Buro Sadhu movie review: Debutant director Vik proves he's a fine craftsman with this richly detailed triumph

Bhaskar Chattopadhyay

Nov 12, 2019 08:54:34 IST


Too often in cinema, we see a wonderful premise being ruined by shoddy execution. And it’s a strange and somewhat liberating experience to see the reverse happening on screen — an ordinary idea being raised to impressive levels of cinematic brilliance by dint of good filmmaking. It’s liberating because it reminds you of the power of the moving image and of the art of cinema in general. Filmmaker Vik’s neat little psychological thriller Buro Sadhu is one such example I have had the good fortune of seeing in recent times.

The premise is rather simple, ordinary even. The film’s title alludes to a brand of alcohol that the protagonist takes a liking to, and may or may not be a take on the popular brand Old Monk. Or perhaps it was an allusion to an old man who comes into the protagonist’s life and turns it around. In any case, the protagonist himself is an interesting character. A young man named Abir is the product of a failed marriage, and there is no love lost between him and his new stepfather. His mother is a constant nag too, and after a small personal tragedy, Abir takes to drinking. He soon gets sucked into the vortex of addiction, and realises that his life is not going anywhere. One day, he stumbles upon an opportunity that could make him rich, famous and successful, and he takes it without wondering if it would be ethical to embrace it or not.

 Buro Sadhu movie review: Debutant director Vik proves hes a fine craftsman with this richly detailed triumph

Still from Buro Sadhu

Buro Sadhu is the sort of film which is crisp in every frame and technically brilliant. The director, screenwriter, editor and cinematographer, even the music director, all come together beautifully to create a film that is dripping in every scene with the essence of the message it wants to communicate. Although I do have problems with the story’s resolution, and it did seem a bit gimmicky to me, there is no doubt in my mind that each and every member of the principal crew are experts of the cinematic language. There is clearly a decided focus on packing each scene with a lot of information, some of which is not easily decipherable to the casual viewer. A tiny writing on the wall — proverbial as it may sound — or a small item inconspicuously kept in the background, a small gesture here, everything carries meaning, and nothing is out of place. It is, I am inclined to say, a finely crafted film.

But none of this would have made any sense without the rich performances. Ritwick Chakraborty is brilliant as the young man who is disillusioned, callous, frightened and in the throes of alcoholism-induced hallucinations in various stages of his life. His lackadaisical manner, taking things as they come, and not worrying about where life is taking him — these are done to perfection. With success comes the fear of failure, of being a nobody, and Chakraborty executes this part of his role too with admirable ease. One of the best things I liked about his performance though was the overall effortlessness with which he pulled it off.

Dolon Roy plays his mother, and her sole purpose as an actress seems to come across as an irritating, nagging parent and wife. And in this regard, she succeeds beyond all doubt. When one thinks of the raw deal that life has offered her character, one can see why she is the way she is. A veteran actress herself, Roy’s do is one of the salient features of the film. Mishmee Das and Ishaa Saha are Chakraborty’s romantic interests in two different stages of his life, and both actresses — I would say Mishmee, in particular — give convincing performances.

One of the things that I really liked about the film is the soundtrack, composed and written by Pranjal Das. Das has understood the mood of the film and created some amazing tracks and scores to underline and enhance it. The song ‘Jole Jhapas Naa’ is particularly nice and catchy. A special word for the cinematography by Sanjib Ghosh, who managed to infuse meaning and matter in every frame, even in those where there was no actor or no dialogue.

I quite enjoyed Vik’s Buro Sadhu. The story of the film could have been written better, but every other aspect of it makes up for this lacuna. I would be very interested to see what he does next. Because one thing is undeniably true: he is a fine craftsman.

Watch the trailer here:

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Updated Date: Nov 12, 2019 08:54:34 IST