Mar 5, 2012 (Calcutta Tube): Chaal The Game Begins is a 2012 Bengali movie directed by Alok Roy with Tota Roychoudhury, Shaheb Chatterjee, Arunima Ghosh and others in the cast. Read the Bengali film review at Calcutta Tube.
CHAAL – THE GAME BEGINS…
Banner: Purple Motion Pictures
Produced by: Artage
Direction: Alok Roy
Story; Mayukh Chatterjee
Music: Kalyan Sen Barat, Tubai, Rajkumar, Rohan Ganguly
Cinematography: Debasish Roy
Editor: M. Sushmit
Fight: Judo Ramu
Cast: Tota Roychoudhury, Shaheb Chatterjee, Arunima Ghosh, Pulakita Ghosh, , Riju Biswas, Dolon Roy, Pallavi Chatterjee, Dulal Lahiri, Premjit, Bhola Tamang and Rahul Burman
Way back in 1961, Agradoot had directed a film called Agni Sanksar, a super duper box office hit not only due to the screen charisma of Uttam Kumar but also because the film was a psychological thriller treated with the right mixture of suspense, romance, psychological drama and an electrifying though melodramatic climax. An added attraction was a wonderful musical score by Hemanta Mukhopadhyay.
Alok Roy’s latest directorial offer Chaal—The Game Begins bears many resemblances with Agni Sanskar in terms of the basic theme. But especially in the way the two men in the film, namely Ravi (Shaheb Chatterjee) and Raj (Riju Biswas), in love with the same girl, Pooja (Arunima Ghosh) react differently to their emotional feelings towards the girl. While Riju is a good human being busy tending to fellow-men and women in troubled situations, his multimillionaire friend Ravi who takes care of him like he would his own brother, who, unknown to the others is a psychopath suffering from Obsessive Compulsive Personality Disorder.
What happens in the end after the story goes through many winding bylanes with twists and turns is quite predictable – Raj who lands in prison by the diabolic machinations of Ravi is released from captivity by the good-hearted and honest police officer ACP Akbar Ali Khan (Tota Roy Choudhury) just when Ravi is about to marry Pooja who, by then, is very nervous about Ravi’s strange behaviour. Everything ends happily ever after and all is well with the world.
The storyline had many interesting possibilities. But the director and the too convoluted screenplay could not realize them. What Riju does for a living is kept in the dark from beginning to end. This reflects poorly on his self-respect because it is Ravi’s millions that take care of his basic needs. He wears his civilian clothes even after he is proven guilty of having shot the bar singer and keeps staying in the same police lock-up instead of staying in a proper prison. Pooja, as an artist, is shown as a vulnerable and gullible human being who does not give a second thought to whether Riju can really kill someone or not. The ACP wears a uniform that looks much like a defence uniform instead of a police one.
The one bright light the film sheds is on the pervasive corruption the society is soaked with. Everyone from the prosecution lawyer, the defence lawyer, Pooja’s own aunt (Dolon Roy) and the local police officer (Rahul Burman) can be purchased simply by greasing their willing palms. This is a true reflection of the world around us today. Arunima is good in her sweet-and-syrupy role that makes little demands on her histrionic talent. Shaheb is very convincing in the first half but begins to overact during the second. Riju can do better with more films but right now, what he desperately needs is to work on his screen appearance, a better hairstyle and perhaps, a complete make-over. Pallavi Chatterjee as Ravi’s single sister is quite good as is Rahul Burman as the corrupt officer. The paintings at the gallery are too embarrassingly amateurish to belong there in the first place. The action scenes are well choreographed and enacted. Tota is very good as the action-centric ACP while Premjit shows a new dimension in a positive role. Pulakita Ghosh as the bar singer is too conscious of her skirts and frocks which shows.
The music is good but Kalyam Sen Roy has done better in earlier films. In short, Chaal might bear a resemblance with the 1961 box office grosser but it would really be quite unfair to draw comparisons between Agradoot and Alok Roy, or, much less, between Uttam Kumar and Riju Biswas and Shaheb Chatterjee and Anil Chatterjee.
– Shoma A. Chatterji