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Web Series Review – REKKA

Femme Fatale – the phrase that strikes your mind after watching ‘Rabindranath Ekhane Kawkhano Khete Asenni’.

Mushkan Zuveri, the enigmatic, mysterious, esoteric protagonist of the novel by Md Nazimuddin, comes alive on screen. Azmeri Haque Badhon portrays Mushkan with élan, as if the character was penned for her to play. The owner of a restaurant in a quaint town of Sundarpur, she is known for (in)famous for her cooking skills. But she has more cards up her sleeves, than meets the eye. Investigator Nirupam Chanda’s (Nure Chhafa in the original) arrival in this small town ruffles up feathers and sets in motion incidents that disturb the ‘beauty’ of the idyllic suburb.

Whether you’ve read the original novel or not, you’d be hooked to this web-series directed by Srijit Mukherji from the word go. He has not only breathed life into the characters created by Mohd Nazimuddin, but made them his own, by adding the little eccentricities, and smart one-liners. To distil 400-odd pages of written text into nine episodes is no mean feat, but Srijit Da has successfully assimilated the flavour of the original work, with creative licenses of his own, making this a visual treat. Specially the sequence in the flashback, which I do not want to disclose to avoid giving out spoilers, will sicken you to the core – in a good way (such is the brilliance of Srijit Da’s craft).

Talking of visuals, one must acknowledge the brilliant ‘dark’ setting of this series, matching the ‘gothic horror’ theme of the plot. A mysterious lady who lives alone in a mansion, disappearance of male guests at an eatery, graves dug in advance, a pond full of crocodiles, foggy nights and nocturnal truth missions, idiosyncrasies of the police bureaucracy, and an uncomfortable truth at the heart of it all – REKKA makes for a wholesome meal of weekend binge.

Those who make it possible – Azmeri Haque Badhon, Rahul Bose, and Anirban Bhattacharya as Mushkan, Nirupam and Ator Ali respectively, live up to their characters to the T. Sequences where Badhon’s character sings Rabindranath’s songs – as if they were composed for precisely these moments, feel eerily magical, yet horrifying. She has an amicable charm, a fatal attraction in her manner, which makes her so enigmatic and powerful. Badhon carries REKKA on her shoulders with her fluid, natural performance.

Rahul Bose on the other hand is suave, stoic, serious. A departure from the original character in the book, who was more of a ‘gobechara’ officer. The final meeting between Nirupam and Mushkan was no less than David battling Goliath, no prizes for guessing, who took the laurels. Anirban, on the other hand, brings to life Ator Ali – the police informer, with his eccentric shenanigans. Not for a moment does it feel we are watching Anirban act. He embodies Ator Ali to the core.

Although Kharaj Khasnobish doesn’t have much space in REKKA, but in the sequel his character assumes a significant role, so where’s expecting Anjan Dutt to deliver his above-mediocrity level performance, as usual. Anirban Chakraborti, too, delivers as the OC of Sundarpur in his limited capacity in the scheme of things.

The man of the match is obviously Srijit Mukherji. Adapting a literary work is no child’s play, specially since comparisons with the original (damned if you deviate, damned if you don’t) are bound to come up. In REKKA, he has remained true to the text, but made the characters his own baby. More importantly, he has added the essence of Rabindranath, who was missing in the original text (apart from the title).

All I can say after watching REKKA is that it was a Friday well-spent. And I hope to catch the sequel soon. And may be we can actually have Chanchal Chowdhury in the cast (as the influential minister).

My Rating: 3.5/5 Stars

92nd Academy Awards – Who will take the Oscars home?

It’s that time of the year again. The 92nd Academy Awards will be given away in less than 24 hours. 2019 was a great year at the cinemas. As a viewer, I got entertained as well as my hunger for cinematic beauty was also met. And the films that have made it to the nominations richly deserved their respective spots.

There is a diverse mix of films nominated this year at the Oscars. On one hand, you have ‘1917’ which is one of the finest war movies ever made. The ‘single-shot’ technic and the breathtaking cinematography puts it in the league of ‘Saving Private Ryan’ or ‘Schindler’s List’. Then there is ‘Parasite’ – the most talked about international film of the year, which throws in a fresh perspective on class struggle and social order. Netflix too produced some beautiful movies this year – The Two Popes, Marriage Story and The Irishman – which are bound to take home some of the trophies. Then there is Quentin Tarantino’s classic ‘Once Upon A Time In Hollywood’ and Taika Waititi’s satire ‘Jojo Rabbit’. The list would be incomplete if the murder mystery with the Agatha Christie touch ‘Knives Out’ wasn’t mentioned.

 

 

All in all – 2019 was a great year as a film viewer and I cannot wait to see the best in business take home the Oscar tomorrow. So, here goes my predictions:

Best Picture

Must Win: Parasite

Will Win: 1917

 

Best Actor

Must Win: Joaquin Phoenix (Joker)

Will Win: Joaquin Phoenix (Joker)

 

Best Actress

Must Win: Renée Zellweger (Judy)

Will Win: Renée Zellweger (Judy)

 

Best Director

Must Win: Sam Mendes (1917) & Bong Joon ho (Parasite)

Will Win: Sam Mendes (1917)

 

Best Supporting Actor

Must Win: Al Pacino (The Irishman) or Tom Hanks (A Beautiful Day in the Neighbourhood)

Will Win: Bradd Pitt (Once Upon A Time In Hollywood)

 

Best Supporting Actress

Must Win: Laura Dern (Marriage Story)

Will Win: Laura Dern (Marriage Story)

 

Best Animated Feature Film

Must Win: Toy Story 4

Will Win:Toy Story 4

 

Best International Film

Must Win: Parasite

Will Win: Parasite

 

Best Cinematography

Must Win: 1917

Will Win: 1917

 

Best Costume Design

Must Win: Little Women

Will Win: Little Women

 

Best Editing

Must Win: Parasite

Will Win: Joker

 

Best Makeup

Must Win: Joker

Will Win: Bombshell or Joker

 

Best Original Score

Must Win: Joker or 1917

Will Win: Joker

 

Best Original Song

Must Win:“(I’m Gonna) Love Me Again” from Rocketman

Will Win:“(I’m Gonna) Love Me Again” from Rocketman

 

Best Production Design

Must Win: Once Upon A Time in Hollywood or 1917

Will Win: Once Upon A Time in Hollywood or 1917

 

Best Adapted Screenplay

Must Win: Jojo Rabbit or Little Women

Will Win:Jojo Rabbit

 

Best Original Screenplay

Must Win: 1917 or Parasite

Will Win:1917 or Parasite

 

Best Visual Effects

Must Win: Avengers Endgame

Will Win:The Irishman or 1917

 

Best Sound Mixing

Must Win:Ford v Ferrari or 1917

Will Win:Ford v Ferrari or 1917

 

Best Sound Editing

Must Win: Ford v Ferrari or 1917

Will Win: Ford v Ferrari or 1917

 

Let’s see how many predictions come true tomorrow. I will keep count. Will you?

DISCLAIMER: ALL IMAGES USED IN THIS POST HAVE THEIR RESPECTIVE COPYRIGHTS

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