Director: Debaloy Bhattacharya
Forged: Anirban Bhattacharya, Mimi Chakraborty, Bidipta Chakraborty, Rudranil Ghosh
A naxal youth is being led by the police on a wintry morning in a area. It’s 1971 Calcutta. We hear a gunshot. Within the subsequent scene, we’re in current day Kolkata. A person (Anirban Bhattacharya) is making an omelette for dinner as his landlord yells at him from the opposite aspect of the wall—he doesn’t pay his hire on time. He wears a morose look.
That man—his identify is Raktim, which signifies the color of blood—is a college trainer. He covers his mouth whereas talking lest it reveals his pair of fangs. However as an alternative of fearing him, he’s made enjoyable of, handled like a freak. One in every of his college students go and write on the blackboard the title of the movie, Dracula Sir. It’s a great begin, filled with potentialities. However most Bengali movies as of late begin with probably good concepts and doesn’t take them anyplace, and Dracula Sir, directed by Debaloy Bhattacharya, isn’t any exception.
It’s as if the makers got here up with the concept of connecting the Naxal motion and a Vampire story and tried to work backwards, however couldn’t discover a inventive approach to do it. It’s a noble thought on the makers’ half to root a horror movie right into a social reality of Bengal—according to the sort of movies being made at present within the style. However the movie is excited by utilizing the Naxal motion solely as a backdrop with out actually diving deep into what nice social injustice it needs to throw mild on—Raktim is a saviour to his landlord’s spouse, performed by Bidipta Chakraborty, and in one other parallel observe set up to now, Mimi Chakraborty, who’s stumble on by a neighborhood drunk, performed by Rudranil Ghosh. I misplaced depend of the variety of instances Nabarun Bhattacharya’s ‘Ei Mrityu Upatyaka Amar Desh Noy’ is iterated.
Like every part else within the movie, that is used cosmetically, to return throughout as intellectually severe. Dracula Sir doesn’t have the intent, or the power, to critique the current day politics of the nation. There’s a token reference of a Vidyasagar statue being desecrated in Kolkata, an actual incident that was allegedly executed by a proper wing outfit final 12 months, however nothing comes of it. Characters say issues like ‘the best love letters have been written from the trenches’. A cop shouts at a Naxal sympathiser ‘You guys assume Tagore is a bourgeois poet’. There observe that performs out between Bhattacharya and his Rabindrik ex-lover Manjari (Mimi Chakraborty) that’s fairly frankly very boring. The movie retains throwing biplobi cliches and hopes to disguise its lack of coherence. All we wish go right into a film known as Dracula Sir is within the hope that we’re instructed a great story, clearly and easily. However Dracula Sir doesn’t even get the fundamentals proper in that regard.
Neither is it in a position to serve one thing enjoyable. You solely see glimpses of that sort of trashy pleasure: if you see a replica of a Bangla pulp novel of a scholar within the class Raktim teaches in, or blood spurting out like when Raktim bites his landlord and makes his first kill. I used to be disillusioned, as a result of I like watching Bhattacharya on display (he’s unable to rise above the script), I’ve a passion for the style and I appreciated the way in which the movie begins.
However disappointment turns into gentle irritation when the movie begins glossing over the shortcomings within the screenplay with music video like passages, the place maudlin songs play over visuals of Bhattacharya and Chakraborty in slo-mo. We begin getting moments which might be there only for impact, like him dancing with snowflakes flying round him, or operating over a flyover at evening like Joker in The Darkish Knight. There are a number of photographs of Raktim drowning his face in a bucket of water like Dev D. I’m no large fan of realism in cinema, however this stuff must work in line with the interior logic of a movie’s world.
Vampire lore is assorted and lots of. It’s completely different in several components of the world. There’s a collection known as The Strain, co-created by Guillermo del Toro, that locates vampire delusion within the Nazi dominated Poland within the 1930s and connects it to a present-day pandemic in New York. The latest Netflix movie, Bulbbul, imagined a Churail origin story within the oppression of ladies in late 19th century Bengal.
The makers of Dracula Sir attempt to discover it in Calcutta within the Naxal days. However it shies away from the supernatural phenomenon it promised us firstly. The reason in the long run looks like a betrayal.