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Tag: Dibakar Banerjee

Titli Review (2015)

A ballsy attempt at the dirty dark!

Kanu’s Titli is an insane scrutiny into the head of a protagonist born in shambles. Surrounded by a filthy immoral environment that has affected his upbringing, Titli is a complex character breathing in a rotting muck with a dream.

The direction of Titli is one of the finest kinds. Behl spends ample amount of time on mundane things, captures mire gorgeously. He has caught the broken and the shattered perfectly. He literally walks behind the protagonist with a shaky camera to execute a well prepared live action drama to perfection. His frames are slow, and fade to the next ones with a purpose. He also incorporates great backdrops to complement his work. Little unnoticed things have been brought into the vanguard. Things that we see and forget quickly have been slapped on his frames. Like a spider dangling to the movie’s score, or an old tattered ceiling fan making every effort to breathe in a trampled house. He captures an entire developing city marvelously to insinuate how a lot of people are slaves to dreams like that of Titli’s.

The flick begins with Titli’s dream, in a parking lot of a mall. It focuses on how the lad is trying really hard to escape from the swamp he has been breathing in. Then comes the unfortunate incident that topples his life over. He finds himself at Ground Zero once again. His brethren marry him to a girl for advantage. The girl on the other hand brings another story with her. The whole plot is about pursuing his dream, tackling hell whilst doing so and his life being smacked between his dream and someone else’s.

The movie also compels you to think about the choices Titli takes at odd crucial hours. It lets you dive deep into the head of an abnormal person whose life had been nothing but chaos. There are a lot of things going in the skull of Titli, character exceptionally portrayed by Shashank Arora, and you can almost read him like a book. Lalit Behl’s character is that of an onlooker and a freeloader, a leech who doesn’t involve himself in anything and yet piggybacks to feed himself. As Titli, eventually calls him a ‘pig’ an apt

Some of the bits in the movie are downright outrageous. There is a lot of retching going on, which might disgust you beyond limit. When you see someone take up a hammer or a stick, you expect some badass bludgeoning, but alas this wasn’t put a proper thought to, and it looks more animated than real. Such places you can almost see through their acts.

Titli touches the thrilling dark which might give you the chills at times. It is scintillating at many junctures, fills you with sympathy and a plenty of times with disgust.

Another great thing about the movie is its exceptional cast. Their acting prowess is extremely engaging. Little unaffected acts that cover ’em up with profundity are quite delightful. Everyone is engulfed in their bits and that just nails the coffin perfectly. We surely can’t overlook Amit Sial’s bit in the movie. Ranvir Shorey is simply outstanding too.

The editing department of the flick could have seen some more cuts, since the movie ended up being lengthy.

Bottomline: Titli isn’t for everybody. If you are into dark cinema or wish to watch quality movies, go for it.

Detective Byomkesh Bakshy! Review (2015)

Detective Byomkesh Bakshy! is a movie that reads streets of Calcutta spectacularly. If you haven’t been to Calcutta before, this beauty of a flick ensures you do. As the credits of the movie breathe on a moving frame, we witness Banerjee’s subtlety at its best. The camera shifts its focus back and forth to display minute details of a city lost in history, wrapped in beautifully with the protagonist’s normalcy as he sits like a lost chap in a sloth Tram, next to a crime that lived crouched up in a newspaper a fellow man held. The Tram moves slowly depicting life as it was. The main theme of the movie – trying to hold city’s breath in bare hands, to save the living, to save a city from turning into rubble, dust and ashes!

Dibakar Banerjee is a pro when it comes to direction. There is subtlety lying in his frames that complement a story quite gorgeously. His pace lets everything sieve through and settle like sediments into our brains. With such a big bag of brilliance on his shoulders, he lets us on a thrilling ride into history smeared by wicked people, into a puckered city and into a mind numbing tangle that would only unravel with Bakshy’s head. Witness Byomkesh Bakshy, a lost hero resuscitate himself up on the big screen, to solve a crime that keeps on unknotting itself into bigger oblivion.

Taking up such a humongous project was a daunting job per se. To live up to the expectations of the public who lived a Byomkesh era through the books of Sharadindu and who literally saw the sleuth come alive on screen through the exceptional Basu Chatterjee’s TV show, was a rare feat to achieve. But Dibakar closed in on it, unlike any other Indian director could have even possibly imagined.


Excellence drips through Banerjee’s direction. Little things that he pays heed to while creating a scene is absolutely commendable. Not saying the name of the protagonist for a considerable amount of time in the movie, jumping off from frames into clever openings, stopping time to depict a thriller, reiterating an act for emphasis, and icing shots with brilliant score that often metamorphosed into needle dropped hard rock songs, are some of the main courses that the audience could feast upon in the movie.

The big downside of the movie I felt was Sushant Singh Rajput’s charisma which was nowhere to be found for a sleuth like Byomkesh Bakshy. He just played a confused guy without imparting a personality to the character. There was no gravity on his face to carve such a strong character as Bakshy’s. On the contrary, Neeraj Kabi as Dr. Anukul Guha was downright exceptional. His transformation was a delight to watch. His face writes the experience he has garnered through theatre with pizzazz.

An intricate detective story that weaves out great! However, it is imperative that you pay attention. A minute lost could cost you an entire movie. There are so many subplots in the flick that could be hard to keep up with if you are not paying heed. That could be another downside to the movie: Complexity only gives birth to indifference.

With Urmi Juvekar and Dibakar Banerjee’s tale in the vanguard, everything pans out quite fine. At the end we see a loose end to the tale, that insinuates an impending franchise in the making. I wish Banerjee resumes his badass chaotic convoluted sojourn once again with a promising sequel.

Dibakar might have failed to reach a level ardent Bakshy fans had asked of him, but what he has certainly managed to do is revive a lost Indian hero that we only remembered through pages.