Mishawr Rawhoshyo is the first of the three films that Srijit Mukherjee plans to make on the popular Kakababu series envisioned and written by Sunil Gangopadhyaya. The film came out under extreme curiosity and interest as it was a follow up to some of the best Bengali films that we have seen in recent times and comes from a director who has been instrumental in changing the face of Bengali Cinema. Be it the authoritative Autograph, the slow burning Baishe Srabon or the touching Hemlock Society, Mukherjee has been able to deliver one gem after the other consistently and after seeing the promos of Mishawr Rawhoshyo, I didn’t have a shred of doubt that it would prove to be yet another milestone film. Being the first of a trilogy, it also had an immense curiosity value attached to the fact that whether it would culminate at one go or leave a thread or two open for the subsequent films.
Being a resident of a state where Bengali films don’t see the light of the day, I had to wait a good three months odd for the home video to come out before I could catch a glimpse of the film. In the meantime, the film garnered brownie points at the box office proving to be a runaway hit while the critics seemed divided. While many took it for what it is, some other plainly lambasted it. Thus I sat to watch this film on my system with some contained emotions. The story revolves around a bunch of mysterious hieroglyphic letters written by a dying Egyptian revolutionary which could hold the clues to the discovery of a hidden treasure.
Being an expert in the field of Hieroglyphics, Kakababu (Prosenjit) a crippled yet self-sufficient man is contacted by an Egyptian businessman Al Mamun (Rajat Kapoor), to make sense out of these letters. As Kakababu aided by his nephew, Shantu tries to make sense of the letters, he is attacked by assailants and even Al Mamun comes under some severe heat. Kakababu decides to travel to Egypt to fulfill the last wish of the now dead Egyptian Revolutionary and also bring to justice those who want him dead. On his arrival in Egypt, he comes face to face with a charismatic revolutionary Hani Alkadi (Indraneil) who is as dangerous as he is charming. What follows is a whirlwind adventure through the rugged terrains of Egypt.
Mishawr Rawhoshyo will rank as the weakest Srijit Mukherjee film till date. Let me start off by saying that the treatment here is very uneven. Just for the sake of stylizing the screenplay some gimmicks are used which were unnecessary and seriously dampens the mood of the narrative. Take for instance the sequence where the assailant attacks Al Mamun. That sequence is unnecessarily pulled longer than was necessary. More over them multiple split screens used and the way the attack is shown may be stylish to look at but does nothing to elevate the heartbeat that it should have. When Kakababu goes to Delhi, there is a collage of screens which are shown to introduce us to Delhi. It gets irritating after a while as we want the story to move on. The romantic angle between Shantu and Rini is another pain in the ass. The multiple references that Kakababu makes to it even during dire situations is un-called for. The story doesn’t have enough material or juice to keep us interested.
Having said that, the brief period of time when the film does sparkle is when Indraneil and Prosenjit take center stage. Indraneil’s Hani Alkadi is engaging and the actor is supremely confident about his essay of the character. His confidence breathes life into an otherwise one dimensional character. Prosenjit as Kakababu is superb and I can say this because I haven’t read the book and am judging the character solely on the basic of the film. No one else is worth the mention as far as the rest of the cast is concerned.
The story and the thrills are just not engaging enough and frankly speaking, the Feluda films and even the Byomkesh Bakshi films are a tad better than this one. Srijit Mukherjee’s films have been rich with some beautiful soulful tracks and touching background score which I missed badly in this film. Apart from the whistling background score that accompanies Kakababu a few times, the rest of the soundtrack is just about passable. Overall, Mishawr Rawhoshyo is a huge let down for me. It does nothing that I have come to expect from a Srijit Mukherjee film.