Mar 16, 2012 (Calcutta Tube): Bhalobasha Off-Route-E is a 2012 Bengali film directed by Arunavo Khasnobis with Saswata Chattopaddhyay, Rudranil Ghosh, Aviraj, Kharaj Mukherjee, Tanushree Chakraborty and others in the cast. Read the Bengali movie review at Calcutta Tube.
Produced by: Debasish Saha
Directed by: Arunavo Khasnobis
Music: Debarpito Saha
Story: Arindam Chakraborty
Cinematographer: Parmatma Yadav
Editor: Sujay Dutta Roy
Cast: Rahul, Saswata Chattopaddhyay, Sudarshana Sengupta, Rudranil Ghosh, Aviraj, Kharaj Mukherjee, Tanushree Chakraborty, Parthasarathi Deb, Padmanavo Dasgupta, Nitish Biswas, Kanchan Mullick
It is sad to discover that a film dealing with football falls flat on its face because the storyline surrenders to the demands of romance, violence, melodrama and so on. Arunavo Khasnobis tries to tell a story authored by Arindam Chakraborty about two young men who arrive from Kolkata to a small town away from the big city to play a football match. But the entire scenario changes when the two brothers Siddhartha (Rahul) and Sandip (Saswata Chatterjee) fall head-over-heels in love with two small town damsels Shinjini (Sudarshana) and Ragini (Tanushree) whose alcoholic father is ready to traffic them to the two mafia brothers Jagan (Rudraneel Ghosh) and Fagan (Aviraj) who have virtually turned the small town into a police state.
But the film, narrated in a rather confusing flashback, unfolds Sandip as a misogynist who cannot stand the sight of a woman and does not allow his brother to look at any female ever. The younger brother on the other hand, keeps wondering about the mystery of the missed penalty kick his brother made that led their team to lose a winning match and return to the city losing face forever. The secret of the .missed penalty kick’ lies in Sandip’s feeling betrayed by his girlfriend Ragini. But his belief of having been betrayed by his lady love that led to his deliberately losing was wrong. He realizes this when Ragini is brought to his door as a love-struck girl who has gone speechless with shock.
The football match begins only after the interval but there is a second match that reveals the dirty small-town politics built into the team sport by villains like Jagan and Fagan which culminates in the brothers’ team going back home after the second match as winners while one of the two evil brothers kills the other one. The film is filled too much with brotherly love and hate that is rather strange given the fact that this film is about love and then football. Bengali cinema has seen very few films on football and that too, after long gaps. Some examples are Mohan Baganer Meye, Dhonni Meye and the recent Egaro which was a historic film on the game celebrating 100 years of Mohan Bagan’s win against a British team.
Poor Rudraneel is reduced to a stereotypical villain that does little justice to his acting talent. Saswata is brilliant as Sandip bringing out the different shades of the character very well. Rahul as Siddhartha is getting too predictable in his mannerism, body language and dialogue delivery. The humorous episodes introduced to lighten the atmosphere appear too forced and unfunny though Kanchan |Mullick tries his best to add some chutzpah to the proceedings. Tanushree is flowering very well in the acting department but the dresses she wears in the small town ambience are too much designer stuff to be credible. Poor Aviraj who is personally a very good footballer gets no chance to display his skills in the game. The music is so-so and so is the rest of the stuff that should have added to the aesthetics of the film but do not.