WBRi Movie Review: Gosai Baganer Bhoot (2011) Bengali Film - Ambitious, Animated Magic

Gosai Baganer Bhut / Bhoot (2011) Bengali Film Poster

Kolkata, India, December 9, 2011 (Washington Bangla Radio/Penning Creations) Making a movie for kids is risky business. Filmmakers have to keep in mind that, in order to strike gold at the box-office, enough buzz and curiosity have to be generated among the adult cine-goers as well, so that they actually bring the little ones along with them to the theaters. The tricky nature of this genre has made most directors in recent times shy away from trying their hands at making a film with children as the main target audience. The ahead-of-it's-time ‘Patalghar’ and the immensely forgettable ‘Friend’ have not instilled much confidence among producers to take up kids’ films as their projects either. In such a scenario, director Nitish Roy’s much-anticipated ‘Gosai Baganer Bhut’ comes as a whiff of fresh air. While the movie is not flawless (far from it, in fact!), it certainly offers enough reason to bring joy to young viewers.

Actress Locket Chatterji at Gosai Baganer Bhut / Bhoot (2011) Bengali Film Premiere
Actress Locket Chatterji at Gosai Baganer Bhut / Bhoot (2011) Bengali Film Premiere
Actress Locket Chatterji at Gosai Baganer Bhut  (2011) Bengali Film Premiere

The movie tells the story of ‘Burun’, an ordinary, young boy, who is hopelessly poor in mathematics (he scores 13 out of 100 in his class annual exams), much to the amusement of his friends and to the disgust of his father, ‘Benu Daktar’ (Saswata Chatterjee). Chided by one and all (even by his pet parrot!), ‘Burun’ finds an unlikely ally in his grandfather, ‘Ram Kobrej’ (Victor Bannerjee), who does not attach much value to bookish knowledge. Sympathy from the senior-most member of the family does not help our protagonist much though, who is forced to take maths tuitions from the eccentric ‘Karali Sir’, whose madness is a byword among men and beasts alike (yes, we have talking goats in the movie too!)

Despondent and distraught, ‘Burun’ wanders off to ‘Gosai Bagan’, a reportedly haunted place. There, he meets ‘Nidhiram Sardar’ (Kanchan Mullick), a ghost, but is apparently unperturbed by this chance encounter. ‘Nidhiram’ literally begs ‘Burun’ to show some semblance of fear and in exchange, offers to solve all the problems that are eating away at the latter’s life. The duo reaches a pact and ‘Burun’ becomes the veritable genius of the village, solving the toughest of mathematical problems and hitting sixes (21 of them in one match!) with equal ease. After all, when you have someone from the other side as your aide, you can indeed do the unthinkable!

Problems, however, rear their ugly head when ‘Habu’ (Ashish Vidyarthy), a goon who had been prosecuted twenty years ago on the basis of ‘Ram Kobrej’s witness, gets released from jail. Vowing revenge on ‘Ram Kobrej’, ‘Habu’ manages to kidnap ‘Burun’ and locks him away in a secret cell in ‘Gosai Bagan’. The man also has a stranglehold over the ghosts of the place (‘Nidhiram’ included), who are fed up with his dictatorial behaviour, but cannot get rid of him. ‘Ram Kobrej’ and the eccentric ‘Karali Sir’, with help from ‘Nidhiram’, embark on a mission to rescue ‘Burun’ and drive away the terror of ‘Habu’. In a straight fight between good versus evil in a feel-good children’s movie, there are no prizes for guessing the outcome of this fight.

‘Gosai Baganer Bhoot’ is, beyond a shadow of a doubt, the most technically accomplished Bengali movie till date. The live action-animation sequences are beautifully shot and the director’s eye for detail in these scenes is indeed worth a round of applause. For those still wondering what live animation is all about, check out our exclusive trailer of India's first live-action 3D film.

The movie boasts of extremely high production values and is helped along by its crisp, smart screenplay, especially in the first half. ‘Gosai Baganer Bhoot’ once again proves that, when it comes to making top-quality movies, there are no substitutes to a tightly bound script. Indeed, the movie owes much of its style and beauty to the characters sketched out in the original novel, penned by Shirshendu Mukhopadhyay.

‘Gosai Baganer Bhoot’, however, suffers from inconsistency in performances from its lead actors. While Paran Bandopadhyay, as ‘Karali Sir’, is hilarious and Victor Bannerjee, as ‘Ram Kobrej’ proves that hamming one’s lines is not necessarily a bad thing in movies, the show-stealer is surely Kanchan Mullick, who, as the ghost ‘Nidhiram Sardar’, cannot scare humans to save his life (in a way of speaking, that is!). ‘Burun’, the main protagonist of the movie, however, does not get much screen time and does not seem to be blessed with too much of acting skills either. Saswata Chatterjee, as ‘Burun’s’ father, has very little to do in the movie. Locket Chatterjee, as Burun’s mother, only has a couple of scenes. Ashish Vidyarthi is farcical. The rest of the cast are okay, but only just. The climax of the movie is also plain bland, undoing much of the good work done over the previous hour and a half or so of the film.

Chandrabindoo’s music adds zest to the film’s narrative. The songs are situation-oriented, creatively composed and sung with great gusto. The title track ‘Burun Tumi Onkey Tero’ is worth a special mention in this regard, in terms of voice quality, choreography and sheer fun quotient. Comparisons to the inimitable ‘Bhuter Raja Dilo Bor’ are unavoidable, but one can safely say that, with the album of ‘Gosai Baganer Bhoot’, Chandrabindoo has a winner on its hands.

On the whole, ‘Gosai Baganer Bhoot’ relies heavily on its smart storyline, technical excellence, strong musical score and sincere performances from most of its actors. The movie opens well, has a great first half, but goes somewhat downhill post-interval. The movie is certainly not as good as the original novel either. Still, if the laughter and the claps of the kids in the theatre is anything to go by, this ‘Bhoot’ is likely to win over the hearts of many humans.

Here are a few more exclusive pictures from the premiere of Gosai Baganer Bhoot (Bengali, 2011) in Kolkata.

Bangla Childrens Film Release Gosai Baganer Bhut / Bhoot (2011) Tollywood Kolkata Bengali Movie

Bangla Childrens Film Release Gosai Baganer Bhut / Bhoot (2011) Tollywood Kolkata Bengali Movie

Bangla Childrens Film Release Gosai Baganer Bhut / Bhoot (2011) Tollywood Kolkata Bengali Movie

Bangla Childrens Film Release Gosai Baganer Bhut / Bhoot (2011) Tollywood Kolkata Bengali Movie

Bangla Childrens Film Release Gosai Baganer Bhut / Bhoot (2011) Tollywood Kolkata Bengali Movie

Bangla Childrens Film Release Gosai Baganer Bhut / Bhoot (2011) Tollywood Kolkata Bengali Movie

Bangla Childrens Film Release Gosai Baganer Bhut / Bhoot (2011) Tollywood Kolkata Bengali Movie

Bangla Childrens Film Release Gosai Baganer Bhut / Bhoot (2011) Tollywood Kolkata Bengali Movie

Bangla Childrens Film Release Gosai Baganer Bhut / Bhoot (2011) Tollywood Kolkata Bengali Movie

Bangla Childrens Film Release Gosai Baganer Bhut / Bhoot (2011) Tollywood Kolkata Bengali Movie

Bangla Childrens Film Release Gosai Baganer Bhut / Bhoot (2011) Tollywood Kolkata Bengali Movie

Enhanced by Zemanta