Director: Ribhu Dasgupta
Cast: Amitabh Bachchan, Nawazuddin Siddiqui, Vidya Balan
Ribhu Dasgupta sets his film in Kolkata tracking the lonely and a painful journey of John Biswas (Amitabh Bachchan) who will stop at nothing to get justice. John's granddaughter was kidnapped and eventually found dead despite trying his best to get her back safely. 8 years and John has not even blinked once in a hope to find the person responsible for his loss who is still at large.
Ribhu's character description of John is so detailed that he leaves nothing about the man to present it to the audience. It is this very close attention to detailing that makes you follow John's journey as if it was yours. Be it at the police station where he patiently sits for hours to get an answer or his personal space where he is shown dotingly takes care of his wife. Within 15-20 minutes of the film, you know John enough to believe and empathize with his day-to-day struggle.
Coming to Amitabh's performance he thoroughly shines in a plot which in certain portions appeared slow. May be because the story is about an aged character, the director decided to stick to a certain pace. Big B's expression, his walk, his mannerisms makes him look like John throughout. If a director can strip off the stardom of an actor and bring out a character from his performance, he has won the battle. Only towards the ending of the film in a very important scene Amitabh slipped out of John's closet and was himself. That is the only time it felt he wasn't in his character.
Coming to the music by Clinton Cerejo, he takes the weight of a heavy story line and adds a certain mood to the film which keeps you involved in the scenes. Tushar Kanti Ray's cinematography highlighting Kolkata as its backdrop and the way he has filmed in real locations is commendable. Editor Gairik Sarkar keeps the run time in check and with an interesting way of jumping back and forth in the storyline.
Vidya Balan plays a cop (Sarita Sarkar) and Nawazuddin steps into the role Father Martin Das in the film which sees both of them in a very crisp and powerful role. The two flawlessly pull off the challenging parts in the film. Watch it for the raw display of human drama and the realistic approach to many situations which has been missing at the movies for sometime now....