Chander Pahar Movie Review : Ambitious But Flawed

Chnader 4I stagger out of the darkened theatre as soon as the credits begin to roll, and head for the coffee bar. Only when the steaming coffee drops from my numb fingers onto my clothes do I wake up from my near-catatonia and realize that the worst is behind me. I have survived two and a half hours of Dev outrunning lions, elephants, common sense and some weird-looking boss villain called the Bunyip. I am free.

CHANDER PAHAR may very well be the best film Dev has ever acted in, by quite a margin. The fact that it is still a rather boring, uninspiring mess is a testament to the generally poor quality of his previous work. Burdened here with the knowledge that he’s the sole lead and USP of the costliest film ever made in the Tollywood film industry (at a princely sum of Rs 15 crore, which must be roughly Aamir Khan’s signing fee for Dhoom 3) and has no heroines to dance in waterfalls with or rescue from aerodynamically optimized villains, Dev pulls out all the stops and makes a sincere effort to do a Bullock or Franco and carry a movie off on his own personal charisma. Unfortunately, he forgets that he doesn’t have any.

Director Kamaleshwar Mukherjee, fresh off the stunning triumph of his fever-dream Ritwik Ghatak biopic MEGHE DHAKA TARA, bites off more than he can chew here. The fault is not his alone. CHANDER PAHAR was to set a new high-water mark for Bengali cinema, a swashbuckling, gorgeously shot, lavish adventure movie in the tradition of Romancing the Stone or Raiders of the Lost Ark. However, in the setting of a new precedent, the film falters because of the lack of chemistry between its two leads Shankar (Dev) and Portuguese explorer/treasure-hunter Diego Alvarez (Gerard Rudolf), and because the film never tries to incite our emotional involvement in the story. You can throw in as many aerial shots of the African steppes as you want to, but until the audience cares about the journey of your protagonists, the film will not work. Bibhutibhushan Bandopadhyay could assume that in 1937 (when his book CHANDER PAHAR was released), the very premise of a Bengali boy fighting lions and volcanoes in Africa would be enough to entice people into reading his book, but by making the same assumption about his movie now in the post-Peter Jackson era, where Bear Grylls eats scorpions and makes mockery of the most inhospitable regions on Earth every week for our viewing pleasure, Kamaleshwar goes very, very wrong. The novelty is long gone.

Chander1

All this just increases the pressure on Dev to deliver, but despite his best efforts, he is unable to do so. He displays enormous nerve in executing his own stunts with the lions and the black mamba, but it is in the mellower moments where his connection with Diego is explored that he fails to grab our attention or sympathy. Rather than playing a swashbuckling maverick adventurer, he plays Shankar as an irritatingly earnest, good-boy bookworm with barely a smidge of humor. Kamaleshwar realizes early enough that this boat was at risk of capsizing, so all throughout the first half, he throws in the edits fast and heavy and concentrates more on the setting than on his characters, and in the second half, tells the makeup department to cover Dev’s face with a bushy beard and yellowed rotting teeth and asks his star to scream and lumber around. Unfortunately, this ends up looking comical rather than horrifying, which was the original intention. It also does not help that Dev’s co-stars can speak neither English nor Bengali intelligibly and the profusion of indecipherable South American and pidgin accents make the job of following the finer points of the story even more difficult.

Chnader 3

Technically, the film cannot be faulted much. Soumik Haldar’s camera captures the  wilderness of South Africa in all its pristine glory, the hawks, the lions, the mountains are rendered in beautiful detail. But where things really get going is the production design. Every detail of early 1900s Bengal and Uganda is captured wonderfully, from Shankar’s ancestral home to his station-master’s office in Africa. Indraadip Das Gupta’s rousing, primal soundtrack is also perfectly in tune with the movie’s tone and feel.

Watch this movie only if you love Dev and the Discovery Channel. Otherwise, I’m sure there’s a more entertaining rerun of The Mummy on TV.

Rating: – 4/10

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91 thoughts on “Chander Pahar Movie Review : Ambitious But Flawed

  1. wow…seriously? you are comparing a decent adventure saga made for a small scale industry with production value of LOTR series? each having nearly 50 times higher budget?
    Dev is not a good actor bur his mass appeal is undeniable…casting him was a smart choice if not the best choice…they need to recover the 15crores.
    this movie is more than a adventure movie with biggest budger till date…this is a trendsetter…so that producers and directors will now dare to go beyond their comfort zones. Atleast they made the young generation who knows only harry potter or twilight will become aware of Bibhutibhusan…and such a movie…even an “half decent” attempt should be commended…not criticized for petty shortcomings.
    I can tell atleast that, it is a biggining of a new genre of bengali movies…an uncharted territory. I wish all thr best to this film…if it becomes a hit then many other films like prof shonku etc will become a reality in coming days.

    • That’s the thing, the production values are not what I missed here. The look and feel of the film wowed me; I did not expect it from a Bengali movie. What I missed was good writing and good acting. What makes Sonar Kella a much better adventure movie than this? Because I cared about those people on the screen.

      I’m not comparing it to LOTR. I’m saying that it is difficult to entertain an audience with lion-fighting (and not Gladiator-type lionfighting at that) once they’ve seen Mordor. So an intelligent director should try to look for other ways to bring in the novelty, not spend 15 crores on cliched helicopter shots.

      Btw, I do not believe in the argument, “Look at what they did with what they have.” If a film looks dated when it is released, let alone five years later, something went wrong. Also, if you don’t have the resources to pull something off, then wait until you do. Spielberg, Jackson, Zemeckis, Cuaron, Lucas, Lasseter, they all worked for years to help develop the technology they would need before making their dream movies.

  2. I cried during the movie -twice. Once, when Dev covers himself in blood as a bait for the lion and again, when he takes on Bunip.
    Two days hence, I have still have nightmares about how the film carelessly slaughtered one of my all time favorite books.

    • The Bunyip-killing scene looked adorably like a scene from The Predator. 😀

      The thing about making a film adaptation of a book, even a legendary one, is that you have to take necessary artistic liberties to make sure your film works in and of itself as an artistic creation. I felt that in trying to remain true to the word, but not the spirit, of the book, the makers made a mess of it. Bibhutibhushan went to the limits of what was thought possible then… Kamaleshwar should have explored the limits of what is possible now. As cultural consumers, we have grown used to far more daring fare than this. And you will inevitably be compared to the best in the business.

      In my review too, I maintain that the filmmakers tried their best. But if your best doesn’t hold up, it seems futile to applaud mediocrity just because it is better than garbage.

  3. “Dev pulls out all the stops and makes a sincere effort to do a Bullock or Franco and carry a movie off on his own personal charisma. Unfortunately, he forgets that he doesn’t have any.” Brilliant. Couldn’t have said it better myself.

  4. we r judging dev on da basis of da earlier films dt he has acted in……bt we must nt forget dat we have appreciated many actors’ work after dey had acted in breathtaking muvis…….for example Amitabh Bachan,Nawazuddin Siddique,Saif Ali Khan,Kareena kapoor,Deepika padukone,Hrithik Roshan & even Prosenjit Chatterjee…….so instead of criticizing him so much we shud appreciate dev for watevr he did in dis muvi……

  5. korte hoe.. but amra bangalira nijerai nijeder pechone jokhn jake pari bas di.
    Chander Pahar amio dekhe elam.
    ar golper boi ta amio porechi.
    Kichu manus er otyadhik nekamo thake..
    tarai sara rat kade.. boli jodi eto jokhn fultusi tumi.. baritei dorja bondho kore thako.
    R j review ta likheche.. srcly ajonma Dev hater o.
    Srcly dev ei movie tay onyovabe abirvuto hoeche.
    First time tollywood e keu sahos kore egie eseche…but tomader moton kichu oadvut antel lok er pallay pore eder utsaho nosto hoe jabe…

    • The director is brave enough. Kudos to him. He tried to make Lion, Cheetah, Snake & Dev act.

      He succeeded with the first four. Congrats.

  6. Brilliant film..superb camera work and good acting by everyone. Tremendous effort put in by Dev and entire crew, It’s a must watch…Such bull sheet reviews are really demotivating….Hat’s off to Bangla Cinema..It’s delightful to see a bengali film giving a serious competition to multi starrer Dhoom 3 (at least in Bengal)..Keep it Up tollywood..

  7. Perhaps you are sadist enough to comment like this. Simply unacceptable rating is only your view. My rating would be at least 9/10. You have no skill to rate movies. This movie is a trend setter and a commendable effort. Mathe neme khelo Bhai -kore dekhano. – onek hoyecche.

  8. Review is written by an idiot who has no sense or respect for Bengali language. While reading the review I realized this bum does not know his bearings nor his literature. It’s a pity why he is a critic and who has made him one

  9. How can a movie be so bad, after being technically so good. I haven’t seen the movie, but at least I don’t think the review is honest or makes any sense. What does this reviewer feel about ‘2001: A space Odyssey’ which I felt was not made by a human being, but a robot and yet garnered lot of praise

  10. Karo kharap lagle se nije kore dakhak, thanda ghor e bose ‘kharap’ bola ta khub soja, sobai kei bola jai i6a hole. Sachin k theke dev- jaake khusi attack kora jai bt prblm etai j oi level r effort ta attain korar khmta amadr nei.Tai kharap bola ta jst out of frustration.

  11. Bola khub soja j valo hoini.. Tahole to parar j kono foka 6okrai sachin sourav hoe jbe. Dev jeta kore6e seta korbr aukad to karo nei,a6e sdhu thanda ghore bose chokhe chosma ete vulval khut dhorar credit. R ha k6u neka ‘mamoni’ ra,tmadr vlo na lagar i kotha,tmadr etoi jokhn drkr nei ei cnema ta dkhar,tmra bed e bose teddy bear niye khelo,,,

  12. Dev jeta kore6e seta korbr aukad to karo nei,a6e sdhu thanda ghore bose chokhe chosma ete vulval khut dhorar credit. R ha k6u neka ‘mamoni’ ra,tmadr vlo na lagar i kotha,tmadr etoi jokhn drkr nei ei cnema ta dkhar,tmra bed e bose teddy bear niye khelo,,,

  13. Congrat’s, you win the worst critic ever award. When whole of the industry is praising the movie,you are doing the opposite. I suggest you don’t watch movies anymore,it is for the betterment of bengalis. And if you think that reviewing it poorly would make people reject it in the theatres then please check the huge box office figures of Chander Pahar.

    • Okay, here’s my acceptance speech. Thank you so much. I owe it all to Somak who told me that I suck sweaty donkey balls as a film critic and that I shouldn’t do it anymore. I dedicate this Golden Kela award to my best friend Somak. 🙂

      That said, the point of us film critics is not to rubbish big-budget average fare and put a dent in their earnings (I do not wield such influence, unfortunately), but to champion the new, the underrated and the unseen. I appreciate the fact that an enormous amount of work goes into the making of even a short film, let alone a full-length one and it hurts when a good film made with heart is bypassed for ludicrous popcorn fluff. The point of a review, especially a negative one, is to inform the readers that there are better options around and that to contribute in the effort to make cinema the new “opiate of the masses” is irresponsible and wrong.

      I wish Chander Pahar had been a better film. I wish to God it had been. If this film leads to great films being made in Tollywood, fantastic! I have no enmity with the makers of this film. But cinema, as part of popular culture, and reflects society. By upholding bad films with the “we should appreciate this, at least” dictum, we are upholding mediocrity as acceptable. Even welcomed.

      • Souradeep – I’m facing some basic problems in reconciling your review with the one by Anjan Dutta

        ” I was weary of the commercial star till the film started, but through the viewing was convinced that no one else could have played Shankar. Dev brings to Shankar what Daniel Craig (my best Bond) brings to Bond. Both have a certain suburban, boyish charm yet their headstrong brawniness makes their characters edgy, lovable and believable. Like Craig, Dev combines sheer strength with utter vulnerability that works magic.”

        Before I saw the film I was unsure of who to believe? Well – sorry to say that after I watched the film I am heartly in agreement with Anjan and will go to see the movie again. I really wonder what is your yardstick in deciding who is truly an actor and who is not?

    • I would have, but Saajan Ghar AA Jao and Rakhwala are beyond my meager abilities to comprehend.

      Merry Christmas to you.

  14. Though 95 % of the remarks against the review has already portrayed my own thoughts..as a sincere Bengali, I felt this to be my duty to write against the comments made by the reviewer here.
    1) Director and the entire crew should be praised just for the effort and courage they have taken, rest aside the output. If we do not support our own efforts, how do we expect improvements of standards in future ?
    2) Just hate one actor, and write everything negative in whichever act he performs- this mentality doesn’t allow anyone to be an unbiased Critic.
    3) Comparing this movie with all-time greats like “Born Free” or even discovery channels- in itself shows the effect this movie has made.
    4) “Watch this movie only if you love Dev and the Discovery Channel. Otherwise, I’m sure there’s a more entertaining rerun of The Mummy on TV.” – Comparing Chander Pahar with Mummy’s !!! can be done only by obnoxious immature like this critic.

    • :3
      Okay. I do praise the director and his crew for the effort they have made. But if the finished product sucks, it sucks. There’s no way around it.

      Also, while it is true that I am not a Dev fan, the reason I am being harsh to him here is because this film is completely a showcase for him. He’s in every frame of it, the story is all about his journey and the film succeeds or fails on his shoulders. I do accept that he has made a huge effort, but people don’t become good actors overnight, you know. Years of work goes into it.

      • Also, did you see his gym and steroid induced biceps? Yeah, it’s totally believable that a poor boy from small town Bengal (and a book nerd at that) in the 30s would have a body like that. I guess the director thought it was good enough that this was a big budget flick based on a very well loved book. And it worked too. So disappointed with the audiences 😦

    • sourav you are an idiot….i have watched chader pahar it was awsme it can be compared to hollywood movies.. and i am proud to be bengali.. ajke south er film ato agie jawar karon hocche okhankar manusher support…oder story te na kono mane thke na actor der dffrenciate kora jai… ajke theke amra jodi .. bangla cinema ke support kori tobe ekdin bangla cinema nischoi hindi o onano internatinal cinema ke bit kore debe nischoi.. amar bisas ache..

    • as a sincere bengali you should have better insight and judgment and know that it’s not good enough to adapt a novel only superficially into its film version, but stay true to the spirit of the story and the characters. in that field, dear sensitive and misled friend, the director has failed us and the writer.

  15. Sorry, but you got it all wrong. The movie was fantastic. It had its share of flaws, but definitely not the ones you’ve written of here. Dev looked comical in the desert? Alvarez and Shankar had no chemistry? Dude, you musta seen a different movie.

  16. Movie was great! Sure, some flaws were there. But answer just 1 question folks. Is “Slumdog Millionaire” a first-class film? One that you can be proud of? I watched a movie 12 years ago in theatres – Lagaan and yesterday I watched Chander Pahar. In between, I watched all movies in pirated versions. None interested me. And I am a great Dev-hater. Only the story by Bibhutibhushan Bandopaddhay pulled me to the theatres apart from the superb trailer.

    Bengalis should be proud of the fact that even if this is not a ‘Sonar Kella’ or “Gladiator’ or ‘Lagaan’, it is reflective of the fact that Bengalis are coming out of the nyaka art-house type films of affairs and antlami. In a 15 cr film, they have shown awesome cinematography, camerawork and better acting. Even Dev acted so well during the last half hour.

    Celebrate and encourage change. Only then we can produce films like “Shutter Island” or “Gladiator” in Bengal one day – even if 50 or 100 years later.

    • I completely agree with you, I was a hater of Dev, but his performance has shocked me and proved me wrong about him. Movies like Chander Pahar should be encouraged and not pointed out it’s flaws. It’s a pathbreaker in bengali movies and will be remembered for many years similarly as people still remember Sonar Kella, Gupi Bagha, Golpo Hoelo Sotti or Meghe Dhaka Tara. The future generation will tell their children the story of Chander Pahar by The Great Bibhutibhushan and will tell them to watch the film.

  17. Ekta movie te mainly 3 te jinis thake…
    1. Story
    2. Characters
    3. Speaker..

    we preferred to deal with first two but most of the people now thinking that what is the term ‘speaker’ … its something which tell us the story… and basically it is the interface from whom we know the entire story..
    in some movie, it started as background voice of amitabh bachhan or nasiruddin… or in some movie it started some is rendering the memory of two couple… watever… that speaker actually is the Cream Role of the movie… he is the main Artist… more than a villein or a Actor or actress…

    one more thing, i have seen in some review people are telling about production cost and comparing the movie with some foreign directors etc..etc.. for them i wanna give one example as ‘satyajit roy’ … tellme how much budget he spent to make a miracle movie like ‘sonar kella’ or ‘joy baba felunath’ … hardly 1Cr. but still 100 Cr. or more people have watched the movie more than single time… so its not the ultimate parameter to judge something… for an artist budget is like a stove, he shouldn’t matter how costly is the stove, rather than having great talent to make some delicious foods.. Art depend only on the simple capability of an Artist… not on the equipment he used to make that art…

    Point 1 :
    So, what i think, the movie itself is lacking some basic logic to execute one movie.
    obviously the director was having an outstanding story to make a movie… but even one great story can be remain folded if you don’t have ability to unfold it with art…
    and to do that one artist should have some tools.. like Characters or Speakers…
    in that sense, when you are trying to do that only with the characters itself.. its a huge risk… i have never read any ADVENTURE stories since birth where the character itself is telling the story… ‘Twenty thousand leagues under the sea’ … or ‘The Journey to the center of the Earth’ are some marvels from great Jule vern, and when someone try to tell those story in a movie by character itself… all those movie fallen up very badly…
    This logic is very much applicable when you are trying to tell a story what i already know…. in that sense your Art of telling that story should be much more in a fantastic way other than investing a huge amount of money to justify the ambiance…
    so,
    ‘ITS LACKING THE ART OF TELLING THE MAIN STORY’

    Point 2 :
    when you are about to tell the weight and density of a character, you have to create the character because its a huge focus point in a adventure movie… emotions, behavior, attitude and personality (4) are more important than appearance, apparel or over acting.. if 5’5″ Amir khan can be a thief and chasing by 6’2″ Abhishek Bachhan then i don’t think upto a certain level looks doesn’t matter… its only those 4 things which is important to create a character… This movie not only lacking this main logic but also creating unfortunate pressure on the leading role as i have given the cause in Point 1.
    so,
    ITS LACKING MATCHING CHARACTER OR LACK OF PERSONALITIES

    Point 3:
    Finally, suppose if i am telling one adventure movie, the main central part of the movie should be the ‘ADVENTURE’ keyword… and people also going to the movie hall to enjoy that. but to create those adventure you need one PROBLEM or one CRISIS. if going to the Mountain of Moon is so easy by killing ‘Bunip’ then people wouldn’t read even the story itself written by Great Bibhutibhusan…
    how can you kill that CRISIS just to create a Hero… we are not want to watch a Bengal Superman or Krish here.. killing the main FEAR of the adventure is actually killing the Adventure itself.. and one journey should not call as Adventure until and unless there are some Rare and undefeated Crisis…
    I remember i have been wondered till by last breath while reading the book for the first time about Jim Carter… not for Shankar… becasue those people died with honour.. basically that concept is actually bottled out the last wicket of the game…and how come someone can show the most dangerous and 2nd venomous snake in the world discovered in such a tricky and careless way…? Director saheb, its not Paglu, Shankar is not a Hero in the movie, rather he is the Villein who had gone to Rickterveld to own all hidden treasures of the Hero ‘Bunip’.. i think u forget this totally… or didn’t understand…
    So,
    ITS LACKING OF ADVENTURE… AND BALANCE

    i hearty invite most awesome people to comment on my review. thanks to all.

    • seems you have so many knowledge.. but hope also knwo that Arts cannot certain rules or codes. What you said i agreed. you went there and came up with so many negetivity.
      look when your brain is carring huge amount of filmy knowledge why dont you make your own film..

      • 😛 brother… i don’t have any filmy knowledge… neither i am an actor…
        i agree your statement that ‘Arts cannot certain rules or codes’ … yes u r absolutely right… there is a phenomena like ‘Sense of Art’ …
        giving u a simple example… anyone can sing but why people bother about great singers… ? not u or not me.. not anyone who sing in bathroom or street… ?
        because that sense of singing is an art.. Rules codes are just a tool.. that may change generation to generation.. but that sense you can’t change…
        and that sense i dont have neither( i dont know who r u :P) you have… but Ustad Rahat Fateh Ali khan.. yes he has…. 🙂 .. this is why we like to listen to his melodious songs..

        Art cannot certain rules or codes but when you are try to create a character ‘shankar’ what has been already created by the novelist… and you are just an imposer to impose that in you to create that personality.. you cant do anything other than what the character needs…YES.. in this case you are bound to some rules and codes…

        and finally thanks for promoting and suggesting me to make a film.. thanks for your great feedback.. :merry Christmas 🙂

  18. First of all.. this is a film review, not an effort review. While the effort of the entire crew has indeed been commendable, it is also a fact that the film itself is mediocre at best. I don’t know about the comments which categorize the reviewer as a Dev hater since I have not read any other review of his, but as an actor Dev sucks.. period. Everyone showed a lot of courage, the movie is a trendsetter that’s all well and good. But we cannot say that this movie is one of the all time greatest.
    I think the reviewer has accurately pointed out the strong facets of this movie, which are cinematography and production design. But the acting (barring a few like Alvarez) and script writing are definitely sub par. The fact that this has been Dev’s closest attempt of real acting till date only shows his inabilities as an actor.
    Again, while the effort and courage of the entire crew is appreciable, as a movie Chander Pahar is nowhere close to being great.
    And to the person comparing this movie to 2001: A Space Odyssey, you need to take a break 🙂 These are two completely different genres and comparing them is like comparing apples and oranges.

    • THANK YOU! Someone finally got what I was trying to say. This review was never meant as a put-down. I wanted this movie to be great. In the past, I have changed my view about actors who I thought were awful but turned out to be pretty good, like Emraan Hashmi, Shia LaBeaouf, etc. Dev did make an effort, a huge one, I’m sure, for this film. I hope he gets better with each film. When he makes a truly great movie, I’ll be one of those people lining up for his autograph.

      But he’s just not there yet. I’m sorry, but there it is.

  19. Only place that can treat the stupid self-claimed ‘antel’ critics is Bangur Institute Of Neurology and PSYCHIATRY.. Plz dont distrb them,they need counselling in regular basis..

  20. I have seen the movie myself. Never a fan of Dev…but I must accept that he has done an outstanding job in this film. The photography, background music , adherence to story line has been fantastic to say the least. The review comments herein are pathetic…written by a critic who only knows how to critize ,but not create anything. Atelder moton whisky khete khete
    ja ichhe comment lekha. This film has taken bengali films to a complete new level. BTW : Dont take these review comments seriously….there are always such negative and cynical people who never see beauty in anything…..

    • This movie has taken Bengali movies to Level-3 from where intergallactic missiles can be launched to kill space-Bunips

  21. You are making a lot of assumptions about people you don’t know. Photography, background music was never faulted. About adherence to the story I beg to differ. There is a reason Bibhutibhusan never gave a direct description of Bunyip through a direct encounter. The unseen presence and mystery surrounding Bunyip is what what brings that sense of horror and fear of the unknown. By reducing it to just another movie monster to be killed by Shankar takes away a major essence of the story. It is nothing but a cheap gimmick to elevate Dev to that superhuman hero level and endear him to the fans.

  22. I haven’t seen the movie. Yet; will go on Monday. And neither the review nor the comments can discourage me 😉 (I have even managed to watch “Satyaneshi” ( by Rotuporno Ghosh), primarily because only a few bengali movies run here, and far between).

    Just an observation: all the people who didn’t like the movie went great lengths to defend their point-of-view, whereas those who were against it were just mumbling anything ranging from “he’s a psycho” to “make your own movie”, everything between included. . 😉

  23. One has to remember that this is just a celluloid adaptation and is more faithful to the actual novel than say – the Hindi Devdas. Those who have a problem with the movie can always go back to the book. There is also a nice audio rendition of the novel by Radio Mirchi, with voices by Sabyasachi Chakrabarty, RJ Mir, Deep and Indrani. You can hear it at http://mp3ll.weebly.com/chander-pahar.html.

  24. SOURADEEP142857!!!!!! You are a real ASS OF THE HIGHEST ORDER to write such a down market review about something new being done to revolutionize Bengali cinema on an international platform with sincere efforts by the director & actor Dev. SHUT DOWN THIS STUPID NEGATIVE REVIEW & LEARN SOMETHING ABOUT REAL CINEMA. Typical bong mentality. Bloody shameful character.

  25. Now that I’ve seen the move I do understand your thoughts about the film Souradeep. On paper it surely sounded like a very exciting project but the end result is far from fantastic.It’s a visual treat no doubt though the VFX work is very shoddy (budget constraints).While I found Dev to be ok the main concern was that overall I didn’t really find the whole quest to Chander Pahar exhilarating the way it should have been ideally. At a few points I just wondered if they could just speed up the proceedings a bit.

  26. Souradeep – brilliant review. I could not have put it across better myself. While I did want to like it (believe me, an old friend of mine said that since this was written in ’37, all the Indy Jones movies and ‘Romancing the Stone’ were inspired from this one, totally discounting the Saturday matinee swashbuckling shows they used to play on US TV in the 30s, not including those Errol Flynn swashbucklers), and even posted about the same leading up to my going to watch it; its just that the post- experience left me cold, and had me, and most of the audience asking, ‘Was this all?’.
    Did not help that the lead kept inappropriately smiling like a jackass, even at the end, and the SA actor playing Diego tried hard, but was let down by every other department in the movie.
    And yes, the Bunyip was a joke, that, unfortunately, the filmmakers were not in on. A 10 for effort, even from Dev (I’m sure he tried, and reached, the peak of what he’s capable of), but a 5 for almost everything else.

  27. you know what, you’re completely out of your mind. Actually you went to see the movie predeciding it bad only because of Dev as shankar’s casting. And I think The Telegraph knows it better than you. anyway #peace.

  28. bangla chayachobir somikoron ta bodle dewoar moto boi ei chander pahar cenema….
    Tothakothito art film to botei,, tar upor bangalir chiroporichito uponnas nea cenema….ek onno rokom excitement feel howoatai savabik….ami to eto boro golpo ta kivabe 2.30mint-er film-e namate parlo KAMALESWAR MUKHERJEE, seita dekhai ami obak…

  29. I guess , retarded folks , who have never in their life, did anything creative,those are the folks who love to downgrade creative brilliances of others.I am sure that the author of this review has never in his life written a single short story or have painted any picture.There is nothing called absolute perfect.Even the water that we drink, the milk that we drank, had millions of bacteria.”Chander Pahar” is one of the best adventure movies made in the history of Indian cinema ( yes, its “Indian” and not only “Bengali” )

    If anyone has access to Netflix, you will find plenty of retarded folks have severely crticized ” Sonar Kella” and Kurosawa’s ” Seven Samurai “.So,Kamaleshwar,doesn’t need to feel bad.If you are on the right track, you would come across some kind of resistance from the under-achievers and mean minded folks.

    sanjoy117
    Bangalore

  30. An important piece of info for all readers who are for or against the above review written by Souradeep.

    Over here in this website, look at Souradeep’s review on the typical Bollywood movie “Lootera”

    I am quoting below Souradeep’s final vedict on “Lootera”

    ” A lovingly made, beautifully shot ode to falling in love, the likes of which we are fortunate to still see. 8.5/10.”

    Souradeep has awarded 8.5 to Lootera and only 4 to “Chander Pahar” !!!

    I guess , Souradeep is terribly hungry and thirsty after spending 2 hours in Africa !!
    Kamaleshwar, please take care of the author – once his hunger and thirst goes away, I guess he would have a different opinion about your wonderful creation.

    sanjoy117
    Bangalore

  31. Souradeep, another so called pseudo-intellectual bengali who can’t appreciate little efforts taken towards right direction.

    Why we always compare movies with the master Satyajit Ray’s immortal creations. Why?????????????

    Please come out from the past. Otherwise you only can get film like Paglu from the great Bangla film Industry.

    I really appreciate the movie. It might not be a classic but at-least the beginning of a new era.

  32. First i want to tell souradeep to include like and dislike button for the post and comments .
    For the movie i could say absolute time waste .Dev tried but couldnot produce like many above me already stated.
    About the author – Brilliant review for this movie .I liked all the points.
    Kingshuk – made very good point about the narrator , i also felt it was below standard
    The guys who liked the movie – either they were kids or else they also liked movies e.g-“khaka babu” ” poran jay jolia re” kind of things .so it is perfectly ok for them to like it .
    Last but nit the least – this site is not handy for mobile so please take care of this …

  33. I quite liked the movie with all its imperfections because it had its moments, quite a few of them actually. Yes the 2nd half dragged a bit, but its still among the better adventure fiction movies to have come out of the country. And since the reviewer made a passing mention to Amir khan’s fees for Dhoom-3, I think we can safely say that this was way better than that sort of commercial crap, Amir Khan’s acting skills notwithstanding.

  34. BANGALI CHIROKAL NIJER PECHHONEI KATHI KORE GELE. SOBAI LEG PULL KORAR MASTER, THAT’S THE LIMIT. WHEN SOMEONE TRYING TO DO SOMETHING BETTER PULL HIS/HER LEG. GREAT BANGALI. WHY CAN’T YOU GO AND PROVE YOURSELF THAT YOU ARE BETTER, KHALI BATELA BAJI. NIJER TA KHARAP LOKER TA VALO. SHUT YOUR MOUTH UP AND CHEER FOR THE REVOLUTION IN BENGALI MOVIE…THANK YOU!!!

  35. The basic problem is your dev-intolerance. Each n evry actor has first gone through a rough career n then got the optimum directions to give a good performance.. Take emraan hashmi,people used to call him a mnkey or a frog until he could get out of his cocoon n nw he has a huge fan-following.if its for hashmi,why nt for dev?n for the stupid critic,it cant be cmpared with dhoom3, becoz dhoom3 n chander pahar r never made to cmpete each other n it is a film of diffrnt genre with diffrnt taste n with diffrnt types of roles,ur crank brain couldn’t make this out….

  36. Pingback: The 13 Best-Loved Madaboutmoviez.com Articles of 2013 | mad about moviez

  37. Pingback: Brief Summary of 2013 Kolkata Bangla Movies that Tasted Success, Passed Unnoticed and Miserably Failed |

  38. i think the movie was great.. i bet if u would have helped the production team with some extra crores it could have delivered a movie to ur expectations….agree or not it is a pathbreaking film for the tollywood industry

  39. I liked the movie a lot! May be it is not perfect but the efforts were terrific! I am not a die-heart supporter of Dev but the fact that at points he acted too well specially the 2nd half can’t be denied. I liked the photography and the overall presentation was just great

  40. After scouting everywhere, I finally agree with this review. Chaader Pahaar is flawed to an extent where you almost feel like asking yourself why the director spent 17 crores to make this film. Weak screenplay, bad acting, poor charecterisation…it just makes for a complete mess by the end of 2.5 hrs. I almost walked out after 40 mins!! I have never seen a Dev film, now I regret that I have watched one. I don’t understand why he is smiling throughout the movie. And can anyone explain why the hell were they climbing African mountains wearing jungle boots?? In the end, it’s the hype that matters and that’s what happened with this movie. And the director was so caught up with the beautiful landscape that he forgot to check with Dev if he can act. 🙂

  41. Chander Pahar : Good movie. Excellent cinematography. Though the visual effects with regards to Bunyip could have been better. Dev gave his best and the film overall is a success. Chander Pahar, written by Bhibutibhusan Bandhopadyay, was actually aimed at children being the target audience. The movie did tremendously well at box office mainly for its visual treat and kudos to the director for doing so good with real animals and reptiles. Also, Dev did a great job. Though I am not a film critic nor have any rights to “pretend” to be a great movie critic and provide ratings, its good to see the reviews from a professional critic/media firm below:

    The Times Of India – 3.5 out of 5.

    But being in the music industry in Bangalore, as I have experience in music production, I would like to rate the music a 7.5/10 and the background score a 8.5/10. Both were good, but the background score is very good.

  42. First I would like all off you to watch and see the hard work behind the movie, its a 15 crore budget movie , which is just spent like that in any bollywood movies. But putting the money aside and seeing the recent history of Bengali movies from Possenjit Ritopaarna(actress) jamana..we are finally having some spell-bounding adventure experience in this movie.Thanks for casting it in Africa!!

    if you guys don’t appreciate this effort –Bengali movie would again fail to attract intellectuals. First its based on a good story from a profound writer Bibhutibhusan Bandopadhayay well-known and respected.Secondly, this film was shot in Africa in the wild jungles,so that we have a intimid experience about the background fthe movie.
    Shooting in the jungles of Africa is life-risking experience ,however the camera and the cast was shot real.They faced many challenges,Kudos to the cast and the crew and ofcourse the producer.

    Dev has tried his best and I would give thumsup to him for coming out of his ‘Paglu’ kind of movies.

    Definitely , on the recent Bollywood movies like Dhoom3 and Ramleela which are unintelligible (because not having a got storyline); this movie stand very well.

    I would rate at least 3.5/4 out of 5 to this movie. Guys pls compare the movie with the other big commercial movies which has come out of bengali-tollywood from 96 -2007/8.
    -and give your view.

    Hollywood is far ahead but ofcrs it touches a good job in bolly wood- I would atlst say.,
    Thanks to Srikanta Mohata for doing it.

  43. To the Author of this blog (souradeep142857) … just one thing … keo Jodi ektu besi bujhe jai taholei problem .. r ekhane setai hoyeche author er khetre …. khali boro boro aatlami aala lecture jharlei hoyena … mogoj e aage kichu dhokan tarpor crtics er kaaje bosun …. jaihok bujhben bole to mone hoyena … kaar saathe comparion tanchen mosai .. nijeo bojhen ki … na ki khali attention er chokkore negative lekha … eer aage kon bengali movie ta ei cinematography diye geche ….

  44. Dear bashed-up critic, I agree with almost all your points and sympathize with you for having to suffer too many fools. I watched the movie only yesterday, and to say I was disappointed would be misleading. Instead, after the first 30 minutes, when the signs of decline were already quite clear, I chose to laugh at the direction and acting and the terrible interpretation of the novel, and in the second half I watched my partner enjoy a little power nap (his mid-sleep face held more expression than Dev/Shankar when he woke to find a mamba on his torso about to take strike).

    I’m very glad Bengali directors are showing ambition, promise and courage to take on actual challenges, but why can’t they be criticized if they don’t deliver, and in this case, fail ridiculously for that matter. There are a few contemporary Bengali directors and one recently deceased who I truly admire, but the maker of CP falls far below the cinematic heights they’re capable of.

    The point I want to make is that us moviegoers don’t need to make better movies than Kamaleshwar to earn the right to speak about his offerings. It is the job of the director to make a movie worthwhile and valuable. If a viewer doesn’t feel that way they have a right to say so. There’s no need for lashings (come on people, when will Bengal learn to be civil?). However, if Kamaleshwar’s target audience is only those who are mindless, jingoistic, swayed by hype and totally undiscerning when it comes to literature and cinema, he has done well. Kudos.

    • Kamaleshwar is actually quite a wonderful filmmaker, check out his 2013 biopic of Ghatak, MEGHE DHAKA TARA. Bit showy, sometimes boring, but an enormous accomplishment nonetheless. Chander Pahar is uncharacteristic of his other work.

      • point taken. my gripe was mostly against moviegoers falling for the uberhype around CP and getting rather jingoistic. alarming, don’t you think, with modi’s rule on the horizon?

  45. I think the review raises some valid points and does a fair job of critiquing the movie based on an idealistic baseline. Sure, this is not a movie that can outrun, outwit our outscore the greatest adventure movies ever made. But why stop at just the movie. Surely Chander Pahar is not the greatest adventure story ever written; not even close. If you take the sword to Bibhutibhushan, there was no real research, no deep thought development, shallow characters and reads like any simple page turner off the streets. But CP really far outweighs any adventure narrative ever because of what it unknowingly has us do: project the aspirations of the Bengali far beyond his self-imposed limitations. I think the movie, successfully does that too. I was willing to suspend my disbelief for the full two hours and readily identified with Shankar: a gangly, clumsy Bong trying hard to overcome the endless ordeals with his limited skillset. Couldn’t have picked a better actor.
    Peace.

    • gangly? no. clumsy? yes. did you see his biceps? hours at the gym, if not steroids. unrealistic, an anachronism. sorry, bad pick.

  46. OK, I didn’t read ALL of the above comments, but I just wanted to comment on the CG – I LIKED the Bunyip. I thought it’s animation was BRILLIANT! So there!

  47. How dare you criticize Deb? He is THE BEST thing to happen in Bengali cinema after Debopam Kundu. If you have to fault someone’s acting, that would be Bunip Chatterjee. He just completely forgot that he a slow-moving creature incapable of a cat-like jump. pipilikar dana oThe moribar tore.

    The director of the movie has also done a splendid job of story-telling. Literally!

    The sequence where Shankar saw “Bunip-er taanDab” still gives me chills.

    The editing has been superb. No single camera shot exceeded 1.28 seconds.

    The background score is nicely monotonous

    Last but definitely not the least, the lion used in the movie is very well-behaved – probably convent-educated.

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