Review Bengali

The Eken review: Despite great performance by Anirban Chakrabarti, this murder mystery is a one-time watch

Release Date: 14 Apr 2022

Cinestaan Rating

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Roushni Sarkar

Directed by Joydeep Mukherjee, the film has multiple twists but is undone by weak writing.

Joydeep Mukherjee’s The Eken marks the first big-screen outing of the Hoichoi series Eken Babu's titular detective, played by Anirban Chakrabarti.

The immensely popular character, Ekendra Sen aka Eken Babu, is unpredictable and puts up the façade of simple-mindedness with naïve behaviour and jokes that are sometimes more irritating than funny. He is also a foodie and a miser. However, when the game is afoot, he doesn’t miss a single clue and catches everyone off-guard with his astounding observation skills.

Based on a story by Sujan Dasgupta, the story begins with the murder of a professor in Bankura. The scholar had discovered a link between the theft of an ancient Vishnu idol and the murder of the caretaker of a temple, which took place 30 years ago.

Meanwhile, Eken and his companions Bapi (Suhotra Mukhopadhyay) and Promotho (Somak Ghosh), who are holidaying in Darjeeling, learn about a body that is found in the region's pine forests.

The sleuth also gets noticed by actress Bipasha Mitra (Paayel Sarkar), and soon, he is summoned to her resort by the superintendent of police in Darjeeling. The latter informs Eken that the idol, which is a prized possession of Bipasha, was recently stolen and the actress wants him to investigate the case.

The next day, Devraj Singh (Debashish Mondal), Bipasha’s close friend and the owner of the chain of heritage hotels, requests Eken to investigate the murder of one of his staff.

With more crimes unfolding and shady activities taking place, Eken attempts to join the dots in his whimsical and deceptively carefree manner. There are multiple twists that hold the attention of the viewers, despite the slow pace of the film. Also, more than suspense, Chakrabarti has the audience anticipating the climax. He not only owns the character but also the entire film.

Mukhopadhyay and Ghosh add to the humorous quotient of The Eken; but, the rest of the performances aren't quite up to the mark. Sarkar sometimes comes across as overdramatic while Mondal lacks expressions at times.

Cinematographer Ramyadip Saha has shot the chase sequences skilfully but the indoor sequences appear rather cramped.

Editor Rabiranjan Maitra perhaps could have put more effort into giving the film the momentum of a thriller. The minimalistic background score is also a setback in this case.

The Eken doesn’t have strong writing and the execution of the twists is boring at times. However, Eken Babu loyalists might consider the film a strictly one-time watch only for Anirban Chakrabarti's performances.


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