A hitman just out of a prolonged coma is seen trying to make himself familiar with the surroundings as he heads back home from the hospital. He throws a quick glance at his son and wife who are seated beside him. Interestingly, Kishore Kumar's Bengali classic 'E ki holo keno holo' is heard playing on the cab radio. Two hours later, you find yourself humming this same song after going through a 'blob' of a journey of this man named Bob Biswas.
Available on: Zee5
What's Yay: Paran Bandopadhyay as Kali Da
What's Nay: Unimaginative screenplay
After waking up from an accident induced eight-year-long coma, Bob Biswas (Abhishek Bachchan) finds himself suffering from retrograde amnesia. He cannot recollect his past memories prior the traumatic event. When the doctor asks him if he at least recalls his name, he quips, "Shuru shuru mein nahin tha lekin aap sab mujhe Bob bulaa rahe hai toh.." Soon, Bob is told that he has a wife Mary (Chitrangda Singh), son Benny and step-daughter Mini.
As he struggles to recall his identity as a hitman, he finds himself in a moral dilemma when two officers from the police department get in touch with him and ask him to bump off a few people. However, once the gun lands in Bob's hands, it dawns on him that he has also got a secret to keep. While Bob is busy shooting people point-blank, the youngsters of the city find themselves in the clutches of a deadly drug named 'Blue'. Unknown to Bob, there is danger lurking close to him and his family.
When the character Bob Biswas made his first appearance in Vidya Balan's 2012 thriller Kahaani, he gave a chill to the audience's bone with his deceptive appearance. A cold-hearted contract killer who hides behind the facade of an insurance agent and mutters 'Ek minute' before taking out his gun from his sling gun and shooting his victim point-blank. No doubt, this iconic character deserved a standalone film of its own.
Does Sujoy Ghosh's Kahaani spin-off Bob Biswas do complete justice to this dramatis personae? Unfortunately not and a major blame for that goes to Ghosh's humdrum writing! Most of his characters are half-baked and barely evoke any feelings. Even with willing suspension of disbelief, the plot fails to strike a chord. Bob's internal conflicts work only in parts. One wished that Ghosh had added some more flesh to the characters and more depth to the plot whose theme revolves around the famous proverb 'As you sow so shall you reap.'
This is one of the major reasons why Bob Biswas slips out of director Diya Annapurna Ghosh's hands.
The debutante director needed a much better script when it came to calling the shots. With this Abhishek Bachchan-starrer, she barely touches the surface. Except a few scenes, Diya doesn't have much on her platter to showcase her orchestral skills.
Abhishek Bachchan takes the reins from Saswata Chatterjee to play the middle-aged hitman Bob Biswas. The actor begins his killing spree on a promising note only to be let down by the hackneyed writing. Certainly not Ab Jr's memorable work! Chitrangda Singh as Bob Biswas' wife Mary plays her role with grace but doesn't get anything solid to sink her teeth into. Samara Tijori as Mini performs what's written for her. Amar Upadhyay and Bhanu Uday Pratap have nothing substantial to offer.
The only one who stands out in this lot is Paran Bandopadhyay as Kali Da who is a secret-keeper of sorts. The mysterious air around him leaves you curious as you keep wondering if there's more to his character that meets the eye. In the midst of all the chaos, his Kali Da is a conscience keeper who makes sure that there's always a balance in the bloodshed world.
Gairik Sarkar's camera work is quite ordinary. One terribly misses Setu here who told a visually appealing story through his frames in Kahaani! In Bob Biswas, Gairik makes use of a lot of close-up shots for Abhishek's character. While it helps in the initial stage as he tries to make us connect with Bob's bumbling personality, it doesn't add more to the later portions. The spirit of Kolkata is simply absent in Gairik's cinematography. Yasha Ramchandani's editing hardly adds to any thrilling layers to the story-telling.
Bianca Gomes' 'Tu Toh Gaya Re' is a fast-packed track which is a part of the narrative and makes us familiar with Bob Biswas, the killer. The rest of the songs are passable.
In one of the scenes, Kali Da narrates a conversation between Lord Krishna and the poisonous snake Kaliya to answer a query posed to him by Bob Biswas and tells him, "Bhagwan hi banaata, bhagwan hi mitata hai.' This theory holds true for the titular character's creator as well.
We give 2 stars out of 5 for Abhishek Bachchan's Bob Biswas.