Kolkata, 09 Dec 2019 7:00 IST
Though the film's marketing team touted its special effects during the run-up to release, they hardly evoke a sense of awe or excitement, except for some sequences towards the end.
At the outset it must be stated that director Sayantan Ghosal has made an honest attempt to create an adventurous ride with Sagardwipey Jawker Dhan. At some points in the film, the director even succeeds in creating an engaging cinematic composition. Sadly, all that effort is marred by the amateurish holes that the filmmaker fails to avoid.
In the run-up to the film's release, a buzz was created by the marketing team about the special effects used. We certainly hope this is a stepping stone to the creation of more convincing special effects in Bengali cinema in the future. But in Sagardwipey Jawker Dhan, except for some sequences towards the end, the special effects hardly evoke a sense of awe or excitement.
This treasure-hunt film has a relatively simple storyline without too many twists until the climax. Unfortunately, that means there are not many sequences that are likely to make the audience hold its breath in anticipation. Moreover, there are some confusing and abrupt moments. The climax then almost takes the film into a totally different genre.
Even if one discounts the addition of the fantasy narrative in the climax, there are certain sequences, particularly in the beginning, that are not quite convincing.
Dr Ruby Chatterjee (Koel Mallick) comes across a girl while returning from her research place in Pahargunj. While treating her, she senses the urgent need for a rare chemical called Red Mercury and so sets out on a mission to find it.
At about the same time, Bimal (Parambrata Chatterjee) and Kumar (Gaurav Chakrabarty) meet Banka Shyam (Kanchan Mullick), a petrol pump owner, who directs them in search of the same rare chemical which is supposed to have the potential to substitute fossil fuels.
Ruby, Bimal and Kumar have to face various challenges and prove the genuineness of their intentions before they can get information on the exact location of the treasure. Their destination turns out to be exotic and dangerous at the same time.
Speaking of holes, there is a chase sequence in the first half in which Ruby and the girl try to escape the bullets of an assassin. The sequence has been shot quite amateurishly by Ramyadip Saha and the editing, too, is rather hamhanded as it fails to justify how the duo miraculously escapes the bullets. In fact, it is never clear if the bullets are fired at them, because there is not a single frame in the entire sequence that captures the would-be killer firing and the duo running at the same time.
To dodge the bullets, Chatterjee and the girl jump into a huge waterfall and survive miraculously. This scene might appear quite ridiculous; however, writer Sougata Basu’s clever twist at the end justifies this otherwise unreal sequence.
The sequence of Nepal Master, a singer, identifying notes from a transmitting device also proves, disturbingly, that the film fraternity remains hostage to the idea that all gay men are effeminate and vice versa and they wink at every guy they see. These ridiculous ideas of trying to turn gay men into a laughing stock need to be dumped now.
In the second half, Bimal goes out to look for Al Mahari (Rajatava Dutta) in Thailand, as he is the only trusted boatman who can take them to their destination. He goes to a boxing competition to search for him and as he speaks to one of the boxers, the latter starts punching him. The whole sequence is quite ridiculous and seems to have been incorporated only to project Bimal as a macho man, because nowhere else in the film does he get to throw a punch.
As the team reaches its destination, we find another twist, but it is a quite predictable one. Worse is Dr Ruby Chatterjee carrying a plastic bottle along to collect the Red Mercury. It is ludicrous.
Throughout the hunt, you might wonder why the little girl is being carried along with our three leads into such a dangerous zone. However, Basu’s unexpected twist at the end justifies this, too.
Ramyadip Saha’s camerawork is sometimes satisfying while at other times it just creates confusion in communicating the director’s ideas.
The art direction of the submerged temple that surfaces only during low tide is quite fascinating. The special FX of the temple shaking due to a volcanic eruption is convincing too. But the Red Mercury and fireballs erupting due to the explosion are marred by poor graphics.
Parambrata Chatterjee, Gaurav Chakrabarty and Kaushik Sen are their usual selves as their characters do not require them to bring much modulation into their performances. Dutta’s rendition of Al Mahari could have been better. Considering his abilities as an actor, this reviewer believes that writer Sougata Basu and director Ghosal, perhaps, are to blame for sketching his character superficially.
Santilal Mukherjee makes a brief appearance but manages to convey the dubious intentions of his character with a certain look in his eyes and an aggressive countenance.
Kanchan Mullick is consistently funny with his amusing expressions; however, some of his dialogues turn him into a buffoon, unnecessarily.
Koel Mallick doesn’t bring much variation into her expressions. Indeed, she seems rather passive throughout the film.
Bickram Ghosh’s music helps to lend the required mood in each of the sequences; however, his ideas are not original and so distract the audience as it tries to recall the song or sound that his work is similar to.
Though Sagardwipey Jawker Dhan is an honest attempt that manages to engage the viewer's attention, it is also proof that Bengali cinema has a long way to go to produce a riveting treasure hunt film.
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