What is the story about?
In 2006, dreaded don Black Ronju is forced by a government-sponsored crackdown to flee Bangladesh and escape to Malaysia. Fifteen years later, he plans to return to Bangladesh. While the National Security Agency makes plans to nab him, semi-retired politician Amulya decides to enlist the help of his protege, Bastard, an assassin. As Bastard sets on his way to track down Black Ronju, and the bodies keep rising, a young police officer, Begh, pursues both of them. Will Bastard get to Black Ronju before Begh nabs them?
Watching a series, which has an uber-talented cast, an intriguing storyline, and a crackling trailer, turn out to be pedestrian, is a heartbreaking experience for any viewer. Sadly, this is the case with Contract. Directors Tanim Noor and Krishnendu Chattopadhyay decide to adapt Mohammad Nazim Uddin's eponymous novel for the web, but the screenplay, co-written with Sarder Saniat Hussain and Ayman Asib Shadhin, is an incoherent mess. The rich characterization that punctuates Nazim Uddin's work is sadly missing in the screenplay. The direction is extremely amateurish for an action-thriller, almost as if someone took out the best bits of Sacred Games, Taqdeer and Paatal Lok, and made a mashup of the remianing matter. The action sequences are poorly-done, and there are glitches in script continuity throughout. You won't believe this, but there's a shot where a key character has a bath under a running shower in an upscale hotel wearing a towel! The show flaunts a "Proudly Made In Bangladesh" tag, but it is an unmitigated disaster from start to finish.
It's a shame that the show flounders in spite of the highly-talented cast that it has. Arifin Shuvoo brings a simmering intensity to his role as the assassin Tareque or "Bastard". Chanchal Chowdhury, who last made a splash in Hoichoi's Taqdeer, is memorable here as Black Ronju. Shamol Mawla is unfortunately miscast as a no-nonsense investigator, Begh. Other actors such as Tariq Anam Khan and Rafiath Rashid Mithila are wasted in bit roles.
Music & Other Departments
Artcell's Aniket Prantor becomes the haunting refrain of this series. Ishtiaque Hussain Pablo's camerawork is alright in stationary shots, but he tends to go overboard with extreme long shots at times.
What do you single out in a series which feels itself like a step back for premium OTT dramas?
Did I enjoy it?
Do I recommend it?
Not at all.