Verdict: A war-ravaged gem that fights to shine!
There are very few movies that truly do justice to the stories they have been adapted from. Such sort of film-making has always been a risky territory. Trespassers are more often than not prosecuted by the critics, and harshly so. With Bioscopewala, Deb Medhekar proves that with the correct vision, imagination, a well-planned screenplay and a talented cast, the tide can not only be reversed but can be conquered too.
What’s bioscopewala about:
Set in the post-war era and spanning across decades and countries, Bioscopewala is a story based on the famous Kabuliwala by Rabindranath Tagore. Rehmat Khan (Danny Denzongpa), a selfless man who is uprooted from his homeland, lands up in Calcutta where he depends upon his bioscope to earn a living. He soon gets emotionally attached to a five-year-old girl Minnie (Miraya Suri), the daughter of a renowned fashion photographer, Robi Basu. Minnie reminds him of his own beti-jaan back in Kabul and Rehmat Khan soon begins depending on her for his emotional sustenance.
Fast forward a few years – Robi Basu dies in an airplane crash to Kabul and a grown-up Minnie (Geetanjali Thapa) is left figuring out why he was heading to Kabul in the first place. Soon, she also finds herself taking care of the alzheimer-struck Rehmat Khan. As Minnie tries to dig into the past and find out the mystery about her very own Bioscopewala, her discoveries take her back to Kabul on a journey of rebellion and redemption.
The second-to-none screenplay by Rafey Mahmood steals the show creating pitch-perfect lighting, frames, and the much-needed assiduity to a war-torn tale. The way the backdrop adds to intensifying the feelings of the protagonist and that of the story is applause-worthy. Overall, the depth, the urgency, the portrayal of emotions and the attention to little details in dealing with a saga full of conflicts is what Bioscopewala aces at. With just the right amount of misery and resolve, Geetanjali Thapa too proves that she is an actor to reckon with.
What could’ve been better:
Danny Denzongpa as a Bioscopewala is so perfect that his short time on screen leaves us wanting more of his excellent acting prowess. The pace of the movie too dips in places before picking up and such moments fight to engage the audience.
Why you should you watch this movie:
Watch it to re-live the 126-year old Tagore story. Watch it for a contemporary spin to an age-old tale that only a talented film-maker could have given. Watch it for exemplary performances by the lead and the supporting cast. Watch it for its attempt to capture your sentiments and finally, watch it for the Bioscopewala who you’d wish was a part of your story too.