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Wednesday, August 04, 2021

Dujone review: This Srabanti and Soham starrer is a collage of cliches

Although designed as a thriller, the big reveal in Dujone is predictable from the word go. That, however, is one of the lesser problems.

Written by Ishita Sengupta | Mumbai |
Updated: July 12, 2021 8:29:55 am
Dujone is streaming on Hoichoi.

It is remiss to discuss a show streaming on Hoichoi and not talk about sex. The streaming platform, which predominantly caters to Bengali audiences, has cultivated a unique reputation, which, if not anything else, exists as a retort to the community’s prudish sensibilities. Most shows have the aesthetics of soft porn — innuendoes are the punchline, sex is an excuse, and the joke is on us. In Dujone — a 10-part series centered on an imminent terrorist attack and mistaken identities — a woman suspects her husband is hiding something after suffering from a near-death experience. She follows him, keeps a tab on him and then does the next most logical thing, tries to have sex with him.

Dujone starring Soham and Srabanti Chatterjee, is the latest addition to the roster of Hoichoi Originals. Directed by Promita Bhattacharya, it has two parallel stories — one where the Intelligence Bureau is trying to impede an attack from China, the other concerns an affluent family in Kolkata where things alter post their heir’s mishap. After Amar Basu Thakur’s accident, he seems to be forgetting things, and only his wife Ahona notices this. With her efforts yielding no result, she approaches a private detective. Turns out, her husband (Soham) is far from the man she thought him to be.

Although designed as a thriller, the big reveal in Dujone is predictable from the word go. That, however, is one of the lesser problems. Even when the destination is known, the journey can be interesting. But Bhattacharya’s directorial outing suffers from every cliche that exists, chief among being naming its protagonist Amar just because he escapes death. But the more nagging problem is how unconvincing the characters and settings are.

Ever since Ahona (Srabanti) gets a whiff of something being amiss with her husband, she unravels the decade-long family secret with the deftness of a trained professional. But the clincher is what raises her suspicion — not years of money laundering but that her husband starts smoking suddenly. Similarly, the office, which is supposed to be flourishing, resembled a dilapidated government housing and apparently a site of shady dealings, it contained computers with no password.

It is like when the narrative takes a break from being implausible, it busies itself being contrived. Every problem is bypassed by convenient backstories, which exist solely to manufacture a solution. In the midst of such lazy writing, Dujone also conveniently sneaks in the idea of a Muslim saviour, which serves absolutely no purpose other than playing to the nationalistic gallery.

At one point Ahona asks a sublime question: “Am I stupid?” That the series goes on for ten episodes and ends on a cliffhanger suggest the makers think we are.

Dujone is streaming on Hoichoi.

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