New Bengali Film Sesh Anka (2014) Review by eminent Graphic novelist Shamik Dasgupta



To begin with, the very commendable fact about this movie is that it is an original concept and the writer (Sanjib Banerjee) had the guts to pull away from adaptations and introduce a new character Pranoy Dasgupta, retired advocate. Pranoy is an original creation and the writer delivers in spades in creating a new possible franchise character that can stand shoulder to shoulder with Feluda, Byomkesh and Shobor. Unlike the others, Pronoy is an elderly gentleman at the autumn of his life, trying to find bliss in extracurricular activities that take up his time. Pronoy is dragged into a case by his former colleague and pupil Amrita Banerjee (June Maliah) where her god-daughter Raina Roychowdhury (Parno Mittra) has been prosecuted for manslaughter. Raina is the daughter of famous business tycoon Ritabrata Roychowdhury (Shankar Chakraborty) a deplorable character who is ready to abandon his daughter for the sake of his reputation and status.

But how Raina became involved in this dubious world of escort service, drug abuse and even international mafia? When Pranoy bites into this dark layer cake, like a true epicurean he is hell bent on finding the hidden ingredients. Pranoy is joined by headstrong, easy to anger but equally sharp young cop Prithwiraj (Samadarshi Dutta) and the enigmatic man of many faces, investigator and police informer John Braganza (Mir Afsar Ali). What follows is a tour-de-force through the murky depths of corporate espionage, flesh trade, narcotics and even international crime. Is Raina truly innocent? If so why was she framed and who is behind the black curtains pulling the strings of the myriad shifty characters skittering throughout the story? To know the answers Shesh Anko is a must watch.

The unique believable factor and realistic approach to this movie is our Protagonist/investigator Pronoy is not a one man army; he is old, overweight, and soft due to a wealthy life. He needs help, and the characters who join his quest for truth are no mere sidekicks marveling at the exploits of our hero and contributing little a.k.a Topshey, Lalmohan Ganguly or Ajit. His accomplices (not assistants) Prithwiraj, and John are equally intelligent, resourceful and active. This is definitely not a one man show. I commend the writer to introduce a team of believable yet quirky and interesting set of protagonists whom we can relate to. To solve this crime everyone brings something to the table. Pranoy has got his analytical and oratory skills in the court, Prthviraj brings in energy, deductive skills, and John, his crackerjack wit and database of underground information.
The rest I leave you to see and decide for yourself.

Parno is adequate as the victim girl, lost her mother, scorned by her father and embroiled in a conspiracy she can never fathom. She brings in the right amount of angst and sadness to her character.

Shankar Charkraborty is ridiculously hateful and deplorable. He enjoys every bit of hamming it up as a stinking rich, selfish, hedonist. He is over the top, but rightfully so. A fine actor like him can never miss.

Debleena Dutta does her nth number of femme fatale evil bitch. She looks gorgeous but her accent and diction sounds too fake, maybe she should work on it a little.
Newcomer Shataf Figar was impressive.

June Maliah, in my honest opinion did not fit her role. We are accustomed to seeing her in glamorous roles, however deglamming (is there a word like that?) her didn’t bring anything new to the table. She looked veritably uncomfortable playing the mother of an adult girl, and could not emote the pathos of a woman who has lost a child and now fighting for another whom she considers as her own. There was seldom any desperation, sense of loss or empathy in her eyes. Other senior actors like Sreelekha Mitra or Rupa Ganguly would have given it a much better shot in my opinion.

Now coming to the final trio, Samadarshi looked smart and dashing as the headstrong yet intelligent cop, and the gradual progression of his detest towards a high profile lawyer like Pronoy to admiration for his brilliant mind was well put across. They gradually form a bond and finally come across as a team. I would have given him 10/10 if not his hairdo which is unlikely of a police officer and some places his diction and dialogue delivery. He didn’t sound convincing for a tough as nails police detective, his voice is too mellow and expressions rather soft for a hardened police officer and a man of action.

Mir, as John Braganza, there’s nothing much to say about him, his range is evident playing a vast array of quirky characters like a beggar, old man, homosexual, journalist and fakir, he delivers in spades. Every scene where he was on screen was a delight to watch.

Finally Mr. Dipankar Dey, an actor of vast caliber who never got his due and my heartiest applause to Tathagata and Sanjib to bring him back on silver screen with a role he truly deserves. Dipankar Dey brings in the right amount of humor, intrigue and in the end a hidden agenda which drove him to save the victim. His restrain of emotions when he first meets Raina with whom he has got an untold connection, his patronizing of Prithviraj and trying to bring him under his fold with the lure of food, his aggression in the court, determined to rip off the mask of the true criminal shows the skills of a bona fide veteran who grabs this role by the throat and shakes it to the core. We are habituated to see him as the benign father, or the funny uncle, but never before he had been portrayed under such a light.

Tathagata Banerjee exhibits remarkable credence for a debut filmmaker. The storytelling is crisp, fast and to the point. He doesn’t waste a single frame for sure. There are no long litanies, but rapid and impactful interactions. This film will not bore you for a second. However, I believe the ending could have been handled better. I cannot say much being afraid of spoilers, but the prime culprit/mastermind required a better more impactful treatment, it was deserved.

The film has garnered wonderful response and is successfully running in Kolkata theaters. Nandan clocked at over 300-400 footfalls even when the city was burdened with torrential rains, while the heritage stand alone theater Priya Cinema had over 50% occupancy and South City Mall Inox reported over 97% occupancy.

Sholoana Bangaliana, as the proud web partners of the film Sesh Anka urges the audience to share their opinion about the film and support it through and through.

New Bengali Film Sesh Anka Review by:

Shamik Dasgupta

Shamik Dasgupta is presently the most prolific Indian writer of graphic novels and comic books. His work ranges from science fiction, fantasy, horror and comedy to superheroes. His claim to fame was with Ramayan 3392 AD in collaboration with director Shekhar Kapur and famed author Deepak Chopra. His graphic novels Devi Chaudhurani, Taranath Tantrik and others are a huge hit with the young adults.


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