Directors: Meenakshii and Abhishek
Cast: Shataf Figar, Gargi Roychowdhury, Rishav Basu, Anindya Pulak Banerjee, Manali Dey, Sudeshna Roy
Runtime: 104 minutes
RBN Rating: 1/5
Ten minutes into Kuasha Jakhon and the audience knows what’s in store for the next one and a half hours. This is a film which no director worth his/her salt, would have ever dreamt to make. Dubbed as a paranormal romance—whatever that’s supposed to mean—the film has neither of the two. It’s badly written and nothing can resurrect a film which doesn’t have a story to tell.
Kuasha Jakhon depends on the hackneyed plot of star-crossed lovers reborn to exact revenge of all the wrongs done to them. The difference here is that only one of them returns, not to avenge the wrongdoings, but (hold your breath) to purify the soul of the main antagonist in their past life, who is trapped in the body of another person in the present day. It has everything done to death in countless Hindi and Bengali films: candles blowing out, creaking doors banging shut, past-life characters appearing like zombies, and many other tried and failed formulas. There’s also a woman who starts sleepwalking when a blanket is mysteriously pulled off from over her.
None of the actors in the film are worthy of a mention as far as their performances are concerned. Rishav, in his first major role, looks like a piece of wood walking across the screen. He is as rigid as a stick. He can’t act, he can’t emote. He doesn’t even look the least convincing as a paranormal investigator. He is introduced as a fitness freak who goes on to smoke countless cigarettes. Shataf, as the lecherous landlord, grunts and exhales nasal air in almost the entire film. Sudeshna, as the aunt of the landlord, is loud and overdone. Gargi, as the woman scorned, looks tired and her makeup is an eyesore. Anindya is the perfect example of how a talent is wasted in the hands of wrong directors.
What makes the film even more a pain to watch is the terrible cinematography. Scenes are so badly framed that the heads of the actors are cut off up to their eye level in most of the shots. Even a novice with a smartphone would have done a better job. The sound design is jarring, and so is the editing. The VFX looks childish.
There are bad films, and there are very bad films. Then there are films that don’t even deserve a review. Kuasha Jakhon, undeniably, is one of them. The director duo lacks even the basic concepts of filmmaking. They can’t come up with a narrative, they can’t frame a shot, they don’t seem to have a command over the scheme of things.
Chirantan Banerjee’s music is perhaps the only point worth mentioning. The songs are hummable. He has tried hard to inject the thrill with an edgy background score. But even that is a herculean task since one can’t pull an aircraft with a pinky.
Filmmakers in Bengal often complain of the raw deal handed out to them by multiplex chains by not allotting enough number of screens. Forget prime time shows, with films like Kuasha Jakhon, plex owners will get more reason to not screen Bengali films even in the late night or early morning slots.