The Lost Tribe review: Why use electric music as the backdrop in a jungle?
What is the story about?
Professor Shantanu Sen is convinced about the existence of the Ucchek tribe and he penetrates in the virgin areas of the forest to seek their homeland, study their culture, and make the rest of the world become aware of a civilisation that was left untold. Unfortunately, in the so-called civilised realm, where humans follow the ordinary fashion trends, he is considered the mad professor. After being gaslit by a few so-called intellectuals, he becomes more driven to learn about the tribe.
The cast includes Gautam Sarkar, Konad Bhattacharjee, Kuyasha Biswas, Raj Bhattacharya, Suddhasatta Choudhury. While Gautam Sarkar relies on the art of the monologue and theatrical methods to keep the web-series alive, the background score which consists of electrical music fail to sync with the drama the cast wants to bring out through its content.
There are thugs who make their presence felt more with dialogues borrowed from the goofy crime thriller, but fail to work on expressions and acting technique to develop fear in us. One of them holds a gun and explain to the research assistant Rudra that this musket has the power to take his life. A young adult such as Rudra needs to be told why to fear the gun, and how that particular musket works in order to build fear in him. For a second, I wanted to assume that this is a boy who has never been exposed to the world of television only to make the content believable. But while escaping the thugs, he relied on Rajnikanth’s method of attempting to beat all the goons himself and almost succeeded in his job.
One of the goons also takes the trouble of following him to the library. While everything is believable, it has remained slightly unbelievable how a regular thug can enter an institution which requires an annual membership.
While exploring the jungle, it is vital for viewers to audibly experience the rustling trees, the sound of the footsteps falling on the leaves, the sound of birds chirping from the corner. Instead, director Shibangshu Bhattacharjee omits the natural soundtrack and includes a tune which fails to match with the aura of the jungle.
Music and other departments
The background score which was managed by Sayan and Tito relied more on heavy studio made music, rather than capturing the audio of the said location. Not just in terms of the jungle as mentioned above, but can you imagine a library where the music is loud. In between such unsynchronised sequences of shots, we see a professor Shantanu Sen and his assistant Rudra softly studying about a tribe inside the library. There's also an establishing song which remains completely unnecessary.
The sound and film mix which was managed by Dibyendu Tota Saha also failed to sync with the plot of the narration.
Behind every successful research scholar, scientist, there’s a team of people either routing for him to fail or ploying to kill him and take away the credit of his hard work. It happened with Tesla, it had happened with Galileo. Similarly, professor Shantanu Sen too has a team of armed men waiting to take away his years of hard work.
Despite the uncountable number of cinematic flaws, it remains difficult to deny that director Shibangshu Bhattacharjee had a strong script and story in his mind. It heavily seemed to inspire from the tales of Kakababu who bravely kept his exploration alive despite physical deficiency.
The Lost Tribe easily had the potential to be better than what it was presented to be. Films which are based on exploration, scientific research need to be more grounded and natural. The addition of artificial music played a major role in destroying an otherwise tolerable cinematic experience.
Instead of shot-counter-shot, Shibhangshu relied on the 360-degree motion of the camera to introduce us to the cinematic space. He could have continued with that, because when you are exploring a jungle through the lens of another man, cinematically that gives a more pleasant experience than a shot-counter-shot method.
Did I enjoy it?
The script had a strong foundation which got lost in cinema.
Do I recommend it?
Only if the director decides to re-work on the sound.