Bob Biswas REVIEW: Abhishek Bachchan pulls off the many lives of Bob with an easy smile and innocence

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Director: Diya Annapurna Ghosh

Cast: Abhishek Bachchan, Chitrangada Singh

Bollywood Bubble Rating: 3 stars

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It is not uncommon for interesting characters to have a spin-off. The idea has worked well in the West for the longest time and with Naam Shabana (2017) and now Bob Biswas, we seem to be indulging it as well. In 2012’s kahaani, Sujoy Ghosh created a mysterious and thriller world with Vidya Balan in the pivotal role. Despite having limited space of about 8 minutes, Saswata Chatterjee as Bob Biswas managed to leave an impression leaving the audience curious about his journey. Diya Annapurna Ghosh, hence, gives us a glimpse into the many lives of Bob Biswas, the contract killer with the spin off, Bob Biswas, starring Abhishek Bachchan.

The two and a half hours film starts with an introduction to ‘blue’ a drug that is creating menace in Kolkata amongst students. We are then introduced to Bob who has lost his memory after waking up from coma of many years. The contract killer who shoots without remorse is now a family man with his wife (Chitrangada Singh), and two kids. Nothing he knows around him feels real to him. As he tries to unravel chapters of his life, he questions if he was really a good or a bad man? Mary, his wife, irrevocably tells him ‘he is the only good guy in her life.’ Absorbing the changes in Bob makes his ‘comrades’ wonder if he is pretending to have amnesia. What keeps the story of Bob interesting is that despite forgetting everything, his muscle memory and reflexes don’t fail him. He is yet again hired for the job and without any training, he shoots like a pro and evidently derives some sadistic pleasure while at it.

 

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Bob Biswas as a family man, a husband, a father, a contract killer, Diya explores many lives of Bob in an interestingly entangled story of curbing the illegal sale of blue and Bob finding Bob. For instance, you know he is working on instincts, when he shoots an annoying neighbour without any hesitation, the moment he finds his gun, which he loads without any formal training. While he is at it, we also see a side to Bob which is unknown. The killer who doesn’t hesitate to use his gun on anyone stumbles back on one of his assignments as better conscience grows on him. I love how Diya has not demonized the character while fully understanding that he is not someone to be glorified.

Ghosh has kept the tonality of Bob Biswas very light and intriguing. The treatment of the movie is just about dark yet compelling which doesn’t get gross or over the top. It is, in fact, funny in many parts. With Bob trying to jog his memory to him running and killing people, his unpreparedness is apparent. The music plays a central role in keeping up with the storyline. “Tu Toh Gaya Re’ really amps up the story. In stories like this, Diya reminds us how background score and music can really elevate a decent script.

 

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Abhishek Bachchan pulls off Bob Biswas like a pro. Of course, there are moments you wonder how Saswata Chatterjee would have played it, but to be able to fill in those shoes, Abhishek’s hard work is evident. From working on his diction, his mannerism to becoming 100 KGs, Abhishek Bachchan makes you notice his performance with unwavering vigour. He is as innocent as Bob as he is a sadist and the fine line to pull off a character like Bob, Abhishek has fairly done well. He looks the paSaswata Chatterjee rt and delivers what is expected of him. Of course, the pace of the movie is slow in the beginning but I believe the director intended it to be like that before Bob picks up his gun which is when the gear shifts in the story.

Chitrangada Singh as Mary is a woman of substance who single-handedly brought up her kids after Bob slipped into coma. She is a woman who loves endearingly and is stronger than she looks. Chitrangada adds a flavour of her own to Mary but there are moments where her nonchalant act seems more like ignorance. The scene where she gets back at her Boss who continues to harass her in his ways was welcomed with applause.

 

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Although, since this is a film about Bob, I wished to understand this man more. Why did he become a contract killer in the first place?

Bob Biswas streams on Zee 5 from today. Watch it for the stellar performance by Abhishek Bachchan and the entire Bob Biswas cast!

Spoiler Ahead:

The movie ends with a major hint of a next movie with Bob and Vidya face off!

Also Read: Here’s why Abhishek Bachchan thinks Bob Biswas is better than Kahaani