Saturday, 8 October 2016

Zulfiqar (the film): a review

Shoshti morning. Heavy rain. Almost cancelled plans. Sadness because I couldn't wear the Saree I was hoping to wear, couldn't stop me and two of my girl friends from visiting the nearest multiplex to watch a movie which I'm sure I'll be remembering forever. I'll start with the trailer of the movie. A top star cast and a very interesting concept grabbed many eyeballs since its release. Then, the songs that were released caught my attention. Finally, Shakespeare had me. I would be frank here, even though it might sound cliched but my whole career was shaped by Shakespeare. It was in Class 5 or Class 6 that I got introduced to Shakespeare and I couldn't let go. Julius Caesar has always been one of my favorites and most read plays by the man and Antony and Cleopatra has always been a close part of the list.

The film started with a bang and I completely forgot whatever was happening around me. Prosenjit Chatterjee as Zulfiqar (Caesar), Koushik Sen as Bashir (Brutus), Jisshu Sengupta as Kashinath (Cassius), Dev Adhikary as Marcus and Parambrata Chattopadhyay as Tony (Mark Antony), Nusrat Jahan as Rani (Cleopatra) were ON POINT. And ofcourse, there has to be special mentions for Paoli Dam, Rahul Arunoday Banerjee and Ankush. Who would've believed that Jisshu could be a villain? The list of characters is endless and so will be my list of praises. The mix of two famous plays were seamless and so was the whole execution.

I didn't expect such beauty in the film. Speaking of the characters, I was a bit apprehensive of Dev and his performance and trust me on this, he hit it out of the park and I guess no one could do it better than him. As I read another review of the film on my social media, "This is Dev's rebirth" and rightfully so. He still needs a brush of acting skills but he also needs good films his way. You wouldn't know it until you watch it. It feels odd to say this but the chemistry between Marcus and Tony was splendidly shown.

Now, the execution. Any Shakespeare lover would adore the way Mr. Mukherjee as dealt with the subjects. The Julius Caesar part was so on point. Every single detail was kept in mind. Now, I have a problem with these movie retellings and that is usually people aren't true to the central plot or even if they are, it seems like we know the story and there's nothing more to add there. But here, it seems like it's a poetry in motion. There wasn't even one moment where you would feel bored or you would feel that the story is known. Every moment of the film is an experience.

Much like most Srijit Mukherjee films, the special appearance by him called for a loud hooting from the audience and so did various parts of the film. Not to forget, a grand ovation after the film ended. As I was leaving the hall I overheard so many people talking to themselves how they would want to watch the film again and hey! Even I want to.

Now, the music. This is one album that has been on the most listened charts for a long time and I guess I don't know anyone who isn't humming Ghawrbari. Every track of the film adds to the film in its own way and has its own meaning. How I wish there were a song or two more but who doesn't want the most of all things good? As I type this I'm listening to my favorite track from the film, Ami aajkal bhalo aachi.

Speaking of the cons of the film, there were NONE. I'm so glad to see that those two plays by Shakespeare which have been literally by hearted by me has been executed well to the T. Voice modulations to poetry, acting to execution, Zulfiqar which is basically the sword of Prophet Muhammad, slices like a sword.

I would end this post by saying one line- Srijit Mukherjee is Kolkata's Shakespeare! I so wish Srijit makes more retellings in the future. And yes, treasure Zulfiqar.

And finally, "Et Tu, Brute?"

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