Nov 14, 2011 (Calcutta Tube): Romeo is a 2011 Bengali movie directed by Sujit Mandal with Dev, Shubhasree, Sabyasachi Chakraborty, Laboni Sarkar, Biswajeet Chakraborty and others in the cast. Read the Bengali film review at Calcutta Tube.
ROMEO – STRONG MESSAGE, GOOD TELLING
Banner: Shree Venkatesh Films
Presenter: Shrikant Mohta
Direction: Sujit Mandal
Screenplay and dialogue: N.K. Salil
Music: Jeet Ganguly
D.O.P.: Mohan and Kumud Verma
Editing: Rabiranjan Maitra
Choreography: Baba Yadav
Cast: Dev, Shubhasree, Sabyasachi Chakraborty, Laboni Sarkar, Biswajeet Chakraborty, Koushik Banerjee and others
Date of release: November 4, 2011
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The name Romeo immediately stirs up images of a flamboyant and flirtatious young stud surrounded by girls of all shapes and sizes. For the film Romeo this runs true only for the title song picturised on Siddharth (Dev) and a bevy of young girls who step out of huge photographic frames onto a stage half-lit with disco lights with red being the predominant colour. After a few scenes, the ‘Romeo’ of the title vanishes and Siddharth, a young man comes out of his mask to reveal the sadness and loneliness that fills the world of the only child of estranged parents. He loves both his parents equally and wants to live with both of them but cannot.
Pooja (Subhashree) arrives from her village. Though she is disgusted with Siddharth’s attitude towards life, she soon sees through his masquerade and falls in love with him. The first half of the film explores the growing love between Siddharth and Pooja through several song sequences shot against the bizarre backdrop of skyscrapers abroad. The second half is about Siddharth desperately trying to unite his estranged parents so that he can fulfill his promise to Pooja’s father and get him to consent to marry him to Pooja.
N.K. Salil’s dialogue is a strong point of Romeo and some of the exchanges that take place between Siddharth and his industrialist father are touching. His relationship with his mother is relatively more formal no thanks to Laboni’s rigid and arrogant attitude she probably carries as a defence weapon. Pooja’s strategy of asking Siddharth’s mother to strike off her husband’s image wherever it appears in the photo album is amusing and memorable. The second half is much better than the first half except the grindingly slow song towards the end that draws the film to a somewhat tame climax. There is a lovely scene where Siddharth comes to say ‘sorry’ to Pooja by holding a slate in front where he has scratched out his own family name in chalk to replace it with Pooja’s as his father smiles from inside his car close by. The small nuggets of scenes make the film larger than being the sum of its parts.
Dev does his best to portray a role against his grain with little action and more drama and he succeeds to a great extent. The places where he appears stiff are places where the other actors also stand ‘in attention’ with hands sticking rigidly to their sides, as if they are afraid to move their limbs. Subhashree is natural but can do better. Her no-make-up look in normal scenes is good. The costumes she wears are beautifully colour-combined and so are Laboni’s saris. The film has very little violence and no item number at all if one does not count the title song number. Jeet Ganguly’s theme song is very melodious and hummable and fitting to the film’s mood. Sabyasachi as Siddharth’s father does very well in some scenes but looks tired in others. Kaushik Banerjee as Pooja’s father gives a controlled performance of a man with double standards. He believes in his daughter going in for higher education but does not allow his wife even a single word or scene. She remains a dressed up doll from beginning to end. The art direction is too bizarre and loud while Moitra’s editing does not really encounter any challenges with the straightforward storyline. Sujit Mandal handles a plot that could have easily gone out of control considerably well.
– Shoma A. Chatterji