Kolkata, 19 May 2019 7:00 IST
Wrong Number, supposedly a romantic comedy, is a below average attempt by director Pandit Subendu.
Pandit Subendu’s Wrong Number is an amateurish film with little to offer in terms of cinematic composition, dialogue, story or performances. The aim seems to have been to make a romantic comedy, but the film has hardly any entertaining elements. From the first sequence, nay the first frame, it becomes evident that the film lacks the touch of an experienced director.
The amateurish actors in the opening sequence and the shaky camerawork by Indraneel Sarkar make it really tough to focus on the goings-on. By the time Sarkar gets his framing right, we are in the second half of the film.
The storyline doesn’t have a dramatic progression and most of the sequences have been filled with casual dialogues that serve no purpose except to try and make the audience laugh with silly jokes rather than wit and humour.
Sandy (Samadarshi Dutta) is the lead vocalist of a struggling band. He lends tunes to songs written by flatmate and friend Joy (Sourav Das), schoolmaster and amateur poet. Joy almost speaks in rhyme and is an avid reader. He is a stereotypical character who values his mother tongue the most and lacks knowledge of English. Sandy, on the other hand, idles away his days apart from rehearsing and has no knowledge of literature.
Sandy longs for a girlfriend and tries to impress young women by posting Joy’s poems on Facebook. Diya (Durga Santra), a college student, comes across a song by Sandy that has gone viral on Facebook and gets interested in him after reading a poem posted on his profile.
Diya is the stereotypical Bengali intellectual for whom poems, music and cinema mean the world and she looks for similar qualities in her partner. To impress her, Sandy does not mind posing as a poet.
Diya’s interest in him deepens and she agrees to a first date with Sandy, with her best friend Shruti (Saayoni Ghosh) in tow. Shruti's nature is a total contrast to Diya's. She comes from a dysfunctional family and lives a reckless lifestyle that includes alcohol and drug abuse.
Given the predictable storyline, Joy, who is more like Diya in real life, falls in love with Shruti and tries to impress her by adopting her style and ways. Both men are pretending to be somebody else to woo their love interests. But for how long are they going to lie to the girls and to themselves? Will they realize their folly?
Most of the sequences are based on conversations among the characters. Sourav Das and Samadarshi Dutta are quite natural playing two friends sharing a love-hate relationship. Their constant attempts at pulling each other’s leg and demeaning the other forms most of the body of the film.
The setting of Joy’s poetry-reading sessions is not seriously composed, perhaps to create a situation of comedy, but the sessions don’t serve the purpose at all. Neither does the rehearsal pad of Sandy seem like one from real life.
The storyline is also not engaging and there are hardly any twists. Though the two friends are adults, they don’t behave like adults, and since none of the characters has any grey shades, the film, too, doesn’t gain any complexity.
The friends get into their adventure head on, until they stumble upon an event that doesn’t match with how they have planned their lives. Their pretence eventually takes a toll of their careers as well.
The only mature aspect of the film is the ending, which is realistic and reflects the tendencies of impulsive young minds. But the intended comedy becomes extremely serious during the climax.
Saayoni Ghosh's performance is quite typical and she seems to have become the actress of choice to play so-called reckless characters. Ghosh doesn’t act and tries to be herself, but, honestly, the audience has tired of seeing her play these roles.
Durga Santra needs to work on her acting before she appears on screen.
The director, it appears, did not want to put in much effort into the song sequences either. They are quite flat and unromantic. The background score by Rahul Majumdar is so repetitive that it tends to predict what's coming next.
Wrong Number is a below average attempt by Pandit Subendu. If one wants to enjoy some slapstick comedy shows by Sourav Das and Samadarshi Dutta, one doesn’t need to invest so much time to watch an entire film for that. Also, a spontaneous actor like Das deserves a better script.
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