- BOTTOM LINE: An Amateurish Socio Fantasy
|Platform: Zee5||Genre: Drama|
What Is the Story About?
Hey Bhogoban, as the title says, is a socio fantasy film where the Lord of love, Madan descends on the earth for a purpose, adhering to instructions by supposedly modern-looking Krishna. He’s sent to earth precisely to reform Simplipal Mukherjee aka Simpli, a millennial who takes to atheism after she loses her parents to an unfortunate accident.
Surprisingly enough, she inherits sufficient knowledge about the hymns and mantras taught by her priest-father and makes a living by performing pujas. However, things take a turn for worse when she twists the text of the hymns according to her whims and fancies, realizing that no one cares much about it. The special relationship that Madan and Simply is to share is about to complicate the former’s stint on the earth further.
Sourav Das is the only actor who manages to put up a restrained act in a film where everything seems staged and haywire. He’s better at his lighter moments, his underplayed self during his conversations with actor counterpart Rupsa Chatterjee ensures some stability to an otherwise fragile outing. The latter has a certain spunk in her act, however, the poor characterization and illogical writing don’t help the impact. Other supporting actors, including a veteran Arindam Ganguly, don’t have well-defined arcs to contribute anything significant to the final result.
Socio fantasies have always been a rage in Indian cinema since times immemorial and new-age filmmakers are rediscovering their love for the genre in the digital medium again now. Hey Bhogoban, despite feeling like an off-shoot of the Paresh Rawal-starrer Oh My God, it has a very innovative premise. The Lord of Love’s discovery that love has become very conditional on the Earth, his confrontation with atheism, interest to experience human life, could have made for an interesting exploration of the modern-day belief system. The storytellers sadly don’t seem to be interested in lending a new-age twist to the story. The film progresses at a modest pace and even considers itself cool for making Gods wear blazers, suits, and tuxedos.
The basis behind the protagonist Simpli turning an atheist too is so silly – she blames God for killing her parents. The idea of the love God Madan using a spray to spread love among people is quirky, though the director Rajdeep Ghosh doesn’t explore this beyond a perfunctory level. There’s simpli so much time wasted on establishing the characters and by the time the romance starts to blossom between a mythological character and an earthly woman, there’s not much petrol left in the tank. There are a few sequences exuding hope that the narrative would counter religious fanaticism, but they are reduced to comic gags that are of no consequence to the story.
It’s very apparent that the project was made on a shoestring budget – at times, the film feels like a glorified theatre play with nothing in it to make for a cinematic experience. There are too many caricaturish sets, showy costumes, weird wigs that distract you from the proceedings. The film moreover feels like a bunch of scenes randomly put together on the editing table, which makes little sense when viewed as a whole.
At a 132 minute length, Hey Bhogoban outlasts its welcome by an hour at least. With a direct-to-digital premiere in the OTT space where the choice for a spectator is huge, there’s nothing minutely attention-worthy in Hey Bhogoban. Bengali filmmakers are churning out content in the digital space thick and fast, but nothing significant has emerged out of their efforts. That long list might have just got another mediocre addition.
Music and Other Departments?
The music in the series is just about okay and sounds more like a television show than an independent film. The film neither stays loyal to the story nor has the entertainment value of a regular commercial outing. The redundancy in the sets, visual backdrops is quite jarring. There’s very little about it that feels authentic or rings true to the soul of the story. The dialogues are very casually rendered and the amateurish vibe of the execution is a complete dampener.
Sourav Das’ performance
Did I Enjoy It?
Will You Recommend It?
Hey Bhogoban Review by Srivathsan Nadadhur
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