It was in 2012 when a thriller set in Kolkata caught the imagination of the audience. The movie was Kahaani that was one of the best written thrillers coming from Bollywood that is even talked about today. One of the interesting things about Kahaani was its well etched out characters. While Vidya Balan’s portrayal of her character Vidya Bagchi was iconic as well, it was the other characters that rightly contributed in making Kahaani a cult! One of the characters essayed by Saswata Chatterjee was that of the contract killer Bob Biswas. The supposed calmness which he brought coukd send chills down your spine. So when its spin off was announced with Abhishek Bachchan, I was excited although I knew I would miss Saswata Chatterjee in what was an iconic role. Finally the film is out this weekend, is it a ‘killer’ spin off of Kahaani, stay tuned.
Story & Screenplay
Bob Biswas is a spin off origin story of one of the most iconic characters of Kahaani. The story here is pretty interesting as it gives a glimpse into the personal life of Bob and his family. The issue that I had was with the screenplay. The screenplay is fairly decent if I look at it from an independent gaze. But, because this spin off comes with a baggage, it kind of left me with mixed feelings. This is not a badly written screenplay but it obviously falls short and by some distance when you compare it with Kahaani. Even the character of Bob seems to be a watered down version of that in Kahaani. The screenplay begins on an interesting note and there is a good amount of buildup as the screenplay takes the route of reintroducing Bob and his family and a glimpse of his past as well. Where the writing falters is that there are almost no high points in the screenplay. It moves on the same level. What that translates into is that the engagement levels are lower than it should have been. But there is much to appreciate as well. The drama that unfolds in the second half has some interesting twists that you may not see it coming. Some of the plot points are interesting and you will have your share of fun as the bodies start piling up. This culminates into a decent final act which is quite good to witness. But you so need to keep your expectations low! This screenplay is a bit of a mixed bag.
Dialogues, Music & Direction
The dialogues are decently well penned with the signature Nomoshkaar used as a template for Bob. The music is just about average and but the BGM is pulsating. The film is shot quite nicely although I would have loved a little more flavour of the city where it is set. Director Diya Annapurna Ghosh who is the daughter of Sujoy Ghosh who directed Kahaani had big boots to fill. She does a fairly decent job here although not as good as her father had in Kahaani.
The performances are pretty good but another flaw is that none of the side characters are memorable except a couple. Purab Kohli as Bubai and Tina Desai as Indira have monents to shine. Bhanu Goswami as Jishu and Vishwanath Chatterjee as Kharaj are good but not memorable. The one addition that actually stood out was Paran Bandopadhyay as Kali Da who seemed to have similar colours to Bob in his prime. Chitrangada Singh as Mary looks pretty and does a good job in a role that is slightly underwritten. Samara Tijori as Mini is quite a find here and she does a swell job. Abhishek Bachchan as Bob Biswas impresses but if I have to compare him to Saswata Chatterjee then he is a watered down version of him. Independently though AB 2.0 is a braver version of AB 1.0 and he deserves full marks here for trying out different roles and playing them well.
Bob Biswas is a watered down spin off of an iconic villain in an iconic film. But still there are a few interesting moments that makes it a decent one-time watch. Available in Zee5.