There are some films which sound so spectacular at the concept and scripting level but when it comes to execution its not only looks challenging but also feels next to impossible task. Specially when someone is making a film on a treasure hunt which offers never seen before visual effects in Bengali Cinema, but within a moderate budget. Director Sayantan Ghosal successfully manages to make this impossible task possible in his ambitious film ‘Sagardwipey Jawker Dhan.’ It’s a perfect blend of adventure, thrill, mystery, fiction and humour. Above all it’s the best visual effects film ever made in the history of Bengali Cinema. Visually the film is so enriching that it takes you to an adventurous ride for two hours and once you come out of the theatre the experience will be satisfactory. One of the best things about this film is that it stores enough moments for the children to visualize as if everything comes out from the pages of their adventure story books.
The film brings back the duo Bimal Sen and Kumar Roy from ‘Jawker Dhan’ series which was an adaptation of Hemendra Kumar Roy’s novel. Here the duo meet a petrol pump owner, Bakashyam Dhar who shares a scary yet strange incident about his home to them. According to him, strange noises come out from his house in the middle of the night. Hearing this Bimal and Kumar both come to his shabby mansion to solve that mystery. They find out a secret chamber turned lab beneath the ground floor and discover the strange noise is emanating from a wireless communication device cum transmitter. We get to know that Bakashyam’s father was a scientist named, Radheshyam Dhar. In one of his expeditions to Thailand he found a Hindu temple on an unknown island. There he discovered a rare mythical chemical compound called, red mercury which can be great alternative to the exhausting fossil fuel resources. Moreover it can be beneficial for the medical Science too. Bimal and Kumar try to understand the hidden instructions which comes out from that device and later they join to solve the mystery of the riddles whereas a female Dr Ruby Chatterjee is also in search for the red mercury to cure an ailing girl child named Rumi. Do they able to get the diluted red mercury at the end? What they experience on their search for the remotely hidden island? How do they reach their destination in spite of all the barriers?- All these questions form the crux of this story.
First things first, VFX of ‘Sagardwipey Jawker Dhan’ looks very much real. Never for a moment it makes you feel that it’s fake. It’s indeed an achievement for a film which promises to be a visual treat. It has a reach production value and the art direction team does a fantastic work. Special mention for SVFX studios for their magnificent VFX work. Some of the scenes are simply breathtaking. To name a few I would like to mention the sequence where a high tide is chasing a speed boat from the back in the middle of the ocean. Next The spectacular visual treat sequence in the climax is simply spellbinding. DOP Ramyadip Saha brilliantly shot the locations of Phi Phi Islands, Krabi, Maya Bay, Trang Cave and few of the unknown islands with ease. Watch out for the scuba diving sequence of Bimal in the middle of the ocean or the Thai boxing sequence, all are amazingly captured by Saha. Bickram Ghosh’s engaging background score enhances the thrill factor in the narrative. Ayan Bhattacharya’s wonderful sound design deserves a mention. Debojit Ghosh’s colour correction is pitch perfect. Sayantan Ghosal does a fine job as an editor. He ensures the film is fast paced but at the same time it’s tight and crisp. Writer Sougata Basu penned an original story of his own where he beautifully mixes the myth with fiction, adventure with thrill, mystery with riddle. Writers more often should do effective experiments like the way Basu does here. At the same time producers need to be supportive when a film is mounted on such a scale! Basu’s screenplay is mostly intriguing and one of the best parts is that it serves plenty of humour with hilariously fun filled moments. Sayantan Ghosal as a captain of this ship does a commendable direction in his fourth big screen venture.
Performance wise Parambrata Chatterjee gives a sincere performance as ‘Bimal.’ He performs life threatening stunt sequence with conviction. Koyel Mallick as ‘Ruby Chatterjee’ delivers a decent performance. Gourav Chakrabarty as ‘Kumar’ is earnest whereas Koushik Sen as ‘Hiranmoy Bose’ is superb in his brief presence. Rajatava Dutta lends a good support as guide cum boatman ‘Al-Mahari’ in the film. Child artist Adolina Chakraborty is adorable and Shantilal Mukherjee is passable. But it’s Kanchan Mullick who steals the show as ‘Bakashyam Dhar.’ Mullick’s amazing comic timing is brilliantly captured in the film whether its a comic situation or even in a serious tensed moment. Watch out for the scene where Mullick wishes to eat a frog at a restaurant in Thailand but unable to remember the exact name of it in English. Due to the misunderstanding the waitress thought that he’s looking for ‘monkey’ there. So she says, “We don’t serve monkeys here.” In one of the tensed moments of the film Mullick calls Rajatava Dutta’s character ‘Al-Mahari’ as ‘Almari Kaku!’ Such scenes are wonderfully written by Basu and amazingly enacted by Mullick.
Coming to the flip side, what I feel that the character of villain deserves more attention and space in the narrative. In fact the impact of his character is missing here which didn’t happen in ‘Jawker Dhan.’ Next, the storyline doesn’t offer enough moments in between Bimal and Kumar to create their on-screen chemistry like they did in ‘Jawker Dhan.’ Somewhat I was missing Rahul Banerjee here. Ailing Child’s character could have been explored more. Although the film has a human side with a socially relevant message but the emotional connect isn’t that strong enough. In many occasions why the make up and dress code look so pitch perfect in the film that I didn’t understand!
Specially when you’re making a film on a treasure hunt which involves a thrilling journey with several tensed moments!
FINAL WORDS:- All said and done, ‘Sagardwipey Jawker Dhan’ is a visual extravaganza. From 8 to 80 this one is made for one and all. Go experience this spectacle at a theatre near you.