The Übermensch (meaning super-human) is a concept developed by philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche. In his book ‘Thus Spake Zaruthastra’ Nietzsche describes how God is dead and it is up to the Übermensch to set the world in order, for a better future. Srijit Mukherji borrows this concept in his latest venture ‘Vinci Da’ – a psychological thriller that questions the very concept of what is good and evil.
Vinci Da is the story of a mentally-deranged man Adi Bose, who considers himself Nietzsche’s Übermensch. A ‘lawyer’ by choice, Adi had a troubled childhood (having murdered his own father, just half an hour before turning 18; thus avoiding capital punishment) – more of that later. Adi Bose is law unto himself, who does not care about a few ‘collateral damages’ in this war against law-breakers who escape justice because of the corrupt system.
To bring his ‘noble cause’ to fruition, Adi Bose hires the services of a prosthetics make-up artist in Tollywood – Vinci Da. A Leonardo Da Vinci fanatic, Vinci Da finds it hard to find work in Tolly-para because of his uprightness and refusal to budge from the righteous stand. Inadvertently, his artistic acumen suffers as he is forced to earn a livelihood by working for local drama companies. It is not a surprise that he laps up the proposal of a challenging work from Adi Bose, which will demonstrate to the world the wonders he has up his sleeves.
What follows is an intense Ken and Abel-esque clash between two ideas. Vinci Da is torn between his artistic enterprises and the hapless suffering the innocent ‘collaterals’ have to bear. Adi Bose, on the other hand, metamorphoses from the vigilante who wants to rid the society from law-breakers into a shrewd, manipulative, power-hungry villain who would stop at nothing. In signature-Srijit Mukherji style, the duel enters the final act with a bang and curtains fall with a dramatic twist. Fate has the artist imprisoned in his own work.
‘Vinci Da’ may not be Srijit Mukherji’s best work, but surely is among the front-runners to qualify as his best five films. With power-packed performances by the two leading actors, hard-hitting dialogues (a forte of Srijit Mukherji), spellbinding art direction, foot-tapping music by Anupam Roy and the brilliant use of lighting in some scenes, Vinci Da easily makes an impact. The chemistry that Ritwick Chakraborty (Adi Bose) and Rudranil Ghosh (Vinci Da) share would remind one of Feluda and Maganlal Meghraj.
There are scenes in the film, which stay with you. The dream sequence where Leonardo Da Vinci is painting Mona Lisa – with Rudranil and Sohini’s voiceovers, or the sequence before the interval where Adi Bose demolishes Vinci Da’s reverence from Da Vinci, are truly of international standards. And then, there is the gruesome murder sequence in the beginning of the film. Riddhi Sen hits the ball out of the stadium as young Adi Bose.
Alas, after all the memes and videos on DCDD Poddar, one had to satisfy themselves with a scene or two of the enigmatic character – forever in pursuit of Bose and Vinci Da. Even in his short presence on screen, Anirban Bhattacharya is a beacon that shines bright. As does Sohini Sarkar as Vinci Da’s love interest, and a pivotal character who significantly influences the game of nerves between Adi Bose and Vinci Da. The hasty climax and jarring background score in some scenes are the only sore-points in an otherwise Srijit-esque thriller.
As I had said in my immediate reaction on Facebook after watching the film, Vinci Da is more psychological than thriller. The film provokes you to think and question your belief-systems. Notwithstanding Nietzsche and Übermensch, Vinci Da is also a socio-political commentary on the daily mockery of democracy in our country, that has become the mainstay.
May be, our very own Übermensch will rise from within.
My Rating: 3.5/5 stars
DISCLAIMER: All Images Used In This Post Have Their Respective Copyrights
It’s that time of the year again. The 91st Academy Awards will be given away in less than 24 hours. 2018 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 ‘Roma’ which is a masterpiece portraying conflicting relationships in the backdrop of political turmoil in Mexico, and on the other hand you have ‘Black Panther’ a superhero blockbuster. While ‘Blackkklansman’ takes you back in time and deals with xenophobia, ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’ makes you fall in love with Freddie Mercury all over again. Then, there are period pieces like ‘The Favourite’ and ‘Vice’ which stand out for stellar acting. How can one not spare a line for ‘A Star Is Born’ which reminds us once again why the little moments of joy and togetherness make a relationship work.
So, without much ado, let me share with you, which films I’d give the Oscars to (I have not included a few categories – like Docu feature and Short Animation – which I do not watch).
Amy Adams – Vice
Marina De Tavira – Roma
Regina King – If Beale Street Could Talk
Emma Stone – The Favourite
Rachel Weisz – The Favourite
The Ballad of Buster Scruggs – Mary Zophres
Black Panther – Ruth Carter
The Favourite – Sandy Powell
Mary Poppins Returns – Sandy Powell
Mary Queen Of Scots – Alexandra Byrne
A Star Is Born
A Quiet Place
Black Panther – Ludwig Goransson
BlackKKlansman – Terence Blanchard
If Beale Street Could Talk – Nicholas Britell
Isle Of Dogs – Alexandre Desplat
Mary Poppins- Marc Shaiman
BlackKKlansman – Barry Alexander Brown
Bohemian Rhapsody – John Ottman
The Favourite – Yorgos Mavropsaridis
Green Book – Patrick J.Don Vito
Vice – Hank Corwin
Mahershala Ali – Green Book
Adam Driver – Black Lansman
Sam Elliot – A Star Is Born
Richard E Grant – Can You Ever Forgive Me?
Sam Rockwell – Vice
Foreign Language Film
Capernaum – Lebanon
Cold War – Poland
Never Look Away – Germany
Roma – Mexico
Shoplifters – Japan
Mary Poppins Returns
Never Look Away
A Star Is Born
Avengers: Infinity War
Ready Player One
Solo: A Star Wars Story
(Although I want this movie to win, I feel First Man could clinch the Oscar)
Makeup and Hairstyling
Mary Queen of Scots
Isle Of Dogs
Ralph Breaks The Internet
Spider-Man: Into The Spider-verse
“All The Stars” – Black Panther
“I’ll Fight” – RBG
“The Place Where Lost Things Go” Mary Poppins Return
“Shallow” – A Star Is Born
“When A Cowboy Trades His Spurs For Wings” The Ballad of Buster Scruggs
The Ballad Of Buster Scruggs
Can You Ever Forgive Me?
If Beale Street Could Talk
A Star Is Born
Cristian Bale – Vice
Bradley Cooper – A Star Is Born
Willem Dafoe – At Eternity’s GAte
Rami Malek – Bohemian Rhapsody
Viggo Moertensem – Green Book
Yalitza Aparicio – Roma
Glenn Close – The Wife
Olivia Colman – The Favourite
Lady Gaga – A Star Is Born
Melissa Mc Carthy – Can You Ever Forgive Me?
(Although I feel the award will go to Glenn Close)
BlackKKclansman – Spike Lee
Cold War – Pawel Pawlikowski
The Favourite – Yorgos Lanthimos
Roma – Alfonso Cuaron
Vice – Adam McKay
A Star Is Born