Dwitiyo Purush Movie Review: This Film Is Srijit Mukherjee At His Darkest

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Rating: ***(3 stars)

The  exceedingly  prolific director Srijit Mukherjee makes genre leaps so suddenly and  so steep, there’s always the risk of him slipping into the crack. This time in  Dwitiyo Purush he   makes the leap. But just about. The film is dark and very consciously contemporary with a  very prominent homosexual undercurrent running across  the plot like  a scampering rat on a sinking ship not knowing  which way to go.

 As a sequel to the 2011 thriller Baishe SrabonDwitiyo Purush has  ample ammunition  at its disposal to fire some knock-outs. A  cop-serial killer thriller needs  a hero and a villain  who can  match paces. Parambrata Chatterjee as  the  cop with serious  marital issues seems conflicted  by  the  diversity  of the material  that the plot throws  forward. He is uncharacteristically hammy in the melodramatic  end-game, unsure of how the  character should respond to the  shocking developments.

On  the surface Srijit  explores age-old cinematic dynamics of  the killer and his nemesis. On another level, this a story of a crumbling marriage where the wife, played with disappointing placidity and borderline absentmindedness by Raima Sen,  throws  the  ultimate  insult at her husband about the “lousy 15-minute sex” that they  don’t have any longer.

Not to be  left behind, the husband  reminds  his wife of how expensive rice  is these days when she  walks off  the dinner table in a huff.

Ouch to that.

What works  better  is  the mentor-pupil  rapport that grows between Parambrata and his junior  played  by Gaurav Chakraborty. Even this sensibly developed relationship comes  to a messy deadened when towards the finale, director Srijit Mukherjee and his  co-writer  Suvonkar  Bannerjee want to shock audiences at  any cost.

 The film gets it jolted  viewership. But also leaves the plot shaken. The  denouement is so farfetched it would have been squirm-worthy were  it not for  Srijit’s propensity  to  project emotional anxiety  in  the squalor and  bustle of Kolkata’s  bylanes and  streets.

However  the killer Khoka played  by Anirban Bhattacharya compares poorly with the  psychopathic  killer in the recent Mardaani 2, a film to which the plot and characters  of  Dwitiyo Purush bear  more than a passing resemblance. The talented Abir Chatterjee is wasted in an ill-developed role. But the character’s  fixation on food analogies is  just about the most interesting  characteristic in this engrossing  but dissatisfying  thriller.

Dwitiyo Purush has violent scenes  of  crime  and some passionate gay kissing which  do not necessarily add  up to making this Srijit’s most mature film to date. Perhaps his darkest yet for sure. Watch out for  singer-parliamentarian Baabul Supriyo as a sadistic cop who believes in third-degree torture and capital punishment. He seems  to be the  only character who knows his mind .