What is the story about?
When three noted authors are murdered by poison, Inspector Sarkhel turns to a detective named Gourab Sen a.k.a. Gora for help. However, Gora is a "serial killer" specialist with a habit of forgetting names and people. With the help of his friend Sarathi and Inspector Sarkhel, can Gora nab the killer before a fourth victim is killed?
Hoichoi's detective franchises seem to have made a nice home for themselves, and between Byomkesh and Damayanti, they seem to be hellbent on creating their own version of the Goyenda Cinematic Universe. The latest entry into this burgeoning genre is Gora. Gourab Sen a.k.a Gora feels like a mishmash of obsessive-compulsive characters seen on television and web for years. Think of a mishmash of Sheldon Cooper, Adrian Monk and Mark Gatiss' Sherlock, set in Kolkata, and Gora comes to mind. To top it all, Gora is also prone to bouts of amnesia, forgetting names of people or victims he encounters.
Creator Sahana Dutta and director Sayantan Ghosal play up this aspect of Gora's nature for comedy, but the beautiful thing about the writing is that the narrative tension never flags. Gora's quirks are never allowed to become speedbreakers in what is a densely-plotted murder mystery that leaves you invested till the last episode. There is also the mystery of a sleepwalking woman, and Ghosal, a veteran of detective franchises in the past few years, ensures even that mystery is interwoven into the plot. Gora has the potential to be a cult hit like the Eken Babu franchise, but often the subsequent instalments are never as engrossing as the first. Here's hoping that's not the case.
Ritwick Chakraborty is in superb form as Gora. It's not for nothing that he's considered one of the best actors in Bengali cinema, and here he plays up Gora's eccentricities without ever diluting the impression that he has a razor-sharp and analytical mind. Suhotra Mukhopadhyay is decent as the hapless Sarathi, who withstands Gora's taunts, and both actors engage in delightful banter. Ishaa Saha has a substantial role as Somlata, a woman who sleepwalks and comes to Gora for help, and you get the feeling she will be there in subsequent seasons as well. Ananya Sen and Anuradha Roy play Gora's sister Kanka and his mother, respectively. Abhijit Guha provides some comic relief as Inspector Sarkhel. The rest of the cast is decent.
Music & Other Departments
Tuban's cinematography and Rabi Ranjan Moitra's editing are decent. Subrata Barik's art direction is very good, with Gora's house having a decadent feel about it.
Performances by Ritwick Chakraborty and Suhotra Mukhopadhyay
Sayantan Ghosal's direction
An engrossing screenplay
The Somlata arc perhaps drags on a bit more, and could have been shortened.
Did I enjoy it?
Do I recommend it?