Review of “Goyenda Junior” – An immature crime thriller combined with emotional drama
Director – Mainak Bhaumik
Cast – Rwitobroto Mukherjee, Shantilal Mukherjee, Prantik Banerjee, Anusha Viswanathan, Krishnendu Adhkary
With his new film, Goyenda Junior, director Mainak Bhaumik has tried to combine a suspense thriller with an emotional drama. Unfortunately the final outcome is not satisfactory at all. Neither the emotional drama is appealing nor the suspense thriller is gripping enough.
The story is about a 16 yr old boy Bikram (Rwitobroto Mukherjee) who has lost his parents in a car accident one year ago. He is a very bright student with good observation skills and photographic memory but his parent’s death has affected him badly. It has impacted his social life as well as his studies. After his parent’s death, he lives with his uncle and aunt who are also worried about his condition. His uncle works in crime investigating department (most probably under Kolkata police although not clearly mentioned in the film). Through his uncle, he gets a chance to meet the head of the detective department Sanjoy Banerjee (Shantilal Mukherjee) who is also the father of his classmate and crush Tuki (Anusha Viswanathan). In the very first meeting itself, Sanjoy gets impressed with the observation skills of Bikram and decides to include him in his ongoing investigation about a mysterious death of a high profile businessman. How the duo of Goyenda senior and Goyenda junior together solve this mystery that forms the rest of the story.
The screenplay written by Mainak Bhaumik keeps oscillating between the murder mystery and the emotional story of Bikram and it never helps the audience to concentrate on any of these two tracks. Even if we consider the two tracks separately, none of these tracks succeeds to leave impression. The emotional story of Bikram is very much cliche. The way he has been shown getting bullied in school looks very much unconvincing. Apart from one single emotional breakdown scene between Bikram and Sanjoy on terrace, there is not any special moment that focus on the inner pain of the character of Bikram. As a result the viewers will never feel emotionally connected with the protagonist, hence no one bothers to care about his sufferings. The murder mystery has some potential but the way the plot has been developed it fails to engage the audience in the investigation process. Just like Mainak’s last thriller Bornoporichoy, here also the detective’s intelligence is too much to grasp. It never allows the audience to use their own mind rather the detectives are always ready to explain each and every clue. Although, despite of the over explanation, there are lots of logical loopholes that have never been addressed.
Director Mainak Bhaumik is a fanboy of crime thrillers and through his films he is trying to pay tribute to those thrillers. But he must understand that being a fan of a particular genre does not make him qualified to direct a film in that genre. His narrative style lacks originality and looks more like a sum of all his inspirations combined together. Among the technical team it is only cinematographer Gairik Sarkar who stands out. The background score is too loud and always tries to spoon feed the audience about the mood of every scene. Editing by Amir Mondal over explains every details leaving no room for audience to use their own brains.
Mostly dependable actor Rwitobroto Mukherjee, is totally disappointing this time. It is probably his weakest performance so far. Looks like he himself has not understand the mental state of his character and it is showing in his performance. It is not completely his fault though, the character has been written in a confused way. One moment he has been shown as sharp and intelligent, at the next moment we can see him nervous and under confident. In the scenes when he is explaining his observations, he has delivered his dialogues in a robotic way without feeling them. It never sounds like it is coming from his own observation rather it sounds like all mugged up lines. On contrary to that, his real life father and reel life mentor Shantilal Mukherjee has done a very good job. He is one talented actor who gets very less opportunity. It is probably one of the few characters where he has got so much screen time and he has fully utilized this opportunity. Although his character does not have much shades and it is mostly one note character but still he has made it interesting and convincing. His chemistry with Rwitobroto is quite engaging. Apart from the father son duo, no one in the rest of the cast has done anything significant that desrves extra mention.
On a whole Goyenda Junior is a poorly written crime thriller with an added baggage of a stereotypical emotional drama. The only saving grace is the performance by Shantilal Mukherjee.