Director: Bappaditya Bandyopadhyay
Starring: Arunima Ghosh, Samadarshi, Indraneil Sengupta, Mumtaz, Locket Chatterjee
The murky underbelly of the film industry in Calcutta is not a new topic in Bengali cinema. It’s the way you treat the story that makes all the difference. Bappaditya Bandyopadhyay manages to give us an original enough take by injecting a fair dose of suspense into it. Successful actress Diya Chatterjee (Arunima) goes missing. Struggling reporter Nikhil (Samadarshi) sees in this a chance to finally crack that breaking story he so desperately wants and goes on her trail. In the process he comes across several individuals who are in some way connected to her, each of whom reveals some aspect of the manipulative world which they all inhabit. The characters are full of potential. Bijit (Indraneil), a popular actor with whom she had been in a relationship; his manipulative live-in girlfriend (Mumtaz), who wormed her way into the industry by stealing Diya’s thunder; a producer who had exploited the missing actress. But this potential is not fully exploited, leaving them depthless and one-dimensional. This is especially disappointing since expectations are higher today even from Bengali mainstream commercial cinema, which seems to have generally got a handle on nuanced characterization. The acting too reflects this superficial characterization not stirring us enough to empathize. So it is left up to the inherent mystery in the plot to push the narrative forward which it does with competence. Though named identically as the 1967-made film starring Uttam Kumar and Anjana Bhowmik, the 2013 version is significantly different reflecting the increasing competitiveness and lack of scruples of the cut-throat world of Bengali cinema.