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Can Abir’s Sonada match Soumitro’s Feluda?

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When my teenage son dragged me a couple of months back to meet Sonada of Guptodhoner Sandhaney, I was reluctant to see another ‘naïve’ Bengali detective movie. After all our generation grew up among various Bengali detectives, from Kiriti, to Byomkesh to Feluda. Leaving aside Sherlock Holmes and Agatha Christie’s jewel in the crown, Hercule Poirot. But I liked Sonada, did not fall in love with him though, because he had all the suave intelligence and looks of a young history professor turned detective, but somewhere he lacked the finesse of Feluda’s Mogojastro!

Yet, when the second movie Durgeshgorer Guptodhan hit the screens, we went again. And needless to say, I was disappointed this time, not for Abir Chatterjee’s fluid acting in the role of Sonada, but for a weak script. Historical facts stated in the beginning of the movie somehow got lost in the deliberate humour pushed in through the character of ‘Abir,’ answer to Feluda’s Topshe. Just take for example Sonar Kella, a movie that has tremendous humour with the introduction of the character of Jatayu, impeccably presented by Santosh Dutta, along with history of Rajasthan’s forts. But somewhere Sonar Kella’s storyline did not lose itself within several songs (Durgeshgorer Guptodhan brings in songs at places where it is not needed) and with juvenile search operations like the one where character ‘Abir’ goes under a pond and remains there for several minutes without any underwater gear, searching for a plaque.

 

Unfortunately, Sonada you have lost again, despite bringing in the charm of a rural Durga Puja, several historical chapters about Jagat Sheth and Nawabs of Bengal and different characters with an unexpected twist in the end. Feluda was truly a sharp mind, who delved into the art of criminology and not just solving riddles (though he solved many in Royal Bengal Rahasya) to lead to a hidden treasure. And if Sonada has been influenced by Hollywood’s Lara Croft or Indiana Jones movies, I would request director to create more ‘make belief’ thriller scenes than the pathetic one where a bear comes inside the cave and tries to attack Sonada and his companions. This scene could have been avoided. It made the movie a laughing stock!