The main thing about Dawshom Awbotaar is the all-around consciousness of the Bengali audience regarding a recent Srijit Mukherjee film that is gonna be either mediocre or bad, there may be a handful of conformist Srijit fans who still believe in him to return to his prime.
Even Srijit is aware of his lost brilliance and his inconsistency, but still, Dawsham Awbottar manages to milk the nostalgia and the cult following the film has for being a prequel to his two previous films with the iconic characters. Srijit doesn’t even try to pen a consistent crime thriller; it is a deliberate negligence in the script department i.e. he is not even pretentious but downright casual. The film essentially belongs to the buddy cop genre and is an exercise in making the two leads as iconic as possible, which surprisingly works very well. The relentless razor-sharp funny banter between the characters of Anirban and Prasenjit are possibly one of the better-written dialogues from Mukherjee in recent years, the power dynamic and the diversity in the characters all fit in to feed the audience with some cult characters in the near future if there is a sequel.
Jishu Sengupta as antagonist has a certain world-weary persona which was surprisingly given very little screen time, as I said already the main focus has been the cop duos, the film would have worked much better if a more detailed character arc was given to him. Jishu tries to embody his character very well, but with the protagonists being so larger than life, the treatment is surprisingly subdued for the antagonist. However, I would say some of the murders are staged well, especially the mythological connections they have. It’s evident there were no budget contrivances for this film, as the color grading fits in many scenes. The stunts were sharply performed, except for those exhausting slow motions. There is a car chase with some brilliantly crafted inside the car and outside the car sequences.
The unhealthy obsession of Srjit Mukherjee in forcing gimmicky hand-held sequences in filming a quarrel is also present here, and if it’s been just passable or tolerable in his other films, here it is downright nauseating and redundant. What is repeatedly forcing him to obsess over his inconsistent editing skills, is a mystery.
Rarely Srijit has written a good climax; in here he is trying to replicate “Baishe Shrabon” in various ways which seems so half-baked, so much out of place that the film completely falls flat due to the inconsistency in the end.
The Jaya Ahsan subplot doesn’t work; neither does her arc in the story but her performance and chemistry with Anirban try to bandage the obvious gaps she had in the character.
It’s remarkable though how Prasenjit fits in the role of a foul-mouthed police officer even though 12 years have passed since ‘Baishe Shravan’, his performance certainly is a prime highlight among the few positive points the film has.
Anirban has much more to do, as his screen time in ‘Vinci Da’ was much shorter. Here he is one of the leads, he has utilized that chance and with the help of shared chemistry with Prasenjit has given a crackling performance worth remembering.
At a certain point in the film, the serial killing aspect takes a backseat and waits for the protagonists to culp themselves with their personal mismatches, and tragedies, and soon after everything comes to a truce between them, the killing starts.
The director may have been obsessing over his characters a little too much than it should be which is an evident black spot in how a cop thriller is written. If there is another film from this franchise which eventually is bound to happen, this obsession may worsen the narrative, or literally butcher the franchise from its cult following too.
The introductory scenes of the lead cops were staged like a mass film; where there was no absolute need to do so. The headache-inducing slow motion totally shifts the expectations of the people who love the way they are introduced in the first films they appear. It seems that Srijit was unsure of how to introduce his characters, so based on the recent obsession of the audience regarding mass films, he chose to do this.
The first ten minutes of the film, make you weary of those forced slow motions; some of them may also perceive a wrong idea of how this film turns out in the long run.
The film is certainly an entertaining one, much more than his work on the web platforms. I wouldn’t mind seeing more films made on the characters, as he focuses more on the buddy cop aspect rather than the central mystery, It is entertaining and disappointing at the same time. But when it comes to Srijit Mukherjee films, we are accustomed to being disappointed for the last few years but it has since a long time since he has made an entertaining one so credit where it is due.
I would say, during these glorious festivities Srijit Mukherjee’s Dawshom Awbotaar is not totally a waste of two and a half hours, at least from the heat and sweat of the pandal-hopping crowd outside, it’s a decent time spent inside.