Mukhosh movie cast: Anirban Bhattacharya, Chandreyee Ghosh, Tota Roychowdhury
Mukhosh movie director: Birsa Dasgupta
Mukhosh movie rating: 3 stars
Can people be inherently bad? Are criminals born or are they pushed to the edge by circumstances? Is a villain all-black or are there various shades to his personality? Who is the real person – the one behind the mask or the mask itself? Birsa Dasgupta’s latest directorial Mukhosh, which translates to ‘The Mask’ in Bengali, explores the concepts of appearance versus intent, truth versus lies.
A pure whodunit, the film’s basic story is simple. Kolkata is jolted by a series of gruesome murders. The killings seem to have a pattern – the victim is kidnapped, then killed slowly and their heart taken out. The latest victims are members of the Kolkata police force. The police, much like the audience, are at a loss. A criminologist, Kingshuk, is then invited by the force to give them some insights and break open the case.
It’s a revenge drama that gets its pace just right. The film takes the audience on a dark and thrilling ride while keeping it real. At one point, the protagonist asks his wife, “Who do you fear more? The deranged criminal or the sane and icy cool criminal, who knows exactly what he is doing?” The film deals with the latter, who is a genius. He plans the murders with precision and ensures no clue is left behind. The film is layered and keeps the audience engaged.
Birsa has matured as a director. His handling of characters, situations and the cityscape is commendable. However, it is the actors who infuse life into the story. Anirban Bhattacharya is brilliant as Kingshuk, and Tota Roychowdhury does justice to the role of David. The ensemble cast is up to the challenge too.
The music by Nabarun Bose is good. For the first time in a Birsa film, there are no songs, with the background score doing the heavy lifting. Subhankar Bhar’s cinematography is a treat to watch – the dreary city enmeshed in wires, washed out buildings, the stark contrast of bleak colours and the dumping ground create a setting that is hardly celebratory.
To sum it up, as people are desperate to hop back to normalcy, there is no harm in watching a good, conventional thriller that keeps you engaged.