Khokababu (2012)-Bengali Movie Review

KHOKABABU - BENGALI MOVIE POSTERJan 18, 2012 (Calcutta Tube): Khokababu is a 2012 Bengali movie directed by Shankaraiyya with Dev, Shubhasree Ganguly, Biswajeet Chakraborty, Firdaus and others in the cast. Read the Bengali movie review by National Award Winning film Shoma A. Chatterji at Calcutta Tube.

Presented by: Esskay Movies Pvt Limited

Direction: Shankaraiyya

Screenplay and dialogue: Abhmannu Mukherjee

Music: Rishi Chandra

Lyrics: Sreejato and Prosun

Cinematography: Silva

Editing: Ravi Ranjan Maitra

Cast: Dev, Shubhasree Ganguly, Biswajeet Chakraborty, Firdaus, Laboni Sarkar, Tathoi, Locket Chatterjee, Subhashish Mukherjee, Biplab Chatterjee and Ashish Vidyarthy

Date of release: January 13 2012

Rating: 05/10

KHOKABABU – MASS ENTERTAINMENT MINUS IN TECHNIQUE

Shankaraiyya graduated from choreography for cinema to direction though this is not his first film as director. He has aimed his gun totally on the mass audience specially outside the city proper, in the suburbs and beyond to cover the State of West Bengal. The result is that Khokababu turns out to be a great popcorn entertainer for the front benchers in Kolkata’s Bijoli and other theatres and for the entire audience outside Kolkata.

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In a manner of speaking, Shankaraiyya had a good agenda story wise to plug his film to. It is basically the story of brain power over muscle power where brain power wins hands down from beginning to end. Khokababu (Dev) is a spoilt rotten boy of traditionally affluent parents where his over-adoring mother (Laboni Sarkar) and sister (Tathoi) are forever pitted against his father (Biswajit Chakraborty) who is very angry because his son is a good-for-nothing with no aim in life. He tries to place him as an accountant with Shankar Das (Firdaus) and abracadabra, Khokababu changes the entire office of the mafia don into a corporate-like firm through computers, accounting software, a database and even an ad balloon to hide oodles of black money in when the tax people come chasing. This part is entertaining to the hilt because Firdaus in a negative character as Shankar Das is very good and so is Dev who overrules Shankar’s Man Friday to become the don’s favourite. There is a lot of Dev-like punches to keep the story going.

But once the love factor steps in via Shankar’s pretty sister Pooja (Shubhasree Ganguly) the film goes haywire on the usual jaunt to foreign locales for the song-dance sequences none of which jell in with the narrative in any way. Subhasree looks the part of a spoilt, overprotected sister who falls head-over-heels for the accountant and their love episodes are woven in way to dog the eagle eye of the over-possessive brother.

Dev is his usual, jovial, Hail-fellow-well-met self, and fulfills his fans’ expectations quite well. His much-hyped screen chemistry with Shubhasree fails to create the screen magic it was expected to but Subhasree is good in a fun role that does not demand much emotional drama. Laboni is a pleasure to watch as the doting mother after a string of glycerine-manufacturing roles while Tathoi has hardly anything to do. Biplab Chatterjee as the wheelchair-bound, paralytic uncle of Firdaus is a scream. Biswajit Chakraborty excels as Khokababu’s father. It is sad to watch an established actor like Ashish Vidyarthy portray an also-ran as the mafia rival of Shankar. Locket Chatterjee has nothing much to do in a linear role without bright or dark shades. It is Subhashish Mukherjee who carries the award away with his wonderful cameo as the head accountant who is in perpetual panic of losing his job through some faux pas he might commit.

Khokababu is a technical nightmare in every sense of the word. The camera keeps jumping, leaping, bouncing, jerking quite merrily without any links to the narrative right through the film. The cuts are so sudden that it takes you by unpleasant surprise every now and then. The editing matches the cinematography every step of the way. The dance numbers fail to carry the promise of Shankaraiyya’s claim to fame via choreography because they are neither here nor there.

The song numbers especially the title song and the one with kids in the credits are good. The film will be a hit with the kids because they are crazy about their new icon Dev. One wishes Shankaraiyya will pull himself up by his bootstraps to concentrate on technical excellence the next time round. But one doubts this considering the box office takings. The producers claim that Khokababu has drawn the highest sales over earlier hits along similar lines last year in the first day’s takings.

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