Ebar Shabor is one of those films which reminds us why the Bengali film industry has seen a rise over the last couple of years. It is a film which knows what it wants to accomplish and does everything in its strength to remain achieve that. It is a film which is as much about the mystery involving a murder as it is about the people who might have committed. As the story progresses, the audience is forced to take sides with the different characters and feel for their situations which makes it an engrossing watch. The film is brimming with energy and life. The situations are wonderfully built up and there is a lot of light moments which doesn’t let the narrative get too heavy or dark.
Shabor Dasgupta (Saswata Chatterjee) is entrusted with the task of solving a murder case involving a feisty girl Mitali (Swastika Mukherjee). She was murdered after hosting a party at her house. Mitali was an extremely moody girl who eloped with the local ruffian Pantu Haldar (Ritwick Chakraborty) and then abandoned him after six month thus ruining his life. Following this incident, her father married her off to Mithu Mitra (Abir Chatterjee). Mitali didn’t let him near her and after years of bad blood finally divorced him and went over to Pondicherry. While in Pondicherry she has a change of heart and comes back to Kolkata after her father’s death and decides to get back with Mithu.
Broken and disillusioned, Mithu is now in love with Mitali’s cousin Joyeeta (Payel Sarkar) and the couple plan on tying the knot. Mitali also has a friend Samiran (Rahul Banerjee) who is a womanizer and had feelings for Mitali. He had also made plans to do business with Mitali and for that he had taken loans but Mitali came back to make Mithu the custodian of all her wealth. There is also another woman Julekha (June Malia) who keeps popping up at the wrong places at wrong times extracting suspicion of Shabor. All these characters run amuck through the 2 hours duration of the film giving you a feeling that any one of them could be the murderer.
Once the basic premise is set, the story quickly moves from one point to the other dissecting each of the characters and why and why not they could be the culprit. The film has two love stories evolving. One between Mithu and Mitali after Mitali has her realizations and the other involving Mithu and Joyeeta. While the two love stories quickly run into each other, the moments that the characters share with each other are beautifully filmed. Rahul Banerjee extracts some of the most hilarious laughs of the film. His womanizing Samiran is the lone comic relief of the film. The scene where he tries to convince his girlfriend to come back to him after his blasphemies is a “laugh out loud” moment.
Ritwick as Pantu Haldar is superb. Even though his role is limited, it brings in a lot on the plates. His character is complex and is bound to give you some real jolts. Abir is apt as Mithu Mitra and last but not the least, Saswata as Shabor Dasgupta is superb. This man has really come to his own over the last few years with both major and bit and pieces roles which have gone on to define him. His face on the posters now means an assurance of quality for the film. He changes gears between the light and heavy moments effortlessly giving a solid performance.
The cinematography and editing is beautifully done, increasing the reach of the film. Be it the initial imaginative cast and credit sequence or the camera following the many characters through the narrow lanes of Kolkata, the audience is always in the best seat to enjoy the story unfold exactly in the way that it should have. I have a little complain about the ending of the film and felt that the episode was not properly explained and there remained a few holes in the plot but the amount of entertainment and suspense that the film provides is more than enough to keep you content and let you leave the theater with a grin on your face. Ebar Shabor is a wonderful watch which demands multiple views.