Review of the movie “Asche Abar Shabor”

Director – Arindam Sil

Cast – Saswata Chatterjee, Subhrajit Dutta, Gaurav Chakraborty, Diti Saha, Indraneil Sengupta , Anindya Chatterjee, Arunima Ghosh

Overall Rating – 3.5/5

There is no doubt, just three film old Shabor series is one of the most popular crime thriller franchise in Bengali cinema. The main reason behind this is these movies are bold enough to talk about dark human psychologies and the second reason is the smart storytelling of director Arindam Sil. The way he narrates the story it becomes much more than just a whodunnit crime thriller. Asche Abar Shabor is not an exception in that matter.

Unlike the first two movies this time it is not just an investigation of one particular murder, rather it is about a series of rape and murders in similar pattern. Back to back girls are getting raped and killed in different areas from Beniapukur, Burra Bazar to Chandannagar. It is doubted to be a case of serial killing. One such girl is Rinku (Diti Saha) who is a rich spoilt young girl. Her parents are separated and living with their individual partners. No one has enough time for her. She is friendly with her neighbour Bijay Sen (Indraneil Sengupta) who is much older than Rinku. Bijay is separated from his wife (Arunima Ghosh) and he has a very bad reputation in the locality. No one likes him except Rinku. In such a situation when Rinku gets murdered all fingers are pointed to Bijay. But is he really guilty or not? Also who is responsible for the other murders? All these questions are solved by crime branch Inspector Shabor Dasgupta (Saswata Chatterjee) with the help of his assistants Nanda (Subhrajit Dutta) and Sanjib (Gaurav Chakraborty).

As expected Shabor not only catches the culprit also he investigates the dark human emotions which are responsible for these crimes. We see his sensitive side too. He helps to fix some broken relationships. Not only that he makes us aware of the importance of good parenting in a child’s life.

The screenplay written by Padmanava Dasgupta and Arindam Sil is good specially in first half. After a slow start with multiple character being introduced, the story shifts to right pace with Shabor Dasgupta’s entry to investigate the matter. In second half it starts loosing track with some unnecessary sub plots. The whole episode in Lucknow is visually enriched experience but does not take the story to anywhere. Also the clues comes to Shabor quite easily at right time without giving much effort. It is not very difficult to guess the real killer much before the climax if you are little familiar with the body language of the actor. It would have been better to hide full body of the person not just the face.

Trailer of Asche Abar Shabor

Arindam Sil has his own way of story telling which has been appreciated every time. The way he makes such stylish films in a controlled budget and limited resources is commendable. This time he has tried to add new flavours to Shabor movies by taking the story out of Kolkata to the outskirts like Chandannagar and Chunchura. But the way he can present modern face of urban Kolkata, his presentation of small town is not that authentic. The dressing and style of the young characters in Chandannagar looks out of sync with small town culture. There is typical signature style of Shabor but the final chase sequence here has been streched little more than required. In spite of these short comings it’s a good watch for most of the part.

Saswata Chatterjee has created the character of Shabor on his own with perfect blend of intelligence and attitude. He is in perfect form like always. Subhrajit Dutta has provided good comic relief. Although this time there is lesser jokes regarding his incorrect english but that has been compensated with one particular comic scene where a girl tries to seduce him. Gaurav Chakraborty has nothing much to do. He has been wasted in a routine character.

Among the rest of the cast everyone gets very little screen time. There are so many characters and none of the character has been given enough scope to make any impact. All the characters are half baked with no proper background or reason to explain their behavior. Most of the ensemble cast is not familiar faces and not good actors too. In fact the supporting cast is the weakest thing about the film compared to the other two Shabor films. Among the supporting cast Arunima Ghosh shines the most. She is a good but unutilized actress. Here she looks very different from her other on screen characters and she is impressive in her limited screen time. Lolita Chatterjee, Indraneil Sengupta and Anindya Chatterjee are okay. There are many young new girls who looks glamarous  but no one acts good enough get noticed among the crowd.

The supporting cast may be a let down but the technical team is not. Soumik Halder has shot the film wonderfully including the signature chase sequences showcasing the narrow allies of Kolkata. Bickram Ghosh has created magic with his background score and songs which are also used in background mostly. “Kaise Manaun Shyam” has a haunting melody. The background score has helped to feel the thrill more. Sanjib Dutta’s editing is sharp enough to maintain the pace. Only few of the scenes in the beginning following the title credit looks unorganized.

Being a franchise film comparisons are must with the other two films and it can be said the first Shabor film is still the best. But Asche Abar Shabor is a good watch with wonderful performance by the leading man in the title role and some terrific technical team in the background.

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