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Manik

Director: Prabhat Roy
Cast:
Jeet, Koel Mallick, Samata Das, Soma Dey, Debdoot Ghosh, Rajatava Datta, Shyamal Dutta, Santilal Mukherjee, Rajesh Sharma, Sagnik, Biplab Chatterjee, Ranjit Mallick

5/10

It's always a film to look forward to when it's made by Prabhat Roy, who of late hasn't been having champagne time at the box-office. But, still, we have a kind of attachment to him as a filmmaking frontrunner. And we were happy to see that Manik is a film all about attachments. No, not the kind you get in emails, either.

There's this gaiyan son, Jeet (no, not Jeetendra), of builder-promoter Ranjit's close poor friend, who comes seeking a job and because of such attachments, rather than those in his CV folder, he is employed at the construction site. Also, he is a sort of attachment to site manager Santilal so that an eye can also be kept on the corrupt fellow who is in cahoots with local mastaan Rajesh who has another villain Biplab attached above him and Sagnik below him, not to speak of that ubiquitous long-haired goon who lends his hair and biceps to every Technicians Studio product.

Ranjit's daughter, Koel, first warmly splashes gobar on Jeet at the gates of her palatial house (which also shows Ranjit's, or the art director's, aesthetic building sense), giggles playfully at his gaiyan ways, but in the course of some reels, inevitably gets attached to him and his basic goodness. Back home is Jeet's sister Samata who fits in perfectly in Prabhat Roy's patented attachment to his strong second leads in every film of his.

Manik's story is a little hackneyed, but Roy manages to knead the dough easily enough and after Saathi, this must be Jeet's most assured performance. Babul Bose's music and P.B. Chaki's cinematography serve the desired purpose, too. But the latter half has a series of subplots attached which, among other things, show Koel hanging from a rope and being lowered into a pot of boiling water by the villains (another 60s/70s touch ) ' the difference being that her writhing, under suspension and heat, makes her look like Isha Sharvani in Kisna.

One must really ask Prabhat Roy what a cop was doing in a scene clicking pictures, camera and flash attached around his neck. That was a real manik of movie making!

Anil Grover

Saner than the rest

khamoshh... khauf ki raat

Director: Deepak Tijori
Cast:
Shilpa Shetty, Juhi Chawla, Shahwar Ali

4/10

Hit by a recent barrage of terrible Bollywood thrillers, we now come upon a whodunit in Khamoshh... which at least shows a semblance of sanity. The screenplay (Adi, Bijesh Jayrajan) though makes no apology for borrowing (stealing, dear friends, is an impolite word) but assorts things cosmetically and moves at a yawn-proof pace. The themes of dual personality and childhood trauma lend some solidity to the plot of a manic serial killer striking the motley moteliers on a rainwashed night.

Juhi Chawla, a government doe, looks mature but stonily po-faced Shahwar Ali is a dud. And Shilpa Shetty, streetwalking here, suggests that with similar roles her film career will be no less precarious than tightrope walking, no matter how low her neckline drops.

Khamoshh is B-grade all right, but with its underplayed sex quotient, stops short of generating the kind of speechlessness done by some others of the same genre.

Arnab Bhattacharya

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