Film: “Vinci Da” (Bengali); Cast: Rudranil Ghosh, Ritwick Chakraborty, Anirban Bhattacharya, Sohini Sarkar; Director: Srijit Mukherjee; Rating: **** ½ (four and a half stars)
Two thoughts struck me simultaneously as I watched Srijit Mukherjee’s latest work open-mouthed and stunned: this is the most original thriller I’ve seen in Indian cinema, and that some of the best work in Indian cinema is happening outside ‘Bollywood’.
Interestingly, ‘Bollywood’ does come up for discussion in the course of this vastly intriguing thriller when the make-up artiste, pet-named Vinci Da for his affinity to the art of Leonardo da Vinci, comments on budgets for Bollywood cinema being unaffordable in Bangla cinema.
And yet Vinci Da survives, and he is brilliant at his work, just like Srijit Mukherjee who makes two films a year. This time Mukherjee is on slippery ground negotiating across an arching lumbering canvas that at once secretes a devious thriller and a stirring morality tale.
It’s hard to say anything about the plot without giving away the devastating twists and turns. But the one thing that can be said safely is we have never seen anything like this before. The interactive drama about a serial killer who has the mind of a brilliant lawyer, and a make-up artiste, played with visceral force by two of the country’s finest actors Ritwick Chakraborty and Rudranil Ghosh, is so fraught with a feral acuity, we are often left looking at situations and circumstances that seem ripped off newspaper headlines and pinned to the macabre vision of Wes Craven.
As the serial killer Adi Bose, representing what criminologist Colin Wilson called ‘genius gone the wrong way’ snares the goodhearted idealistic make-up artiste into a bizarre web of crime, Mukherjee straddles the two worlds of terror and tenderness without losing his firm grip over the narrative.
There are bouts of bestial brutality that reminded me of the sudden spurts of violence in Mukherjee’s “Rajkahini”. Then there is the tender passion between the make-up artiste and his speech-challenged beloved Jaya (Sohini Sarkar). Their scenes together are suffused with the incense of an innocent attraction. It is a sight to behold when the narrative fuses the brutal violence with the tender innocence.
Speaking of ‘incense’, it is no coincidence that the word means anger and also those religious sticks that one has to light up to experience the heady fragrance. At the end we are are left with only the fury and fragrance mingling in a union that is both shocking and exhilarating.
“Vinci Da” is a remarkable work for the way it blurs the lines of morality to show how easily a clever man can jump from the right side to the wrong. And how weak can be manipulated by the strong. It’s also remarkable for showing the close relationship between crime and art, and between the criminal and his conscience.
It is no coincidence that the young Adi Bose (played with chilling serenity by the astonishing Riddhi Sen) batters his abusive father to death minutes before he turns 18.
“Vinci Da” breaks every glass ceiling that the ‘thriller’ genre in India has ever encountered and savours the shards as they penetrate the very core of the concept of crime and atonement.
Actress Katrina Kaif tests negative for Covid
Actress Katrina Kaif has tested negative for Covid-19. The Bollywood star took to Instagram to share the news with fans on Saturday.
Katrina shared a picture on Instagram dressed in yellow, and thanked everyone who had checked on her health while she was down with Covid.
“Negative (everyone who checked up on me thank u, it was really sweet felt a lot of)” she wrote, completing a sentence with a yellow heart sign. Traditionally, a yellow flag is used to denote quarantine.
The actress tested Covid positive at the beginning of the month. She had shared the health update on Instagram and asked everyone who had been in touch with her to get themselves tested.
Meanwhile, the release date for Katrina’s “Sooryavanshi” has been postponed again. She will share the screen with Akshay Kumar in the film. The actress also has “Bhoot Police” lined up, which also stars Siddhanth Chaturvedi and Ishaan Khatter. She will also be seen with Salman Khan in “Tiger 3”.
Actor Sonu Sood tests Covid positive
Actor Sonu Sood has tested Covid positive. He took to social media to share the news with fans on Saturday, asking them not to worry.
He posted a picture that read: “Hi Everyone, this is to inform you that I have tested positive this morning for COVID-19. As a part of precautions, I have already quarantined myself & taking utmost care. But don’t worry this gives me ample time to solve your problems. Remember I’m always there for you all. — Sonu Sood.”
He captioned the post as: “Stay safe Stay positive.”
The actor was recently appointed brand ambassador of Punjab’s Covid vaccination programme by Chief Minister Amarinder Singh.
Sonu has been actively helping people cope with the Covid crises. Last year, he helped thousands of migrants reach houses during lockdown and also provided e-rickshaws to the unemployed.
Aditi Rao Hydari: I am dying to go back to theatres
Aditi Rao Hydari says while OTT is doing a great job at entertaining the audience, she does miss the big screen.
The actor says there is a sense of “magic” in theatres, which has always been there and will never go away.
“I miss it because there’s the magic associated with the theatre, there’s a whole childhood nostalgia, and it’s a very immersive experience. You go there and you become a part of the world there,” Aditi told IANS.
However, she said that since last year, OTT platforms have really gained prominence.
“In lockdown, OTT platforms have been our best friends. With OTT, there has been amazing writing, content, and the way the audience has consumed the content, that’s been really incredible,” she said, adding that the platform has given a lot of work to people in the industry.
“As an actor, there is so much more to do on it, in fact, for directors, writers, and everyone in the industry it has opened a whole new world,” she said, adding there will come a time when both platforms will be at the same level.
“Of course, I am dying to go back to theatres, but I feel there will be a time when there will be a value of the theatres and there will be the same value for OTT because each platform is powerful in its own way,” she says.
The actress adds that the kind of content that plays on both platforms is diverse.
“For writers, directors, actors, it has opened up a new world in terms of stories that one can only make for OTT which is different from (what) one makes for the theatres. Quite often, the theatrical films are larger-than-life and mounted differently. A producer might tell it better, how it is structured. OTT is different because the pressure is different,” she says.
“As an artist, I have the same passion and the same love. It’s just the medium and the way it is done for each platform, that is a whole producer and the finance thing, that’s different. So, it doesn’t make a difference in how I work. I do believe, the variety can be more and it is, the kind of topic people are making films and shows on, might not be conducive to the theatre or the way stories they tell like in 6 to 7 seasons, in theatre you just have 2 hours. That’s different,” she says.
Aditi is currently seen on the OTT-released film “Ajeeb Daastaans”, and will soon be seen in the Tamil film “Hey Sinamika”, “Maha Samudram”.
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