Biye Bibhrat(Bengali, now showing in theatres)
Rating: ** ½
If we look at the filmography of the two lead actors of this charming innocuous romantic comedy, both Abir Chatterjee and Parambrata Chattopaddhyay have been an integral part of many dark life-like films where the hero has to find his way out of complex situations in life.
In Biye Bibhrat both the talented actors put their feet up and let their hair down. Luckily for them , and us, the endresult is….well, not quite the memorable work you would expect when two such heavyweight actors come together ,but not a disappointment either.
The film echoes Basu Chatterjee’s Chotisi Baat and Sai Paranjype’s Katha, though not quite grabbing the core blitheness of either. Abir is cast as Shakyajit, a social influencer and quite popular with the young.Parambrata is Chandramouli a nerdy musical teacher. They both love the same girl , like Sunil Dutt and Kishore Kumar in Padosan.
One expected more of the two together , more of the bromance than the love triangle.
But like Hrishikesh Mukherjee’s Chupke Chupke where Dharmendra and Amitabh Bachcha were hardly seen together, Parambrata and Abir are tangential in their togetherness. Both woo the pretty if unremarkable Lahoma Bhattacharjee who plays Mohor and whose screen-father looks and behaves like Utpal Dutt.
Strangely Mohor’s two suitors never ask her what she really wants or rather, whom she really wants.
There are references to Sanjay Bhansali’s Hum…Dil De Chuke Sanam and Karan Johar’s Kal Ho Na Ho. This is to say, the film is not apologetic about its lack of originality. Biye Bibhrat is like healthy junkfood. It is not harmful in any way, but not gainful either. Among the two lead actors, Abir Chatterjee is more natural. Parambrata strains too hard to appear nerdy.
A highlight of this airy fluffy feelgood romcom is the semi-classical music by Ranajoy Bhattacharjee.
It is interesting, though not in a positive way, that mainstream Bengali cinema seems to be leaning more towards Bollywood for inspiration.The really original directors seem to have lost their voices. In Biye Bibhrat director Raja Chanda seems to constantly tilt his hat to Bollywood cinema even while delivering a film that is Bengali in its affinity to the culture of elegance and decency in the love triangle.