Review of “Alinagarer Golokdhadha” – Revisit the history of Bengal
Director – Sayantan Ghoshal
Cast – Anirban Bhattacharya, Parno Mittra, Koushik Sen, Paran Bandopadhyay, Gautam Haldar
Overall Rating – 4/5
With Jawker Dhan last year a new production house Champion Movies and a new director Sayantan Ghoshal had made a promising debut. Also they had given popularity to the almost forgotten genre that is treasure hunt thriller. So obviously when the same team came back with almost similar genre there was too much expectations. There is no doubt that Alinagarer Golokdhadha delivers much more than the expectations. It is one rare film which not only gives you the pleasure of watching a treasure hunt thriller but also makes you aware of the glorious history of Bengal. It educates the viewers a lot about the historical importance of Bengal but in an interesting format without sounding like a boring history lecture.
The story is about a history student Soham (Anirban Bhattacharya). He has done lots of research about Bengal and Kolkata’s history. In fact he is a living Wikipedia on Bengal’s history. He has a girlfriend Brishti (Parno Mitra) who is the daughter of Ashutosh Singha (Koushik Sen) a descendant of a North Kolkata royal family. Ashutosh had received a clue 25 years ago for an invaluable treasure with great historical importance. The clue was written in form of a rhyme and one need sound knowledge of Bengal’s history to solve it. Ashutosh assigns this task to Soham. Soham solves the puzzle which lead him to a series of clues one after another. Finally he not only solves the whole chain of clues but also comes to know some other dark secrets from past. Apart from Soham and Brishti there are a lot of mysterious people around who are also having their own secrets and some of them are also looking for the treasure.
We often hear story is the hero of a film and for this film that is absolutely true. Full credit goes to story and screenplay writer Sougata Basu for writing such a story. His research shows in the film. He has Incorporated so many historical facts brilliantly in form of the clues. Also to write them in rhymes is another challenging task and he has done it with ease. There are so many places around us about which we know nothing. Just for example Alinagar is a place with which each and every Bengali is familiar but we hardly know the name Alinagar before watching the film. But there are some weak points too in the script. First of all being a thriller, 139 minutes runtime is too long. It could have been easily shortened by 20 mins. The opening sequences take too much time to tell the flashback of 1990. Then there are some irrelevant comic track featuring Tanima Sen and her son which was absolutely not required. In this case the editor is also responsible for making it more than required lengthy. Also there is one loophole about the treasure hunt process too. There are too many clues one after another connected in series and just for the shake of the story everything goes as per plan which was planned 25 years ago. 25 years is a long time and any of the connection could have missed in between in such long time. Also the main treasure hunt was engaging enough there was hardly any need of emotional revelations from past. But one can ignore all these shortcomings because of the smart amalgamation of historical facts and thrill.
As a director Sayantan Ghoshal has already impressed us with Jawker Dhan and the web series on Byomkesh, but with Alinagarer Golokdhadha he has matured a lot. His story telling is gripping. He is one young talent from whom the industry can expect a lot in future.
Anirban Bhattacharya is one fine actor who can give life to any character on screen. Here he has stepped into the shoes of an young enthusiastic student convincingly. This is probably his first film as a solo leading man and he has carried that responsibility effortlessly. Parno Mittra has provided able support to Anirban. She has wonderfully under played her character and allowed Anirban to grab the limelight. Together they have shared very good chemistry, the comfort level between them looks believable as good friends and lovers. Both Koushik Sen and Paran Bandopadhyay are very natural as usual but they have done such characters so many times on screen. Gautam Halder’s over the top villainous act is disappointing. The rest of the cast are just average.
Apart from the editing, the other technical team has done fabulous job. Special mention is deserved for cinematographer Sudipta Mukherjee , he has captured the narrow allies of Kolkata brilliantly, plus the drone shots showing the old heritage buildings of Kolkata and Murshidabad is visually enriching. Also one should mention Meemo’s superb contribution for the music and background score. Itihaas Kobita is a nice song sung by Rupam Islam and it has been used perfectly in the film.
Overall Alinagarer Golokdhadha is well made treasure hunt thriller with a powerful story and fine performances by the lead cast. Watch it to discover the unknown historical facts about the known city.