STORY: After eight years in coma, due to injuries suffered in a terrible accident, Bob Biswas (Abhishek Bachchan) is discharged from the hospital. However, he has no memory of his wife Mary or their children — son Benny (Ronith Arora) and daughter Mini (Samara Tijori, from Mary’s previous marriage). Even as he’s yet to settle into his newfound life, Bob is whisked away by cops Jishu Narag (Bhanu Uday Goswami) and Kharaj Sahu (Vishwanath Chatterjee) and told to return to work as an assassin.
REVIEW: At the onset, you’re told that the film is based on the character Bob Biswas from Sujoy Ghosh’s 2012 runaway hit, Kahaani, starring Vidya Balan. In that movie, Bengali actor Saswata Chatterjee essayed the small but memorable part of the insurance agent who’s also a contract killer. Things go awry when Bob, who’s out to kill Balan’s Vidya Bagchi, becomes the hunted and while being chased, is hit by an incoming truck and dies.
Witten by Sujoy Ghosh, Bob Biswas, helmed by his daughter Diya Annapurna Ghosh, is a prequel to Kahaani. Incidentally, the film begins in a similar manner like the 2012 outing — while Kahaani starts in a laboratory where a poisonous gas is being experimented on rats before it is unleashed on unsuspecting metro passengers, Bob Biswas opens in a factory godown of a drug called ‘Blue’ targeted at young students.
Abhishek Bachchan Bob biswas full review
Bob, who’s slowly coming to terms with his life post coma, is also rediscovering his darker side. While he works as an insurance agent, he’s more of a pro at shooting his assigned targets and one such mission also sees him struck by flashbacks from his past.
Given how the character, though small in screen time, made a big impact on audiences nine years ago, it’s interesting to see how Sujoy has woven an engrossing screenplay around Bob. In keeping with the Vidya Balan starrer, Bob Biswas, too, is set in Kolkata. Though at a couple of places this movie tends to lag, for most part it keeps you invested in the narrative. As a debutante, Diya has done a good enough job directing this ‘killer of a story’.
Chitrangda Singh is gorgeous even though she keeps it simple as Mary, who’s working to pay the rent and run her home. She portrays the diverse emotions of her character convincingly, and one wishes she does more movies.
With the film being set in Kolkata, Sujoy, who’s also producing this one, has roped in actors from the East, like Paran Bandopadhyay (West Bengal) and Pabitra Rabha (Assam). Bandopadhyay as Kali Da, who runs a chemist shop that also supplies arms and ammunition and also knows how to keep secrets.
Abhishek Bachchan is the best part of Bob Biswas. Even though the memory of Saswata Chatterjee playing the part in Kahaani hasn’t faded away, Abhishek owns the part from his first scene and retains it till the end.
Whether he’s unsure of his identity when he’s being discharged from the hospital, his panting after struggling to rid of the body of the pesky neighbour he shot on impulse, or even telling his insurance company boss that he’s talking to a client while taking directions for the next target, he’s got all the nuances of the part perfect to the T.
One can’t help observing that when Abhishek gets a challenging role, he goes all out to not only portray it convincingly, but also look perfect for the part. Films like Yuva, Guru and Raavan are proof that when a movie or a character requires him to push the envelope, he spares no effort in even rising above the script. Half-a-star extra for his brilliant performance as Bob Biswas.
The soundtrack adds to the narrative and Clinton Cerezo’s background heightens the drama. Gairik Sarkar’s cinematography is beautiful and gives a distinct look to the movie.
Even though there are a couple of loopholes and Bob Biswas is not as brilliant as Kahaani, it’s nonetheless an interesting thriller you must watch.