Bengali Film Review

Durgeshgorer Guptodhon

Durgeshgorer Guptodhon (The Hidden Treasure of Durgeshgor) offers wholesome entertainment for the entire family. It s not a sequel but the second part of an adventure thriller series with three characters running commonly through both the films. The first film, Guptodhoner Sandhaane (In Search of a Hidden Treasure), was a hit with family audiences, which motivated the director, Dhrubo Banerjee, to make the second one. The three common characters are Professor Subarna Sen aka Sona-da (Abir Chatterjee), his nephew Abir (Arjun Chakraborty) and Abir’s girlfriend-turned-fiancée Jhinuk (Ishaa Saha).

This time around, the threesome embark on a new adventure that traces the history of an unknown segment of Bengal back to the mid 18th century when, according to the story, Bengal had the richest treasury of gold and riches and jewellery in India though it was under colonial rule. The biggest treasure is hidden in the ancestral mansion of Durgeshgor where the successors of Krishna Chandra Roy, who hid the treasure, live and celebrate Durga Pooja on a grand scale. Sona-da’s student Dombol (Aryann Bhowmick) invites the trio to his ancestral home at Durgeshgor and then the thrills begin.

The scenario picks up after the long treatise on Bengal’s financial history, whose authenticity is not verified, when the trio arrive as guests at the Debroy mansion. The family is an extended one and the younger brother (Koushik Sen) who is a NRI has arrived for the Durga Pooja with his wife (Debjani) and small son. He does not care for the needless expenses that go into the Durga Pooja and seems to have something up his sleeve about the hidden treasure. The elder son (Anindo Chatterjee) and his wife spell warmth and hospitality and the entire household is headed by a matriarch (Lily Chakraborty) who is the widowed aunt who brought her nephews up. The Durga Pooja, itself, is complete with each weapon in Durga’s ten hands, the chaalchitra (decorated panel), the songs sung and even the rituals are connected to where the treasure is hidden. But no one for so many centuries has been able to unravel this mystery and discover the treasury. The grand old aunt knows some of the secrets but not the actual one. She is confident that Sona-da and his assistants will be able to decipher it.

The entire process of the unravelling is filled with thrills and adventures including a jump into a pond by Abir who does not how to swim but manages to remain underwater without any bubbles floating up, a hidden spring suddenly opening which is the key to the hidden treasure and the fort crumbling into huge slabs all on a sudden. However, this is all too quick and too diabolic considering the time these vaults were made way back in 1757 or thereabouts. The red herrings along the way are a bit too puzzling while the solution of the mystery that finally leads to the treasure is quite confusing and seems to happen all at once. Besides, the film is a bit too long for the mystery to be sustained and tends to drag sometimes.

The film is entertaining and is backed by a stellar acting cast drawn from across three generations of stars from Bengali cinema. Expectedly, the performances are reliably efficient. The production values are excellent including the choice of location and setting with the heritage mansion, in particular, offering a beautiful backdrop. The cinematography by ace DOP Soumik Halder is captivating as is the deft editing by Sanjib Kumar Datta. Bikram Ghosh’s musical score leaves no stone unturned to take advantage of the scope for some lilting tunes. The rap number (I saw it only in the promos) in animation is excellent.

Looking at the audience reaction of this film, no doubt, the director knows the pulse of his family audience and it would not be surprising to see a third Sona-da film in the offing.

Score51%

Bengali, Thriller, Adventure, Color

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