There have been a number of shows and movies based on the lives of serial killers but the conscience of Bob makes him unique. The character can be compared to that of Stevenson’s Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde but more accurately to that of Joe Goldberg from ‘You’ (2020). The story revolves around an ordinary man who works at a life insurance company, has a family and maintains good relationships with people around him if looked at from the superficial level. On digging deeper there is a dark side to him which is a complete contrast to his personality. He is a cold-blooded murderer who works as a contract killer for government agencies or any underworld mafias. Not only this he is a living paradox struggling between eliminating evil and being good, free of sins at the cost of his conscience.
Helmed by Diya Annapurna Ghosh, the movie is a sequel to ‘Kahaani’ (2012) and is based on the life of the famous character of Bob Biswas played by Saswata Chatterjee. Eight years ago, he suffered from a severe accident and has been in a coma since then. Recently he recovered and has suffered a memory loss. He doesn’t even remember the family he had and tries to figure out things from the past in every step. Apprehensions were made that he might not have forgotten even a thing for real but he certainly does.
Abhishek Bachchan plays the role of Bob and fits exceptionally well in the character. He has maintained a blank expression throughout and broke all stereotypes of a killer’s physique and personality. He doesn’t have abs or a charismatic approach and is too bland to be one if compared to the characters we have witnessed in mainstream cinema till now. However, this is what makes the character unique.
Abhishek is paired opposite to Chitrangada Singh who plays the role of his wife. It’s hard to say whether Abhishek is way ahead to match or if she was not comfortable enough in the role. She seemed a little off throughout maybe because of the fact that the costume and look don’t fit the character’s personality.
As the subplots unfold, we get to feel how crime is linked with every character of the film. A number of times one would feel that this would have been better as a series given the slow plot development. The murders feel peaceful as if it is no big deal while Bob constantly feels guilty and questions if he is a good man. Murder is his instinct because a man who could hardly remember his name remembers to assemble a gun perfectly well. How is it even possible? Does he keep pretending till the very end? Also, how does he know that something is hidden in that grave? For a man who is concerned if he is good enough as a human, strangling a rabbit traumatizing a kid is something unexpected.
The movie is a platter full of everything that makes a vague output when placed together. One would wait for that rush of emotions and find none. Drawing a parallel from ‘You’ (2020), Joe also murders people in cold blood so casually that he could reply to a message while hiding the body over a span of three seasons but every murder would bring a chill down the spine. Bob Biswas doesn’t give any chills.
The excitement that the trailer created had nothing in the movie. The soundtrack too is nothing extraordinary. One would expect a lot from the trailer but even when Abhishek performs too well and breaks stereotypes, the film couldn’t leave a mark. As a debut director, Diya has put in efforts but it is not supported by a strong storyline and many other factors altogether.
‘Bob Biswas’ is currently streaming on Zee5.