Weak direction and lacuna in the script do not let Chengiz become what Jeet dreams to make
Story: Young Jaidev (Ayush Das and finally, Jeet) watches his police-officer father and mother getting killed right in front of his eyes. His father’s subordinate, Samir Sinha (Rohit Roy), adopts him. But the fire of revenge in him drives him to become the most powerful ganglord in Kolkata. Jaidev becomes Chengiz. He starts as a subordinate under Omar, aka Nalli Bhai (Shataf Figar), and takes control of the betting and heroin market across Bengal, Bihar, and Uttar Pradesh. A team of police officers, including Samir Sinha, starts chasing his empire.
Review: What could have been a tight action film turned into an average effort due to a bad script, sound research, and vague direction.
Jeet brings enormous swag to the film. His style of walking, talking, and fighting are enjoyable. He has also offered a formidable performance as Chengiz. Evidently, the fire of revenge that initially pushed his character to become a criminal soon got turned into the lust for power and chair. This transformation and conflicts within the character could have been written with a little more care. But the actor has put his best foot forward to make Chengiz believable with his charisma.
Apart from the character of Chengiz, the only character that shows nuances and conflict is Ipsahani – a gang member. Nicely played by Avrajit Chakraborty, the character juggles between right and wrong and establishes a credible presence. In fact, Ayush Das, also known as the new Topshe on the block, fits well in the character.
Despite shoddy makeup and straightforward characterisation, Rohit Roy puts forward a good performance. He is how an honest police officer is on screen and that’s why the culmination becomes a tad too predictable. Sohan Bandyopadhyay is also pretty confident with his character as DCDD.
Shataf Figar plays Nalli Bhai – the most powerful one before the rise of Chengiz. He is ruthless and greedy and Shataf plays well as this one-dimensional badman.
While Susmita Chatterjee has little to do, she lights up the screen with her smile. Unfortunately, writers and makers in Bengal still pay little attention to the don’s wife, who can be as smart and brave as the leader. While Nandini’s character seems to be an independent one, she is treated just as a prop. Let’s not even talk about sexist comments and the approach the hero takes to woo her.
Chengiz’s associate Andrew falls flat, especially in intense drama, but Debu (Srijan Gupta) looks promising with a cold gaze. However, again, their characters are never well-defined.
Chengiz has a plot and fantastic action sequences but it lacks a convincing presentation. The film starts with sloppy acting and continues to reflect an iota of research as it progresses. Billed as a period film, Chengiz shows the ’90s Kolkata and yet the makers take no effort to make the period look convincing. Forget sets and outdoor shots, there was no focus on the costume, makeup, and other key elements. After seeing modern cars, roads, and emblems, one may fear that soon the high-rise 42 will be shown in the Race Course scenes.
Verdict: There has been a void in the commercial action film genre and it has been totally appropriated by thrillers and family dramas in the Bengali film industry. This is the reality. Chengiz is a pleasant break from that. Jeet has been one of the very few actors who remained truthful to the genre and puts effort to make hardcore action films. But just the intention is not enough. We need good directors and writers if we want to showcase Bengali films on the national platform. A film which is good by the local standard will bever be enough to please the national audience. They are used to watching very good content from all over the world. Let’s not forget that.