept. Both Chattopadhyay and producer Dev Adhikari, who is also the male lead of the film, particularly deserve accolades for the innovative design.
The film begins as Yasmin (Rukmini Maitra) leaves for Victoria Terminus in Mumbai in a burqa. As she makes her journey, several serial blasts at various locations in the city are reported. However, Yasmin doesn’t seem to be bothered.
As the cab driver stops midway and refuses to take her to the station, she gets a lift from a stranger, who initially introduces himself as Abir Chatterjee (Dev Adhikari). Upon reaching the station, Yasmin finds the stranger following her.
Surprisingly, he is travelling on the berth opposite her's. He mentions the blasts repeatedly, but does not seem to be seriously affected.
He is amiable and also offers his food to Yasmin, when the rail pantry is declared closed. Yasmin, initially feels uneasy to have her privacy invaded but gradually adapts to the situation. However, things change when her co-passenger decides to disclose his real profession.
From here on, the plot gains intensity, as the director tries to confuse the audience with the true identity of the protagonists. Who are Yasmin and Abir? What links do they have with the terrorist attacks in Mumbai? Is one of them a terrorist?
The film shows the ground from which terrorism transpires, but the plot seems to concentrate more on the documentation of the gradual stages of a terror attack. The content, rather than depicting the psychological blocks created through religious fundamentalism, attempts to elaborate on the reality of terror attacks. Thus, deviating from the true objective of the film.
Though the film eventually reveals that the enemies and the protectors of humanity belong to the same religion, the detailed account of the attacks and statements on the importance of having faith in humanity, don't really establish the purpose of the film.
The characters do not emerge as individual entities either. Perhaps, a little more drama in the characters could have rendered more layers to the film and also would have conveyed the message of the film better.
Rukmini Maitra, though appears to have a command over her performance, loses energy at times. Dev Adhikari has put in great effort but delivers an average performance.
Shataf Figar’s character as Parvez doesn’t really stand out. On the other hand, the actor who plays Imtiaz etches out a dramatic act.
The repeated shots of the train meandering through the tracks in the dark at night as well as through various landscapes during the day helps to quicken the pace of the film and adds a little to the audiences' anticipation.
The sequence of the conflict inside the train's toilet between the protagonists stands out as well. However, graphic scenes of the horrific blasts, don't leave any impact on the mind.
While cinematographer Harendra Singh and editor Rabiranjan Maitra lend a sleek look, apt for a thriller; composer Indradeep Dasgupta tries to maintain a balance with an edgy, though not very versatile, background score.
At the end, it seems that the makers paid more attention to the making of the film, than delivering a well-knit content. The strenuous efforts of shooting the film at the real locations and in a running train could have resulted in a successful venture if the makers had focused on the content more, rather than on offering visual treats.
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