'Sandeep Aur Pinky Faraar' Review: Dibakar Banerjee is back and how

A Potpourri of Vestiges Review

By Murtaza Ali Khan 

Sandeep Aur Pinky Faraar Poster

I fondly remember films of the late Vijay Anand. The beauty about those films is that there's a certain tension when you are watching them and the tension is always there. It never really lets ago except maybe for brief moments during the song sequences (though not always) but that tension soon returns. There is always a feeling at the back of your mind especially when it comes to his crime thrillers like Jewel Thief or Teesri Manzil.

Every time a character is in a certain situation and that situation may not even be tense but you are always anticipating what will happen next. That is something that I have sensed in films of few filmmakers in the contemporary times. One such filmmaker who deserves a special mention here is the Dibakar Banerjee. Now, he has been very mercurial and a filmmaker who hasn't been as prolific as one would have liked. But the good thing about him is that he is always there and never gives an impression like having gone too far away from making films. And that's what gives us hope.

Now, Sandeep Aur Pinky Faraar is exactly the kind of film that I would expect from somebody like Dibakar. After a rather longish wait I have finally got a chance to watch it (now that it's out on Amazon Prime) and I can tell you that the movie did create that same sense of uneasiness while watching (just like films of the legendary Vijay Anand would). The mood is set by the opening sequence itself and how Dibakar is able to flip the perspective only a few minutes later. The clever choice of narrative tropes that he employs are absolutely brilliant (of course one expects that from Dibakar) and then the soundscape he unleashes makes the first 30 minutes of the film exhilarating to say the least.

After that the film slowly settles down as it moves to a place near the Nepal border where most of the remaining action unfolds. Even there the characters played by Neena Gupta and Raghuvir Yadav as well as others are so well blended into the narrative. One never really gets a sense of of dissociation. Arjun Kapoor and Parineeti Chopra are often accused of not being very good actors. They have been criticized for their acting choices. They have been ridiculed, especially after what happened to Sushant Singh Rajput with the nepotism debate touching new highs. But I have always believed that even the most average of the actors can deliver very good performances when in the hands of an accomplished director and Dibakar proves exactly that with Sandeep Aur Pinky Faraar. The chemistry between Arjun and Parineeti is really really good here. Both look very vulnerable and there are moments when they are able to lay their souls bare. This is obviously their best work since Ishaqzaade (2012). Jaideep Ahlawat also deserves a special mention for his portrayal of a corrupt cop.

Sandeep Aur Pinky Faraar is a top class noir with a panoply of interesting characters, unpredictable storyline, dark motifs with shorts bursts of humor. Dibakar directs it with a flair and frenzy that one usually associates with him thanks to the technical brilliance and cinematic mastery he is capable of exercising. But here there is also a reason to the madness. Watching it one is convinced that Dibakar is back. So don't let yourself be influenced by negative ratings and reviews. The film is now streaming on Amazon Prime Video. Watch it and decide it for yourself.

Readers, please feel free to share your opinion by leaving your comments. As always your valuable thoughts are highly appreciated!

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