BIKRAM SINGHA The Lion Is Back (2012) Bengali Movie Review: Double the Prosenjit Chatterjee Experience

VIKRAM SINGHA 2012 - Richa Ganguly Prosenjit Chatterji The Lion is Back PosterKolkata May 26, 2012 (Washington Bangla Radio / Penning Creations) Enjoyable hardcore commercial movies have always found favour among Tollywood cinegoers, thereby explaining why such films tend to open really big at the box-office. During the late ‘90s and the early 2000s, Prasenjit Chatterjee was more popular as ‘Posenjit’ among the masses. He ruled the roost in this particular genre of movies, pairing up with director Swapan Saha, more often than not. Most of these movies managed to set the cash-registers jingling although critics generally cringed at them. During the recent years, the baton of appearing in the lead roles of big-budget mainstream flicks has passed on to younger heroes - the names of Dev and Jeet spring foremost to the mind in this regard - while Prosenjit has moved on towards more meaningful cinema - think Autograph, Moner Maanush, Biashe Srabon. Director Rajib Biswas of Amanush and Paglu fame does a star turn by bringing back Prosenjit Chatterjee to commercial movies with his latest flick Bikram Singha – The Lion Is Back. The movie does have its drawbacks, but Prasenjit’s towering screen presence ensures that Bikram Singha is definitely worth a watch.

Bikram Singha - The Lion is Back (2012) Tollywood Kolkata Bangla Movie Trailer

The movie relates the story of two Prasenjits - viewers are assured of a double dose of entertainment. The first of them is tough cop Bikram Singha who cannot stand the sight of any wrongdoing in his locality. Goons are in mortal fear of Bikram's skills at bashing up the baddies. People have complete trust in Bikram Singha’s prowess to maintain peace and decorum in Deogarh, and the diligent ACP never disappoints either.

However, Bikram has one weak point - he suffers from a nerve disorder, which can render him rather vulnerable at times, during his trysts to catch criminals. This health hazard in fact, turns out to be the cause of the downfall of the mighty Bikram Singha, as he becomes unconscious when hit on the head by a henchman. The police officer, so long the protector against evil in Deogarh, is finally assumed to be dead.

The second Prasenjit "Gupi" now enters the fray in the film, and, unlike his lookalike, this man is a compulsive bender of legal rules - put more simply, a petty thief!. Gupi leads a tension-free, happy-go-lucky life, dancing with abandon here and chasing skirts just for fun there. Romance makes an entry in the life of Gupi in the form of the charming Madhu (Richa Gangopadhyay). Gupi, however, is smart enough to realize that his actual profession might not really appeal to his lady love or her family. Thus, he decides to pose as a well-to-do software engineer.

Gupi receives the shock of his life when a six-year old girl whom he has never seen in his life earlier starts calling him dad. After a few futile initial attempts to get rid of the apparently mistaken girl, Gupi gradually develops a strong emotional bond with the latter. Circumstances lead Gupi to find out that the child’s father is his look-alike and the much feared cop Bikram Singha.

Gupi’s facial resemblance with the now-mistaken to be deceased Bikram Singha stirs up the local criminals, who try to harm the little girl in order to take their revenge on Bikram Singha. Taken aback by this show of hostility towards him by notorious thugs, Gupi does his best to save the child. Meanwhile, the original Bikram Singha is also reported to be seen at Ballygunj, Kolkata.

Is the ACP really dead? Will Gupi be able to withstand the continuous onslaughts of the goons and be successful in fulfilling his romantic ambitions too? Catch Prasenjit at the theaters – that’s all we can say!

Bikram Singha, as expected, turns out to be an out-and-out Prasenjit show. The now-veteran actor beautifully emotes and flexes muscles in his policeman act, but it is in his role of Gupi that the man truly excels. The ease with which Prosenjit slips back to the conventional song-dance-fight routine after a series of serious, mature films truly speaks volumes about his versatility as a performer - we won’t confine his role in Bikram Singha to the word acting, for Prasenjit adds a distinct aura of stardom to his act in the film. Prasenjit is clearly at ease at enacting the part of a conventional leading man - after all, roles such as this had got him to the top slot in the first place - and his physical fitness (the movie is pretty demanding in that regard) is also praiseworthy. Prasenjit had always maintained that it is the love of the masses that had made him so successful over the years and Bikram Singha is definitely a nice payback from the actor to his zillions of fans.

The other actors on show in Bikram Singha are, however, not particularly impressive. Richa Gangopadhyay (voice dubbed by Srabanti), in her Tollywood debut, shows promise and appears extremely pretty on the big screen. However, thanks to the rather sketchy character development, Gangopadhyay’s scope to showcase her histrionic skills in the movie is rather limited. Surajit, essaying the role of the wicked son of the main villain of the movie Kalicharan is rather one-dimensional. In fact, none of the negative characters in the film appear as menacing as their roles required them to do. Special mention should also be made of the endearing little girl, who shares a special emotional relationship with Gupi.

There are certain inconsistencies about the plot of Bikram Singha as well. In particular, the sequence where Madhu’s parents accept Gupi as their would-be son-in-law even after knowing that he is a common thief defies logic. The ‘astra’ (weapon) which Prasenjit wields while bumping off the antagonists and jumping from high scaffoldings is also way too melodramatic. Thankfully, viewers are likely to overlook such minor follies for the sheer charm of seeing their favourite hero in action in a mainstream movie once again. The action sequences are extremely well-shot.

The stunning locales of Jordan are captured beautifully in a song sequence in Bikram Singha. The portions shot in Kerala and Hyderabad look quite enchanting too. The expert cinematography, coupled with the taut if somewhat predictable screenplay retains the interest levels of the audience right through the film.

Musically, Bikram Singha is a winner all the way. Debutant music director Sri Pritam’s tunes are racy and foot-tapping and fit well with the overall storyline of the film. Ultey Debo Paltey Debo by the evergreen Bappi Lahiri is undoubtedly the pick of the lot, while Tor Mon Chhuye has melodies of its own too. Background score is just about okay.