Review of “Kishore Kumar Junior” – Tribute to the legendary Kishore Kumar
Director – Kaushik Ganguly
Cast – Prosenjit Chatterjee, Aparajita Addhya, Rajesh Sharma, Masood Akhtar, Lama, Rwitobroto Mukherjee.
Overall Rating – 3.5/5
Kishore Kumar Junior is the first musical from the master story teller Kaushik Ganguly. Kaushik Ganguly has always surprised us with subjects which anyone else could have imagined. With Kishore Kumar Junior he has continued this trend. We have seen and heard about many cover singers who are known as Konthi singers who imitates the voice of popular singers and sing their songs at local functions. The films talks about one such Kishore konthi singer who is fondly called Kishore Kumar Junior. It gives a glimpse of the personal life of this Kishore konthi singer which is not as flashy as his clothes on stage.
The film opens with a rocking stage performance by Kishore Kumar Junior (Prosenjit Chatterjee) where the mob is going crazy for him. But just in the next scene we are hit by reality. He is not a star at his home. His son Rishi (Rwitobroto Mukherjee) do not even consider him as an artist. He thinks his father is a failure as an artist, he is just a copy of another famous person. Junior’s wife Rita (Aparajita Addhya) is a housewife who is trying keep peace between her alcoholic husband and short tempered son. Although outside home he is a popular singer even some ministers are also aware of his talent. This leads him to a request for an Indo-Pak musical event which is scheduled to be performed in border areas of India and Pakistan in some village in Rajashthan. Junior goes to attend this event with his band members and wife Rita but soon after reaching at Jaisalmer they get kidnapped by some Pakistani intruders. From their the story takes a new turn. It shifts focus from the personal life of Junior as a more wider concept takes over, that is the influence of music or better said Bollywood music across the borders. We see Pakistani terrorist Feroz (Rajesh Sharma) getting nostalgic about his childhood after listening the songs of Kishore Kumar as his father who is a big admirer of Kishore Kumar, used to play those songs on his radio. We also see another terrorist Toufiq (Mashood Akhtar) favoring Rafi over Kishore as the former belongs to their religion. No matter they prefer Kishore or Rafi but it is very clear how they are influenced with Indian music and that also helps them to connect with their hostages emotionally. Later the bonding gets more stronger over Bengali food cooked by Rita.
We always expect very original script from Kaushik Ganguly and Kishore Kumar Junior keeps up that expectations too some extent specially in the beginning but later the story turns towards a more predictable path which we have seen in many movies earlier. In fact this plot has much similarities with the Bollywood movie Filmistaan, the only difference is here Bollywood movies has been replaced by Bollywood songs. We wish the film would have told more about the personal life of the konthi singer than spending more time on the track of kidnapping. In spite of these short comings the movie keeps on engaging its audience because of the exceptionally well use of all classic melodies by Kishore Kumar one after another and for the extremely talented cast.
Prosenjit Chatterjee is a versatile actor who can mould himself for any character. Casting him in this character is a very good decision. He has hands on experience of performing on live stage shows in muffosil areas and he has used his real life experience to give perfection to his reel life performance. Also in the emotional scenes with his son he is just too good and real. In the major portion of the film he has to lip sync on Kishore Kumar songs and to make it perfect he needs to bring the energy of the legendary singer performer and he has done that perfectly. Watch him performing the song Shing Nei Tobu, hardly any other actor can match his energy. He has been supported ably by the supporting cast. Aparajita Addhya is wonderful as the supporting wife of an artist. She has made us laugh with her comic timing as well as she has touched the emotional chords too. Lama as Khokon, Junior’s band member and friend has given a wonderful performance and Rajesh Sharma will win your hearts specially in the climax. Rwitobroto Mukherjee has some good moments in the beginning but later his character gets subsided.
Music has played a very important part in this film and the song selection is very good which offers a wide range of variety. Every Kishore Kumar song has been recreated brilliantly by Indraadip Dasgupta and sung well by Kumar Sanu along with Babul Supriyo and Kaushik Chakraborty. But if you are expecting it has only old Kishore Kumar songs then there are big surprises for you. You can hear Rafi and Lata songs also which comes at a crucial point in the story. There are two original songs also including a rajashthani folk song. All these songs works really well with the narrative.
Overall Kishore Kumar Junior is a tribute to the legendary singer Kishore Kumar, to the all the konthi singers and above all it celebrates the power of music that can connect with the emotions of people across the borders. For all the music lovers it is a must watch.