Dev - Koel Mullick PAGLU 2 (2012) WBRi Bengali Movie Review

Kolkata September 3, 2012 (Washington Bangla Radio / Penning Creations) As you know well by now, Paglu 2 is not a sequel to Paglu, but a remake of Ram and Hansika Motwani's Telugu blockbuster Kandireega (2011).

The story is about Dev (played by Tollywood hero Dev) - a young and rather aimless young man, with practically no academic inclinations (or even, abilities). He feels wronged when a teacher fails him in mathematics, and, in a crazy way of exacting revenge, decides to abduct the former’s daughter – on the day of her marriage!

However, through an unfortunate (or, shall we say, fortunate?) turn of events, Dev finally comes to realize the value of being properly educated and qualified in life. Thus, he makes the long journey to Kolkata, in order to complete his graduation and make a name for himself, for all the right reasons.

College romance, that integral element of mainstream Bengali flicks, arrives surely enough, with the path of Deb coming across that of the pretty Ria (Bengali actress Koel Mullick). It is not entirely easy for the duo to hold hands and walk into the sunset together, though. Also having his eyes on Riya is a thoroughly twisted underworld crook (played by Tota Roy Chowdhury). Dev and Riya also need to skillfully dodge the sinister plans of yet another notorious criminal, Dubai Keshto (Rajatava Dutta). Can the leading pair stave off the evil forces and manage to make their love story a successful one? There are not many prizes to guess the answer, but viewers would have a lot of joy while watching this film.

With a new director Sujit Mondol at the helm, a balance between solid and logical screenplay, and stylization have been attained in this movie. There are dance sequences of course, and Dev, and to a lesser extent, Koel, showcase their twinkle-toes there.

One simply hand it to Koel for her superb spontaneity, verve and versatility. Her last three theatrical releases have been Jaaneman, Hemlock Society and now Paglu 2 – all of them vastly different from each other. Mullick, to her credit, handles each of her roles with total ease and is convincing enough in all sequences – be it an emotional scene or a laugh-out-loud moment. Post-marriage, if Koel cuts down on working in films, she would surely be missed.

The life and soul of Paglu 2 is, rather predictably, Dev (who, incidentally, is called Dev in the film too, as had been the case in Paglu). However, unlike most of his earlier films, Dev does not overtly rely on his screen presence and starry appearance to cover up for the certain obvious shortcomings in his acting prowess. In fact, it is rather refreshing to see him blend in nicely with the other members of cast and deliver just what is required of him in the film. The typical bashing up of goons and the arched smile while wooing his lady love are still all there. Scopes for improvement are still there – but the young man is definitely taking rapid strides towards rectifying his drawbacks.

The supporting cast of Paglu 2 is well-chosen and supports the lead duo in the best possible manner. Tota Roy Chowdhury, the eternal almost-there man of Bengali films, brings in a nice mix of hilarity and menace in his slightly negative character. Rajatava Dutta draws genuine laughs from the audience – and that is not only because he has a ludicrous screen name in Paglu 2. Rimjhim Mitra often manages to give Koel a run for her money, at least as far as looks are concerned. The others essay their roles well too.

There are situations in Paglu 2 which do require the audience to take certain leaps of faith, but the movie never borders on becoming totally over-the-top, as Paglu often did. The action sequences are crafty and imaginative, but have a degree of measure in them as well. Few, if any, recent commercial Bengali releases have managed to show such admirable restraint as Paglu 2 does. Director Sujit Mondal shakes off the disappointments of Romeo, Dev re-establishes his position right at the top of the Tolly pecking order of leading men, and Koel displays the entire range of her histrionic abilities – all in one film. If you are looking for some commercial high-quality, genuinely interesting, entertainment a seat in a theater where Paglu 2 is playing is the best place you can be!

Jeet Ganguli recovers from his somewhat mediocre music in Awara to come up with better tunes in Paglu 2. Ekta Prem-er Gaan Likhechhi will take your breath away with its lilting melody, along with impressive visuals. Khuda Jaaney is yet another rock-based romantic number, which is eminently groovy. If one were to point out at something, it can be said that, the title track of Paglu 2 does not quite match up to that of Paglu. That, however, hardly hampers the overall film.

Dev will be returning on the screens again this Puja, with a tough-cop act in the upcoming Challenge 2. If his nuanced performance in Paglu 2 is anything to go by, Dev is, in all likelihood, looking at two back-to-back blockbusters!

Watch Indian Kolkata Bengali new movie Paglu 2 (2012) Trailer online

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