So I binge-watched the Bengali web series Abar Proloy. This movie is the second installment in the franchise of Proloy Universe. The original movie, Proloy, which came out a decade earlier took me by surprise. The cast, the plot, and the twist weren’t anything that I expected from a Raj Chakraborty venture, and for a long time, I refused to believe that this was the same director who only produced movies remixed from South Indian movies.
But that was a decade ago. Much has changed since then – in the political arena, the director’s personal life ( read from Mimi to Subhashree), and the medium of entertainment.
Abar Proloy, returns as the much-hyped OTT debut of the director, taking its inspiration from the original movie. It reimagines the foul-mouthed, unconventional cop Animesh Dutta, in a new adventure around woman trafficking and somehow tries to fit in with the headmaster Binod Bihari Dutta, played by the veteran Paran Bandopadhyay. And the similarity ends here.
Boasting a star-studded ensemble cast, including Saswata Chatterjee, Paran Bandyopadhyay, Ritwik, Gaurav, and Koushani, this web series promises an immersive journey into the heart of the Sundarban’s criminal underworld.
Though at times looking at the casting one might wonder if the audition was performed at the state ruling party office, but the performance covered up the favoritism, if any.
The narrative unfurls as Animesh Dutta, the special crime branch officer enters a hostage situation, and takes down 10 goons bare-handed with effortless ease. The treatment will remind you of Rohit Shetty’s supercops or the South Indian movies they draw their inspiration from.
The clues lead to an intricate woman trafficking ploy and the able officer is transferred to a small locale of Sundarban. In the path forward he encounters a deluge of characters. At the helm of the perilous world are Shambhu Baba, an enigmatic spiritual guru, and Mohini Ma running an ashram, posing as the savior of the villagers. Then there are a bunch of inefficient police officers, Kanu an ex-convict, and the Hujja gang along with other characters The mystery gets thicker when one of the village girls suddenly goes missing and a Hujja member is found dead.
What worked for me
The three teenagers in a parallel narrative are the most interesting portrayals in the series. Taking tiny steps towards crime, unraveling and navigating a complex web of love, friendship, betrayal, and jealousy – they are the true find of the series.
The director expertly portrays the lush grandeur of Sunderban’s verdant landscapes and meandering streams, adding to the immersive experience. Adding to the experience is the use of engaging dialogue, infused with regional authenticity that adds depth to character dynamics.
The acting prowess of the lead actors is the main driving force behind the crime thriller. Saswata Chatterjee’s portrayal of Animesh Dutta has swagger and confidence, perfectly capturing the aura of a supercop. Away from the serious character artist image, he aces in the high-octane action role.
As the intriguing Shombhu Baba, Ritwick Chakraborty captivates and Gaurav Chakraborty’s Kanu surprises. Sayani Ghosh as the loving sister and Sohini Sengupta as the well-meaning knitting policewoman were engaging in their roles.
Also, the pace and length of the episodes were easy on duration and eyes. The dialogues were effective.
What could have been better
The storyline. Without spilling any spoiler I just want to confess that the main plot device seemed unreal for the region. Some construction that drove the mystery in my opinion is not possible in that geographic condition.
Plus I understand there are certain levies for cinematic expression but a senior police in charge beating his fellow officers in the police station for incompetency was too far-fetched.
Also the acting of Koushani as Mohini ma stood out as a sore thumb. She neither looked nor played the role well. The character acted too naïve for a girl who grew up in the streets.
In conclusion, “Abar Proloy” may not be at par with the original movie. But, this one stands out as a study of crime, brotherhood, and intricacy in the heartland of Sundarban. With an intriguing story, excellent acting, and an immersive visual and audio experience, it is ideal for a weekend binge-watch.
This post is a part of Blogchatter Half Marathon 2023