Shantilal Movie Review

There is a detective in every Bengali. Credit should go to eminent writers who along with their other genres, kept on providing us with the ingredients to be a Sherlock even after living on Maach and Bhaat! I don’t think any other regional language has so many detectives who have lasted for so many decades. We grew up with Byomkesh, Kiriti, Feluda to Kakababu and Pandav Goenda.

Pratim‘s choice to make a thriller is probably the culmination of such wishes of growing up that is in the mind of every passionate reader of crime thrillers. But wait, ‘Shantilal o Projapati Rohoshyo’ is way beyond just a detective story.

loved this marketing idea

Shantilal, the protagonist, represents a suppressed class which is often generalised as the ‘Bengali Middle Class’. The class that wakes up in the morning to go to the same old office, see the same old faces, do the same job and have a very few friends who have been there for the last ten years or more. The class that has no voice but just imagination. The late-night porn is the only excitement for them. Ritwik portrayed the role perfectly.

Paoli in Shantilal

Ritwik’s apparently boring life is suddenly changed by a butterfly, and here comes Nandita, a successful actress and a would-be aspiring politician, portrayed by Paoli.

As the name suggests, the story revolves around a mystical butterfly image and takes Shantilal in a mystery-solving journey to Chennai and then to Singapore. Like his other movies, Pratim has a special gift of making the second half as gripping as the first. The second half of the movie changes Shantilal’s apparently monotonous life and here comes the changed, confident, detective Shantilal.

The climax of the movie, especially Shantilal’s exchange with Paoli was certainly the most engrossing part of the movie. The climax established a very humane angle to the whole story and that is to me the best takeaway from the movie.

Ambarish was too good

Ambarish as Rocket Ranjan is fantastic. He is one actor I adore. His dialogue delivery has some special quality like his singing. I expected Rocket Ranjan to accompany Shantilal to Singapore as well. The movie has some unexplained areas as to how Shantilal finally went to Singapore. Leaving that, the movie to me is gripping and touchy. It is difficult to write about a movie without telling the story. So that is what you must do…. see it in a theatre near you.

Shantilal to me is more like a thriller than a detective story. The music and editing did justice to this brand new original story. As said, go and watch it in a theatre near you.

Needless to say, the music once again played a crucial role like other Pratim’s movie.

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