Review of “Goodnight City” – A human story in disguise of psychological thriller
Director – Kamaleshwar Mukherjee
Cast – Ritwick Chakraborty, Rituparna Sengupta, Saswata Chatterjee, Arunima Ghosh, Paayel Sarkar, Saurav Das
Overall Rating – 3/5
With Goodnight City director Kamaleshwar Mukherjee has walked through a route, lesser taken in Bengali movies, that is dark psychological thriller. It is basically a human drama in disguise of a thriller. It tries to trace the root cause of psychological crimes.
In the middle of night a stranger named Abhimanyu Mitra aka Abhi (Ritwick Chakraborty) calls a well known psychiatrist Dr. Abheri Chatterjee (Rituparna Sengupta) to seek help. According to Abhimanyu, he has life threat and he wants to commit suicide. As part of her job Abheri continues call with Abhimanyu to understand him better and to help him. But Abheri is not alone at the receiving end of the call, her husband Rishi Chatterjee (Saswata Chatterjee) who is a high rank officer in Police department, is also listening to Abhimanyu’s confessions. During the talk Abhi confesses that he has murdered his father and girlfriend. For Abheri, Abhi is a psychologically unstable patient who needs counselling and treatment. On the other hand Rishi seeing a psycho killer in Abhi who must be arrested. Abhi keeps telling about his past life from his disturbed childhood, to his voyeuristic adolescent age, to the political influence in his college life. He also talks about the girls in his life; his teenage crush Jui (Payel Sarkar) and an escort Subhamita (Arunima Ghosh). With every story Abheri tries to figure out more about the mental state of Abhi, and Rishi tries to find more clues about people and places around Abhi so that it can be easy to catch him. But it is not so easy to trace him as he is continuously changing mobile set, sim cards and location through the whole night. It raises the obvious questions, who is Abhi? Is he really a mentally unstable patient who needs love and care or he is a sharp minded criminal? A surprising climax with a twist answers this question.
Kamaleshwar Mukherjee deserves credit for choosing such a subject which is rarely addressed in Bengali cinema. Such criminal activities are so common in today’s times but hardly filmmaker takes interest to focus inside these criminal minds through films. This film tries to figure out the root cause behind the development of a criminal mind. A disturbed childhood or not properly guided growing up age can make someone a bad human being in adulthood. This also talks about the basic human need of being loved. Every individual wants to be loved and hates ignorance. When a person don’t get that love and care, sometimes he or she takes wrong route to achieve that attention.
In spite of having a good intention, the screenplay fails to connect. The poorly written script is the weakest thing about the film. There are unnecessary subplots and characters which has stretched the film unnecessarily. For instance, the whole plot about Abhi’s uncle and the issues in his band has nothing to do with the main plot. In second half there is a subplot about college politics which is also irrelevant with the main subject. There is a twist in the end which is not convincing enough. There are lots of logical loopholes which remain unattended.
Ritwick Chakraborty is undoubtedly the finest actor of Bengali cinema in current time. He can portray any complex character with ease. He is totally in control with the character of mentally unstable Abhimanyu. Watch him in the climax, he is just exceptional. Rituparna Sengupta has looked and acted well as a psychiatrist who is empathetic towards her patient but has to maintain her professional ethics too. Saswata Chatterjee is natural in his performance but he has nothing much to do. Both Paayel Sarkar and Arunima Ghosh have done good job. For a change, Saurav Das has not played a comic character and he is okay in that.
Overall Goodnight City adressess a relevant subject which need to be told. But somewhere it gets lost with a not so gripping screen play. Still it can be watched for the brilliant performance of the lead cast.