Review of the movie “Cockpit”

Director – Kamaleshwar Mukherjee

Cast – Dev, Koel Mallick, Rukmini Maitra, Priyanka Sarkar, Shataf Figar

Overall Rating – 3.5 /5

With his debut production “Chaamp”, Dev has made one point clear that he is not interested to make money doing mindless remakes rather he want to tell fresh stories in mainstream commercial movies format. His second venture as producer “Cockpit” is a continuation of that trend.

In Bengali movies we have hardly seen plane journeys; in such a situation thinking of a story about the crisis situation during a plane journey is really innovative. A plane facing near to death scenario because of bad weather and mechanical damage during its journey from Mumbai to Kolkata, now it’s pilot’s responsibility to land the plane safely and save the lives of the passengers. This is a promising plot itself but the makers think to add some more conventional entertainment in form of a love triangle. So there is a love triangle involving Captain Dibyendu Rakshit (Dev), his girlfriend turned wife Riya (Koel Mallick) and his airhostess friend Keerti Sachdeva (Rukmini Maitra) which comes in the story in flashbacks. But the problem is that the writer has give n more than required attention and time to the love story. It has almost over powered the main plot of plane journey. There are some unnecessary scenes and romantic songs which could have been easily avoided and it would have helped to reduce running time.  But the good thing about the love triangle is the character of Keerti Sachdeva, an alcoholic possessive lover. We have hardly seen such a grey character of a leading lady in Bengali cinema. She has broken the stereotype good girl image of Bengali film heroines.  Apart from the three main leads there are few passengers in the plane and some of them have some back story too. But none of the passengers have an strong enough back story which may generate sympathy for them during the crisis moments.

Talking about the plane journey portion it can be said the technical conversation between the crew members sounds authentic. But there is one big problem that is the plane faces near to death situation not once but three times, twice in real and once in dream sequence. That dream sequence is an example of poor script writing, this tense sequence has been forcefully added just to give a thrilling moment before interval. As there are three instances of problem with the plane so it becomes repetitive during the final act as a result it fails to generate the required adrenaline rush in the climax. Also the plane faces every possible adversities like bad weather, excessive rain, thunderstorms, air turbulence, water logging at airport, non supportive runway, mechanical damage which is too much to be acceptable. It seems the makers have searched possible reasons for plane journey troubles and have added everything in one single journey which has reduced its credibility. Only good thing about the adversities is the simple explanation of every problem. Every time the plane faces any problem the situation has been well explained to the audience using the flashbacks of conversation between young Dibyendu and his father who was also a pilot.

Dev has looked good as a smart and mature pilot. He has carried away the character with required style and attitude. There is improvement in his acting but still he has to work a lot on it. The good thing is, he himself is aware of his shortcomings as an actor and continuously trying to improve himself with challenging characters. His effort should be appreciated. Rukmini Maitra is fortunate enough to get such a strong character at this early stage of her acting career. In one scene of the film a director says to choose a heroine, the producers have lot of influence; same can be said about Rukmini. There is no doubt it is her friend and producer Dev’s influence that she has got such an author backed role where she has enough scope to showcase her talent. She has grabbed this opportunity sincerely. Her tall stature has worked very well for the character of an airhostess and she has acted quite well in a complex character. Koel Mallick had made a solid comeback with “Chhaya O Chhobi” last month and it’s sad to see her doing such insignificant role after that. She has nothing much to do. Few extra scenes has been added to add her screen time but those are not impressive enough. Her acting is over dramatic and immature which is not expected from her especially after her performance in “Chhaya O Chhobi”. Among the rest of the cast there are many known and unknown faces but those who have succeeded to left impression in their short screen time are Priyanka Sarkar, Shataf Figar, Ambarish Lahiri and Saayoni Ghosh. Prosenjit Chatterjee is there in an extended cameo and he is very natural as usual.

As a director this one is Kamaleshwar Mukherjee’s most mainstream film so far. He has attempted to do something different and he has done it quite well. Only he could have resist his temptation to add out of the track songs just to give it more commercial appeal. As a director he is okay but as a script writer he could not score much as he has wasted a good concept by falling for the tried and tasted routes.

For such a film the technical team has a lot of responsibilities to make the audiences feel the required thrill. Here the technical team is okay except for the visual effects. The computer graphics are of poor quality and it should have been better. The songs composed by Arindom Chatterjee are good for movie promotion but works as roadblocks in the movie. In spite of that the song may look engaging just because of the splendid camera work of Shubhankar Bhar. No one can shot a romantic song more beautifully than him. Not only the songs, his camera work has visually enriched the whole film. Editing could have been much tighter.

Overall it is fresh concept with lot of potential but somewhere it got distracted adding more than required melodrama. There is scope of improvement but in spite of the shortcomings it is not a bad watch.  We should encourage this effort to make an entertaining film for both urban and small center audiences, without doing a copy from South. Such encouragements are needed to save mainstream Bengali cinema from the claws of remakes.

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