- Release Date: – 03/02/2023
- Cast: – Adil Hussain, Siddharth Goswami, Zubeen Garg, Kingkini Goswami
- Director: – Nipon Goswami
- Story, Script, Dialogue: – Rajdweep
Dan Brown once said during a masterclass that it is extremely important for a writer to know the ending of his story even before he has commenced writing the rest of it. Once he knows the ending, he can practically manipulate every other aspect of the story and present it in a plethora of different ways ensuring the audiences are hooked. This was something that crossed my mind more than once during my viewing of Dr. Bezbaruah 2, an absolutely self-aware film, that knows its limitations and does not try to aim for any lofty heights. On the contrary, it settles downs into a rhythm that it knows will hold on to the attention of the masses and takes to tell a story that is predictable but peppered with crowd-pleasing moments and bird-brained but has exciting twists and turns. The film successfully exploits the mass appeal and hero-worship of atleast one of its leading men. The result is a film that is entertaining, easy on the eyes, and breezes past leaving a good taste in the mouth.
The Plot: –
Dr. Bezbaruah 2 begins with a series of unrelated events unfolding in the city of Guwahati. Shantanu (Siddharth Goswami) comes back to India after spending years in London. Immediately upon his arrival, his past in the city comes back to haunt him in the form of Dr. Bezbaruah (Adil Hussain) who reminds him of some unfinished business. Dr. Bezbaruah himself is a popular surgeon and philanthropist who is about to embark on an international journey that is of some importance to the state and its people. A politician, a news outlet owner, and a random jacked bad guy are facing challenges in running their respective shady businesses and trying to find out ways to deal with their respective existential threats. A charismatic but rebellious police officer, Mahadev Borbarua (Zubeen Garg) arrives in town and is immediately sucked into criminal cases involving illegal drugs and weapons trade that may involve powerful local businessmen and politicians. As the film progresses, each of these tracks runs into each other and ultimately makes up a coherent and interesting story that explains the stakes of each of the characters in the narrative and why they are a certain way.
Rajdweep’s skillful writing that keeps the audiences entertained and hooked: –
The biggest strength of the film is its story, screenplay, and pacing. Rajdweep, who is credited with the story, script, and dialogue knows how to keep people seated in poorly ventilated temporary theater setups for upwards of 2 hours. I very recently watched his Birikhor Birina at a show in Ganeshguri and was invested in it from start to finish. He successfully brings that same sensibility and ability to grasp the audience’s attention to the screenplay of Dr. Bezbaruah 2 and envelops the audience. He purposefully keeps the pacing of the film so fast that it is hard to notice flaws in the first go. It is only when you retrospect after the viewing that you notice the film’s many glaring loopholes. His story unfolds in numerous tracks and the screenplay alternates between these tracks adding to the intrigue. I also have to admit that he keeps the storytelling very intelligible and the numerous tracks never lead to any confusions. I was never complaining though since the film entertained me thoroughly and I got exactly what I expected to get. My only qualms with the writing were that the dialogues could have been better. While the dialogues here would serve well for a mobile theater play, in a cinematic presentation, it had to be of a higher order.
Unnecessary songs, forced dramatic and romantic portions: –
The numerous songs were a headache and Zubeen’s music had nothing that would make me revisit the songs. While the picturizations were beautiful, the songs served only as brakes on an otherwise smoothly flowing narrative; Sometimes at critical junctures that frustrated me. The family and romantic bits in the film felt forced and felt like they were playing from some other narrative even though they are used to put in a decent twist right after the interval and are used to up the ante for the protagonist.
Zubeen Garg and Adil Hussain could have been given more dramatic entries: –
The introduction of Dr. Bezbaruah, Shantanu, and DSP Mahadev are lukewarm, to say the least. I would have liked for atleast Zubeen Garg and Adil Hussain to have had a more theatrical and mass entry. However, that drawback is quickly negated as the story gets into top gear and pulsates ahead without giving anyone a chance to look back and critique what was missing in the beginning. The three primary villains are generic and tick every box that they are supposed to but they do serve their respective purposes and are not unsatisfactory in their rendering of the characters.
Zubeen Garg is entertaining, inspiring and charming: –
Zubeen Garg once again plays himself and this time he is a cop in a Zubeen- kind of a way. He does everything that Zubeen is known for including his trademark goofy antiques. What is undeniable though is the fact that every time he appears on screen, the atmosphere lights up. Rajdweep gives him some of the best dialogues that there is in the film and Zubeen obliges by delivering them with his well know charm and charisma. The fact is this. You either like Zubeen or you don’t. He does whatever he does for the ones who like him and this film is no different. It is futile to judge his histrionics through the glasses of acting or performance. I liked him here a little more than I did in his previous release this year, Rajneeti: – Part 1.
Siddharth Goswami is underwhelming as the protagonist: –
The same cannot be said about Siddharth Goswami who is nearly the lead actor in the film. He has a lengthier and more important role than the titular character himself and he is hardly able to stand up to that tall ask. He carries the same expression throughout. He is unable to make us feel for his character at critical junctures. Even when he is in dire situations, his mannerisms don’t change and he delivers his dialogues in the most casual manner possible. All these factors come together to make his essay underwhelming. For a character of this nature, he had to be a lot more dramatic in certain sequences and should have been able to forge a stronger connection with the audience through his character.
Adil Hussain and the supporting cast have very little opportunity to do anything substantial: –
Adil Hussain is one of my favorite actors of this generation. Unfortunately, he has been given nothing to showcase his acting prowess. Even with the weak material that he has in his hands, he does wonders. He breathes life into certain conversations just by bringing in his aura and acting range to the aid of the writing. Kingkini Goswami is inconsequential to the plot and the film. I was expecting her character to assume importance as the story progressed but that is never the case. She was there only to justify the three songs and add some glamour quotient to a screenplay that would otherwise be devoid of women. The great and revered Nipon Goswami, in a cameo once again proved why he was respected so much and practically sidelined many of the other sizeable performances.
“Guwahati” is a character: –
Dr. Bezbaruah 2 weaves the “Guwahati” way of life into its narrative and while its characters can be caricaturish, the unmistakable presence of places that we all frequent makes it a watch that we would all want to relate to. The film’s final reveal is too over the top to fathom and works to its detriment. Its twists and turns do not necessarily land. The antagonists are half-baked and are never a real threat to the protagonists. Some tragic moments that should have been heart-breaking come and go in a hurry leaving very little impact. It also tries halfheartedly to connect with the original cult classic but doesn’t succeed satisfactorily.
Final Words: –
Having said all that, where Dr. Bezbaruah 2 succeeds is in keeping the audience entertained and enthralled for the duration of its runtime. It gives us entertainment and escapism of the highest order and is so enjoyable that for the duration of its runtime, I forgot or ignored its many flaws and was basking in the glory of its over-the-top characters and outrageous narrative. This aspect of the film made it special for me. If a film can entertain me so much that I don’t notice its many issues during the viewing then it has served its purpose. For all this and more, Dr. Bezbaruah 2 is a film that you can watch atleast once.