Kolkata, 07 Jan 2020 8:30 IST
Director Argha Deep Chatterjee’s debut film Jojo (2018) worked better as a thriller; Mukhosh only achieves elements of thrill towards the end.
Argha Deep Chatterjee’s Mukhosh shows a lack of effort on the director's part towards making a compact thriller that keeps the audience glued to its seats in anticipation. When almost no twist takes place for most part of the film and then suddenly a lot is revealed in the climax, it suggests the director had a story in mind but did not think the presentation through.
The first half of the two-hour-10-minute film is tiresome as no substantial incident takes place in this supposed thriller. Rather, the first half confuses the audience with the role of each character instead of creating any suspicion or anticipation regarding them.
The film begins with Antara (Amrita Halder) rushing to a police station at an odd hour and asking the officer on duty to save her sister Uttara from her brother-in-law, industrialist Ronojoy Sanyal (Rajatava Dutta). Ronojoy had also recently fought the elections; however, in the film he seems to be a loner more than an influential man. He has guards in his office but his flat is easily accessible to any trespasser.
The policeman on duty refuses to take Antara's complaint, but a senior officer Sabyasachi Mukherjee (Santilal Mukherjee) makes an enquiry of the situation, He also asks Antara to stay at his house, which is odd but has been included for the sake of the story. Sabyasachi’s decision also seems to be too coincidental after the revelation in the climax.
Though Sabyasachi assures Antara that he will trace her missing sister, Antara takes up the task of collecting evidence against Ronojoy on her own, with the help of her boyfriend Samya (Prantik Banerjee).
It is difficult to determine what Sabyasachi actually does apart from drinking alcohol even while on duty, while Antara and Samya make their enquiries.
In the second half, Antara suddenly produces certain evidence which pushes Sabyasachi to take steps against Ronojoy. From this sequence on, a lot is revealed about the entire ploy behind Ronojoy’s wife’s disappearance. While some of it makes sense, the equation between Antara and Ronojoy’s wife seems a little vague.
The film establishes justice, not following a lawless execution of punishment to the criminal, but the process hardly involves the audience because of the lack of excitement in it. The dialogues are amateurish and while Nilanjan Basu has attempted to create the ambience of thrill with his background score, the script definitely lacks it.
Amrita Halder has worked hard to appear natural on the screen but at times it does appear that she needs to hone her craft.
Payel Sarkar is impressive in her mysterious avatar and the film might have been more interesting if she had had more screen time.
Rajatava Dutta and Santilal Mukherjee both deliver their best despite the weak script. Prantik Banerjee is also convincing.
Modhura Palit’s cinematography seems monotonous at times. The colour tones and camera frames hardly allow the audience any moments of relief, creating a grim ambience throughout.
Director Chatterjee’s debut film Jojo (2018) worked better as a thriller; Mukhosh only achieves the element of thrill towards the end. The pace of the film is exhausting and the lack of substance in the characters doesn’t make it a film worth watching.
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