Dec 6,2 011 (Calcutta Tube): Best Friend is a 2011 Bengali film directed by Swapan Saha with Sujoy, Priyanka Sarkar, Mainak, Priyanka Ghosh and others in the cast. Read the Bengali movie review at Calcutta Tube.
BEST FRIEND – FAR FROM BEST FILM
Produced by: Tarun Bhattacharjee
Direction: Swapan Saha
Screeplay and dialogue: Manjil Banerjee
Cinematography: Kushal Chowdhury
Editing: Suresh Urs
Music: Ashok Bhadra
Cast: Sujoy, Priyanka Sarkar, Mainak, Priyanka Ghosh, Shubhashish Mukherjee, Arpita Baker, Debraj Roy and others.
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If Best Friend is inspired from films like Dil Chahta Hai and 3 Idiots, one can make out within the first few minutes of the film’s unfolding that it is not a cheap copy of either film. It is an original film but sadly, lacks the brand identity of its once-hit-making director Swapan Saha who cared a fig for critics because he could twist the Bengali mainstream audience round his little finger. But all this was in the past. His recent films lack his box-office quickie brand identity. You know why or how when you see his recent films. Best Friend is the latest on the agenda.
A sudden turn of circumstances force a gang of three buddies to hide in the flat of one of the three friends’ uncle in Digha, a small seaside resort a few hours drive away from Kolkata. The uncle in question (Subhashish Mukherjee) is a worthless number and has just landed a painting contract in one big house within the city. The first half of the film is dedicated to the antics of this uncle as he blunders and flounders at every step of his work by breaking chandeliers, smashing furniture and so on. The three youngsters queer his pitch even more.
The second half of the film concentrates on the love story of one of these three friends (Sujoy) and the pretty young girl of the mansion (Priyanka) and the twists and turns in the friendship as Sujoy finds his sister is madly in love with the strong-muscled friend who is convinced that falling in love with a friend’s sister is against the rules of ‘friendship.’ Priyanka Sarkar stands out like a sore thumb in this entire bundle of amateurs who are helplessly trapped in a script that is hollow and useless, in characters that are neither here not there, and in situations that would make the audience cry instead of laugh of make its way to the nearest exit.
What an actress like Priyanka Sarkar is doing in this outfit no one knows. Sujoy is very talented and has a good screen presence but all this is wasted in this inane non-film. The violence between and among the friends appears like hollow concoctions and connote more of inimical feelings than feelings of empathy and friendship. Konko’s flashback of an orphaned childhood further saddened by the accidental death of his little deaf-and-mute brother does not help the film at all and is a needless interruption.
Ashok Bhadra’s musical score, Gautam Susmit’s lyrics, Kalash Sharma and James Anthony’s choreography and Khokan Saha’s action direction are all fitting to the kind of film Best Friend turns out to be. The comic capers in a film that perhaps intended to be a comedy fall flat and some more. There is a vamp in the shape and form of a bulky actress who does not have any dialogue to speak of and her negative qualities find no justification. Similarly, the after-thought introduction of the villain is unconvincing.
It would not have made any difference to the history of contemporary Bengali cinema if this film were never to be made.
– Shoma A. Chatterji