Bengali Film Review

Chocolate

Chocolate seems to be the flavour of some Bengali filmmakers these days. Soon after Dark Chocolate, which was a dark thriller-like film, we have Chocolate. Do not get deceived by the title because it means nothing remotely close to the delicacy we all love. Sujan Mukherjee is a brilliant, but underutilised actor known for his wonderful comic timing. He has been waiting for his directorial debut in the wings and finally, cuts his teeth with this so called sex comedy.

Rana (Parambrato Chatterjee) is a CID officer who is terrified of his nagging girlfriend Rai (Payel Sarkar). His life takes a somersault when a diamond ring the fiancée/girlfriend has gifted him with, is snatched away by a professional con-man-cum-thief Raju (Rudraneel Ghosh). From this point on, the film becomes a cops-and-robbers chase story with Rana chasing Raju and missing him at every point while Raju who has hidden the ring in a box of you-guess-what runs after that box to retrieve the stolen ring. The ring is worth Rs 50 lakhs – yes, you read that right – not only because of the priceless diamond encrusted in it but also because it is an heirloom with a historic past.

Raju wanders from one place to the next having missed the tell-tale box by a whisker every time and we are introduced to characters as nutty as the rest of the film. Among them are – a couple where the husband wants to ‘warm up’ his wife but when the wife denies him, he at once turns to his sexy, ready-to-do-it girlfriend. There is the crazy scientist neurotically obsessed about the security of his scientific secrets but is surrounded by a few hot and sexy ‘numbers’ who do not exactly appear to research assistants. Among them is the hottest number (Konineeca Banerjee), who grabs the little brown box with its magic in it and rushes to her boyfriend who is a sattvic and runs away. All this while, Raju keeps peeping in through windows in every home whether it is on the ground floor or above and makes a mess of everything. Rana on the other hand, operates from an office which looks more like a corporate complex than like a police station and the way he rushes after Raju with his team makes it appear as if he does not have much official detection to do.

Mukherjee puts in a lot of sexual situations but they do not quite jell with the main story and the only common link is the ‘chocolate’, which covers intrigue, fun, comedy and sex. Some of these situations are fleshed out quite well by Konineeca Banerjee and Rii but these too, appear like after-thoughts that do not seamlessly belong to the main plot. Parambrato as the hassled, harried and scared Rana gives a very good account of himself turning the popular image of a CID officer completely on its head. Rudraneel as Raju wears expensive designer dresses, caps, shoes and glares to justify his source of livelihood. Kanchan Mullick as a sneak thief stripped down to bare essentials, who is also a friend of Raju, steals the acting honours from everyone else. He is just great and his skeletal body fits the role to a T.

Admittedly, comedy allows for a lot of slippages in logic and sequence and exaggeration in characterisation but the wobbling script does not allow it to shape up into the laugh riot it set out to be. This, despite the desperate attempts of Sujon to hold the film together and tie the loose ends securely to spin off a viable comic hit for an adult audience. Sex comedy is defined as a genre in which comedy is motivated by sexual situations and love affairs. But though Chocolate has been granted an ‘A’ certificate and though there are quite a few ‘hot’ scenes, it cannot be categorised either as a sex comedy or a cops-and-robbers thriller, not even somewhere in the middle.

Score40%

Bengali, Comedy, Color

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