Sahana Dutta and Sayantan Ghosal present a grim picture of family secrets and deaths
Last Updated: 10.10 AM, Feb 04, 2023
Story: Satyaki (Vikram Chatterjee) is a psychologist. Given his brilliant track record in academics, he expected to be an ace counsellor. However, he faces a major setback as his first patient dies by suicide. Satyaki goes into depression. His extended family – cousin Saibal (Bhashwar Chatterjee) and his wife Ranja (Raima Sen) – force him to go to their house in Uraldanga. Soon mysterious events start taking place and family members start dying. Satyaki cannot escape and tries to sort the mess out.
Review: Bengali web series is stepping into adulthood. A mature, spine-chilling content like Roktokorobi, which expands its wings into the horizon of a dark tale of sexual exploitation and class oppression, is proof. Interestingly, the show does not resort to an iota of cheap gimmicks to build suspense and thrill. It does not treat the show as a marketing strategy to build its viewer base. And yet it presents a well-made and captivating thriller that leaves an impact in the viewers’ minds. Amid the countless crime thrillers on OTT platforms, Roktokorobi leaves a mark of its own.
Sayantan Ghosal does not claim to be one of the finest directors in the block. However, he is undoubtedly one of the finest storytellers of his generation. His stories often grip your attention on the screen, hold your hand, and take you into the dark sides of human minds. In Roktokorobi, you may often find why there are too many plots and subplots and then you fear that it may end up in a mess with a half-baked story. But Sahana Dutta and Sayantan together help the viewers join all the dots to paint a grim picture of a bonedi family and its dark secrets.
It falters in editing. It could do away with the repetition of shots, like overdo of Bhulu Jethu’s (Haridas Chatterjee) delirium, his sister Bithi (Laboni Sarkar), and Satyaki’s endless and tiring dialogue while unveiling secrets, and so on. Despite a sleek storyline, the unnecessary Bengali serial-like dialogues interrupt the pace of the show. The background score spans on a louder note.
Raima is outstanding as Ranja. Her performance makes the character more than just believable. She connects with you through her portrayal. Vikram looks lovely on screen. However, he does not expand his ability as an actor and rather resorts to stereotypical motifs to express usual emotions. Laboni proves why she is one of the finest performers of her generation. She effortlessly establishes her character. Angana Roy is also very convincing as Meghla. Kinjal Nanda as Ashish and Animesh Bhaduri as inspector Kallol Samaddar also deserve a mention despite their small presence. Meanwhile, Shantilal disappoints as Radhaprasanna. The brilliant actor that he is, the occasional loud dialogues and over-the-top mannerisms dampen his calibre.
Verdict: Despite the lacunas, Roktokorobi is a fantastic production. A crime and its multidimensional perspectives are beautifully addressed in the show. It is heart-wrenching and at the same time, spine-chilling. There is a shot where Shantilal is seen in front of the idol of god at their thakurdalan and that glimpse is outstanding. Trauma and its roots, oppression and its socio-economic background, and several other nuanced emotions are perfectly curated in the show. It is hard to remember where we witnessed something as harrowing as Roktokorobi. The makers deserve applause for the effort.