After a yawning experience with stale plate of Raees, we needed a good flick to get us back on rhythm. Saheb Bibi Golaam on Netflix, Singapore, fulfilled that dosage. Often the Bengali film industry struggles to bridge the gap between brilliant product and box office returns. With touch of Basic Instinct, bold scenes from the ravishing Swastika Mukherjee, an unconventional love story, a bored housewife on the bend and an ex-cop getting two killer contracts, Pratim D Gupta’s movie makes a compelling watch.
It so happens that the ex cop’s (Anjan Datta, brilliant) two contracts belong to the same case. The minister pays for killing the raped girl in ICU, while the victim’s father is willing to double the bill. The cop needs the money for his terminally ill son but also needs to banish some memories of the past.
The movie though belongs to the housewife in Swastika Mukherjee torn between her mother-in-laws vigil on her, mundane chores and lack of affection from her husband. Her body language and powerful eyes oscillating between that off a dutiful mother and a sultry siren is powerfully contrasting. That her husband’s office affair is contradictory to what she assumes (that he maybe having an erectile dysfunction) is a mystery unsolved, thankfully by the director. It’s left to your interpretation.
Both ladies in this 108 min flick are independant, bold, have strong personalities and willing to bend the rules. It’s very much in synch with Bengali culture where love marriages were initiated decades before it mushroomed in rest of the country. Ritwick Chakraborty’s taxi driver cum pimp act in love with an elite college girl is unconventional and brave, although more due to the strong performance by this talent powerhouse. If you haven’t watched his Shobdo or The Violin Player you are missing something in life.
The film starts brilliantly and gets the viewer hooked to it within the third scene. It loses pace in the middle and some of the songs or bold scenes wasn’t required. But then to get single screen audience drag their feet to theatres, some commercial elements are required. The movie ends a tad predictably but way that would satisfy the viewer with mode of justice at par with the crime and upbringing. There is a scene where the minister tells his son “We had lot of fun in our youth too, but never would we leave a girl alive, how could you?”. You see this scene and instantly know the problem in India doesn’t lie in length of her dress.
Our Rating : 3.5/5 (good watch)
IMDB viewers rating: 6.4/10