Review: Nirbaak (2015) – Bengali – Srijit Mukherji


Amidst constant hindrances, I was finally able to watch Nirbaak at the Mitra Cinema Hall, here in Kolkata. Nirbaak is a one of its kind Bengali film, by Srijit Mukherji. I was overflowed with the amount of interest I had for watching this movie. Partly because, I watched all the previous movies by Srijit before and found each of them kind of different and belonging to a different class of its own within the Bengali film space. Otherwise because, Nirbaak, particularly, at least from the trailer, seemed to be the most weird and different movie by Srijit so far. So there was that overpowering intention to watch it as soon as possible — and it made me inexplicably glad in the end.

First of all, take a look at the trailer:

Now that you have a basic idea of what the film might be like, let’s proceed.

Nirbaak (literally: Speechless) deals with love and emotions between people and living or non-living beings who can’t speak in a traditional way. The film is made up of  four underlying sub-plots that are linked together by a single character of a woman (Sushmita Sen).

We saw emotions towards a non-living object by a human depicted in Ritwik Ghatak’s legendary Ajantrik. Nirbaak, however, is entirely in a different league. It’s not just an accumulation of ordinary everyday emotions that we’re used to seeing between people, but the true, core essence of love.

The concept is pretty abstract. The script too solid. So, the actors were needed to match the script with their respective performances. To say that the cast justified the script would be an understatement. I got a feeling that no one else apart from the actors who were actually cast (including the female dog, not calling it a ‘bitch’ being intentional) could portray the characters that well.

Anjan Dutt, Sushmita Sen, the female dog, Ritwick Chakraborty – all of them were exceptional. Especially, I’m a bit curious as to how the director pulled such great, natural, touching acting out of the female dog! As always, Ritwick Chakraborty looked effortless in his acting. I mean, with him, it doesn’t look like he’s acting, it feels like he just naturally behaves in different ways depending on the film.

Kudos to the cinematography as well. It was world class and gave an entirely new dimension to the film whenever the tree’s and the dog’s perspectives were shown. Same with the background score by Neel Dutt.

I was also amazed by the amount of details Srijit Mukherji probably obsessed over. Especially the dog’s vision being shown as monochromatic. It’s a pleasure to watch and brings tears in the eyes of a genuine movies lover. 🙂

Srijit’s movies, generally speaking, give your intellect some roaming space. But still, there usually are quite a few crowd-pleasing elements that somewhat negatively impact the feel of the otherwise good movies, at least for me. Not any more. Nirbaak isn’t for everyone, nor will everyone understand it (let alone enjoy), but for my part, it left me speechless, and I’m sure there are many more people like me.

Rating: 4.5/5 (I wouldn’t wanna rate this in the first place, hence this tiny section at the bottom. This movie is an outcome of sheer brilliance. Definitely Oscar-grade stuff.)