There’s a certain element of fear Sin Sister tries to develop in its establishing shots, it can only happen if you are a novice at the art of watching films. There are flashes of shots, leading to the parameter that something (a murder mainly) happened here, but this is 2020, where even if a story begins with murder you wouldn’t be too curious to find out why and how because by now you know that that’s what the film is all about. Murder. Solve crime. Closure.
Various directors have tried to bring in to the Bengali cinema what Roman Polanski and Alfred Hitchcock brought in Hollywood back in the Classical Hollywood period. Thrillers are something that has been tried, tested and tasted so often that the last Indian thriller managed to keep you on your toes was probably Sri Ram Raghavan’s Andhadhun starring Ayushmann Khurrana, Radhika Apte and Tabu. The last time, a Hoichoi thriller kept us on our toes was Aaste Ladies, but that mainly pricked our conscious about the safety of the ladies, when they are in a room full of perverted men, waiting to grab their breast and sexually exploit them. While many thought of it as a thrilling moment, it was probably our humane side which woke up especially amongst the rising tension in the nation.
It begins with the death of a woman. Following the natural way of the world, the spouse immediately becomes the first suspect. the police questions the suspect but due to various reasons that screenplay appears to be unconvincing. Instead of questions the suspect inside the four walls of a police room, they question him at the construction site. 20 feet above from the destination where the murder/suicide supposedly took place. You feel unconvinced about the plot mainly because the police approach him like a friend, only this friend remains stern. The plot does not maintain linearity but that isn’t a big disappointment. After a certain point in time, you are able to adjust to the frequent shift in timing. There’s an unwanted sexual approach but you get confused between if you can still call it a feminist move where a woman remains more sexually available for a man. The man who was initially unwilling to take the offer ultimately gives in to the pleasure. Perhaps if the man-made such a move, the hypocrite in us would immediately see the man as the pervert and woman as the weak one who gives in to the beck and call of the abuser.
While on Zee5’s Judgement Day, we have a story on two siblings fighting to avenge each other, in Hoichoi we have one sister fighting over an author lover. The contrast is hardly unmissable.
The cast which includes Debolina Dutta, Tathagata Mukherjee, Rupankar Bagchi, Tuhina Das, Madhumita Gupta, Preetam Ganguly, Vivaan Ghosh, and Ashima Chakraborty have given their maximum effort to keep the script but there’s nothing more they can do if they are not served with the right kind of script. They try to keep the script alive but there’s a sound in the backdrop which fails to sync with the aesthetic aspects of the film. Everything thereby looks dramatised. You are able to notice the effort of the actors only after a patient amount of observation. Else, the script simply manages to overthrow an otherwise powerful ensemble.
Sometimes the best of thrillers can be told in a complete moment of silence. For example, when you read a script you do not necessarily visualise the script with a piece of background music. Apart from the descriptions such as the sound of car wheels, water tap, you do not hear any other kind of echo. So why unnecessarily add audio-only to ruin an otherwise wisely approved dramatic moment.