March 23, 2011 (Calcutta Tube): Bhoy is a 2011 Bengali film directed by Suvendu Ghosh with Monami Ghosh, Amitabha Bhattacharya, Abhishek Chatterjee, Biplab Chatterjee, Satabdi Roy and others in the cast. Read the Bengali movie review at Calcutta Tube.
BHOY – NOTHING TO FEAR ABOUT
Banner: Rekha Films 2009
Produced by: Saibal Chakraborty and Ajoy Biswas
Direction: Suvendu Ghosh
Cinematography: Arabindo Dolui
Editor: Alok Dhara
Music: Soumen Hajari
Cast: Monami Ghosh, Amitabha Bhattacharya, Abhishek Chatterjee, Biplab Chatterjee, Satabdi Roy, Debranjan Nag, Tanushri, Master Ayush and others
In 1996, this critic saw a film named Bhoy at a near-empty theatre in Kolkata starring Debasree Roy, (late) Soumitra Banerjee and Chiranjeet plagiarized from Sleeping with the Enemy. It was directed by Chiranjeet and was a terrible film. A Hindi version was made starring Nana Patekar, Monisha Koirala and Jackie Shroff. The Bengali version was so badly made that there were no takers. In 1960, another film called Bhoy was also released directed by Gouranga Prasad Bose and starring Asit Baran, Nabadwip Haldar and Mihir Bhattacharya. Little is known about this film.
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This new Bhoy in 2011 bears no resemblance to the 1996 version but the story lacks originality. We have seen several permutations and combinations of this story both on Bengali television and cinema. The director has tried to punch the thriller element with the horror genre, an uphill task for even a veteran director. So it is no surprise that this film too, fails in audience appeal. However, for some mysterious reason, it is still running in some theatres for noon shows. It is about a young couple, Roopsha (Monami Ghosh) and Amitabha (Amitabha Bhattacharya) move into a home following their marriage not caring about the story of the earlier tenant (Tanushri) having committed suicide in the house. There is the usual household staff who send out meaningful smiles, sinister silences and keep staring at Roopsha with knowing glances intriguing her for no reason. Her nights are filled with sound of a woman weeping inconsolably or singing lullabies to a baby. Interestingly, Monami herself has acted in a telefilm with the same subject but with a more credible climax. The usual eerie sounds dot the sound track sending out decibels so sharp and loud that one wants to cover one’s ears.
The story combines the ghost story with psychology with some black magic so the end result is a blend of the Hindi film Bhoot, the Bengali film U-Turn and a few other films where the heroine is discovered to be the culprit and her sympathetic husband helps her come out of her crisis. But not really because this Bhoy ends on an open note promising a sequel! There are the usual cameos of the ghost of the earlier tenant who cries for her baby, the psychiatrist (Abhishek Chatterjee) and the exorcist (Satabdi Roy) to complete the picture. Despite a remarkable performance by Monami who expresses the extreme shades of a simple, urban housewife who turns into a possessed female demon beautifully with very good support from Amitabha and Abhishek, the film falls flat because of the lackadaisical and indifferent technical support. It is really sad to find very good actors like Monami and Amitabha being wasted in absurd roles in half-hearted films. What really can one expect of filmmakers who do not use their imagination even to coin an original title for a horror-cum-psychological thriller?
-Shoma A. Chatterji