Full movie review Hit-List (2009) Old wine in a new bottle, but watch out for the perks!
A storyline admittedly inspired by the film noirs of the ‘Dark days’ of ‘The American Dream’, one which Hollywood still cashes in with occasional presentations like ‘The Black Dahlia’ and ‘Sin City’, one is left wondering ‘What’ Mr. Ray meant by his ‘inspiration’. The film is devoid of any dark connotations associated with Film Noirs and the vague, stretched resemblances it has with the format is limited to its theme of a planned crime, retribution and the presence of a larger-than-life ‘Detective’; albeit the one played by Dhritiman Chatterjee is without the trademark dark boots, felt hat, overcoat and that oh-so-Feluda(ish) habit of smoking an unhealthy cigar(ette). But Mr. Chatterjee, at an admitted age of 63 (‘It’s actually the age of his character’, my co-watcher reminds me), does have that gait and panache to distinguish himself from the crime-solvers of our generation.
The plot of the movie is surprisingly simple, which primarily revolves around the death of the creative director of an ad agency, played by noted TV actor Subhrajit Dutta. There are other deaths as well, of course (After all, what is a Sandip Ray thriller without a few final moments?), and the movie begins with a rather Feluda-ish hangover with the murder of Subhrajit’s colleague, played by singer-turned-actor Babul Supriyo.
The acting ‘crew’ is headed impeccably by a brooding Koyel Mullick essaying a marked departure from the roles Bengali
My co-watcher points out how it’s an absolute wonder to note her improvement from the shaky days of ‘Nater Guru’. If she was good in ‘Saat Paake Bandha’, she has surpassed all expectations with her ‘Anindita Chatterjee’ act in Ray’s Hit-List. Also noteworthy is Tota Roy Choudhury in a role that is quite unlike his ‘good-guy-saving-the-day’ acts. Apart from Dhritiman, who is (let’s put it simply) great as ex-homicide cop Prabhat Chatterjee, Saheb Chatterjee brings up the rear with another unlikely character portrayed impressively. Sudipta is good, but this is definitely not one of her noteworthy performances.
If the acting is what makes the movie worth the dough, its drawbacks are pretty ‘list-able’ as well. Its Feluda-hangover at the start remains a minus point as far as Yours Truly is concerned. The plot, as a whole, is too simple at the end of the day. Admittedly the execution (Ray’s direction) of the psychological aspects of the characters in question is great, the expectations generated by his ‘film-noir’ claims dampens the experience somehow. The ending is more than predictable. Dhritiman’s act as a retired cop, even with his singular charisma, fails to convince viewers that this is ‘NOT’ an older version of our beloved Feluda.
But even so… the Ray story-telling, the believable characters, that Ray-family atmosphere over the whole film with the presence of Dhritiman and Tinnu Anand makes the movie a must-watch in its own right. After all, as my co-watcher points out, its not easy to pass up the allure of watching two Topshe’s (Siddhartha Chatterjee of Sonar Kella & Joy Baba Felunath and Saswata Chatterjee of the Feluda telefilms) of separate generations sharing screen space at the same time… especially in a Ray flick!