Atanu Ghosh’s film will arguably be considered Prosenjit’s finest performance ever
Last Updated: 10.17 AM, Apr 14, 2023
Story: Recovery agent Shounak (Vikram Chatterjee) hounds down yesteryear’s author-script writer Balmiki Sengupta (Prosenjit Chatterjee) – a defaulter. However, it is not money that has to be recovered from him. Balmiki took advance from a publishing house to write a biography of his wife – an actress who was suspiciously killed and left naked right in the middle of Kolkata. Shounak takes the help of Medha (Gargee RoyChowdhury) who starts to take dictation from Balmiki and by this, a fresh chapter of dependence begins.
Review: Shesh Pata – the last chapter – is often the most crucial for a book. It is often a confluence of reasons, pathos, love, and mystery of life. Balmiki and Medha start walking toward the chapter on a delicate footing.
Meanwhile, it is the last chapter, along with the rest, that matters to Shounak the most. He needs a settled source of income to pay the fees of his brother’s BBA, run the family, and marry his girlfriend, Deepa, so that they don’t have to rent cheap hotel rooms for privacy. And for all of this, he has to recover the manuscript by Balmiki.
Atanu Ghosh has his style. He has never been in any rush to narrate a full-blown story. Rather, he makes a collage of emotions by creating intriguing characters. In Aro Ek Prithibi, it is Srikanto Munsi, who takes you to the layers of the film. In Shesh Pata, it is Balmiki. It is their worldview and perspective of life that draws you into the film.
Balmiki is a restless, alcoholic, and proud hermit. He refuses to let anyone in his universe of pain, cheating, and misery. And then, Medha – a depression survivor – sings a song for him. Atanu created their bonding delectably. The Prosenjit hit a sixer with the character.
Prosenjit has a robust journey in the entertainment industry. Shesh Pata is perhaps his best offering so far. One has never seen a more deconstructed Prosenjit before. Forget about the nuanced script and presentation by Atanu, the film can just be explored to watch Prosenjit in awe. If Jubilee’s Srikant Roy has turned your head, Sesh Pata’s Balmiki will make you fall in love with Prosenjit Chatterjee all over again. Not just while lighting one cigarette after another, or Shooing away every iota of empathy but there are sequences when he walks on the street and does nothing. And yet he will make you look at him. Forget about layered underacting scenes, he is stupendous even in loud, over-the-top performances also. There is a scene when he hurls abuse at one of the tenants at his building through a rhyme. Prosenjit’s bodily performance will be etched in your mind. And one has to appreciate the fine prosthetic makeup by Somnath Kundu. Not for a moment it looks unreal, uncomfortable and unnecessary on Prosenjit.
Gargee is known to be a powerhouse performer. She is also outstanding here. If Prosenjit’s character hogs all the limelight, Gargee’s organic portrayal of Medha will be there to stay. Gargee makes Medha believable by delicately opening up her vulnerabilities. She is poised and heartbroken, yet smart enough to embrace the reality of her depression. Gargee’s masterstroke is definitely the two songs that she sings in the film. She is natural and breathtaking.
Atanu presents Vikram an unseen avatar. Known to be a glamorous loverboy, Vikram’s characters were hitherto limited to middle-class to upper-middle-class backgrounds. Shounak comes from a family where he is the sole bread earner. He is torn between the urge to earn more money and the principles his father instilled in him. Vikram puts his best foot forward as Shounak and he proves his mettle. His appearance and costume are spot-on. His body language – drooping shoulders, and void in vision – looks perfect. Yet his diction sounds a tad too posh for the background he represents.
Meanwhile, Deepa’s character is a tad too clumsy. It lacks direction. Rayati – a seasoned actress on stage – needs a bit more time to nail the craft in front of the camera. Deepa and Shounak’s love story faces disruption in their usual world. But they keep walking and find an exotic reality to make things work between them.
Verdict: Shesh Pata is lavishly written and executed. No doubt it is a slow-burner that is dotted with beautiful shots of Kolkata. Atanu’s film offers a worldview of a different flavour. Most poignantly, he tells a story he wishes to tell without paying any attention to what the market wants. Shesh Pata is no exception. It is not an everyday Bengali release. It is sensitive and delectable if savoured with time. It is crafted with care and stays with you long after the end scroll.