Shesh Theke Shuru movie review: Raj Chakraborty's latest is more an agonising soap opera than a feature film
As unapologetic as he is about flaunting his brand of films, director Raj Chakraborty is incapable of coming up with anything intelligent, as his latest Shesh Theke Shuru proves.
Rating: 2 (out of 5 stars)
As unapologetic as he is about flaunting his brand of films, director Raj Chakraborty is as incapable of coming up with anything intelligent. But he seems to be on a roll. And irrespective of the fact that I am yet to see one – just one film of his where there aren’t at least a dozen plot loopholes, or where the audience is taken for granted, he seems to be appealing to a vast audience base who gobble up his films without thinking twice about what they are consuming. I do not mind if a film is entertaining but sensible, but I do have a problem with mindless entertainment and melodramatic tearjerkers that are more Victorian than the Queen herself. His latest offering Shesh Theke Shuru is no different, and while there are one or two genuinely decent moments to be found here and there, the momentary joy you derive from those moments is simply not worth the agony that the rest of the film so unabashedly inflicts upon you.
Shesh Theke Shuru tells the story of a man and a woman – Mahid, who hails from an affluent, influential business family from Dhaka, and Pujarini, a research scholar from Kolkata, who as expected is seen to be doing literally everything else other than research. The two meet on the way to London, and soon fall in love. But Mahid’s dark past, and a frightening secret soon catches up with them. Pujarini is separated from Mahid, who is forced by circumstances (he could have easily avoided) to marry another woman – a singularly confused lady named Farzana, who is annoyingly unclear of what she wants. But that’s the point. All the three main characters in the film have virtually zero idea what they really want. And amidst such foggy motivations, it is difficult to see where the story is going. And that’s about the only suspense in the film. Alas, that too dies a dismal death in the hands of a climax that has literally stepped out of a late 80’s dacoit film.
The most glaring problem of Shesh Theke Shuru is that there is way too more ‘Shuru’ (beginning) in it than ‘Shesh’ (end). The film begins, and forgets to stop beginning. Some of the most needless elements of storytelling are brought in simply as fillers. An aged father’s inexplicable misgivings towards his daughter, or the sudden flare up of tension in a business meeting between two rival business clans, or even the fact that a seemingly intelligent man like the protagonist is left with no way of contacting the girlfriend he has left behind in London, that too in this day and age, or the five-second near-confession of love by the heroine’s trusted friend – each and every one of such illogical enterprises is utterly unconvincing. There are far too many creative liberties that Chakraborty has taken, without which, the film would have collapsed under its own weight. There is hardly any character arc, nor a consistent and seamless plot development. And every time Farzana steps into the scene, it becomes practically impossible to look at the screen – she is so obnoxiously irritating.
None of this does any good to the film though. What does work for the film are a handful of very well written scenes, which stand out like an oasis in the heart of a barren desert. A lovely scene between a father and a son, for instance, or another involving the protagonist’s decision to face his past rather than running away from it – these are some of those rare shining moments in an otherwise ludicrous piece of cinema, which comes across more as a soap opera than a feature film.
I really liked the action scenes in the film; they were nicely choreographed, but were criminally inapt for the storyline. By introducing scenes such as these, or a totally forgettable item number, or innumerable artificial moments of projected emotions, Chakraborty is essentially playing to the gallery. No harm in it, but there are better ways.
Shesh Theke Shuru is clearly a vehicle for glorifying its leading man, and to be honest, Jeet does put in a sincere attempt. His reserved reticence, mute suffering and raw emotions do manage to strike a chord at times, and despite more misses than hits, you will feel his plight in the occasional scene or two. Koel Mullick, on the other hand, is a trifle too quick to fall in love, and subsequently, a bit too forgiving of a man who had, by her own definition, ‘ruined her life’. And I completely fail to understand what memo Ritabhari Chakraborty got. How can someone be so conflicting in her emotions and motivations in the same scene? Either she was sorely misdirected, or perhaps her character was very poorly written. Possibly both.
There are four songs in the film, and none of them are worth remembering, let alone being melodious or even hummable. The action choreography aside, there are some car stunts which even Rohit Shetty would have had enough of. With far too much gloss and glitter, there is a distinct television serial feel to the visuals, and the background score only amplifies that effect. The editing and photography too are of very tacky quality, with tons of heavy-duty show-off, but very little class.
Raj Chakraborty’s Shesh Theke Shuru is a film that I watched with tremendous effort. And I came out on the other side exhausted and bruised. And those are hardly the feelings I expect to derive from a film, after paying my hard-earned money for the price of an admission ticket.
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