Shyam Singha Roy Review: Compelling reincarnation drama
Cast: Nani, Sai Pallavi, Krithi Shetty
Nani, for me, is like a guarantee; a guarantee that no matter what, the film will be good enough to watch. If the script falters, at least Nani’s enchanting charisma will do the magic and encourage us to get through the whole film. His latest film Shyam Singha Roy, however, is a strong script backed by his alluring charm and Sai Pallavi’s bewildering presence.
Vasudev (played by Nani) is an aspiring filmmaker who is in search of a leading lady for his short film (this short film will also be his ticket to directing a full-length feature film). He comes across Keerthy (played by Krithi Shetty), a psychology graduate who reluctantly agrees to star in his short film. With his short film turning out to be a huge success, Vasudev’s dream of becoming a feature film director takes flight. But everything comes to a halt when he is accused of plagiarism as his movies seem to highly resemble the work of writer and activist Shyam Singha Roy. And thus, the story of reincarnation takes shape.
Nani, who already has previous experience in reincarnation with his successful film Eega, transforms between Vasudev and Shyam Singha Roy with perfection. The change in his mannerisms and the way he carries himself as Shyam Singha Roy is astounding. There is a reason why he is referred to as Natural Star Nani. Nani keeps Shyam Singha Roy grounded, not exaggerating him or turning him into a caricature. Though he fights against the oppressing norms of society, helping women and lower caste people get their rights, he does not come across as a savior. It is his story and his determination to help the oppressed is used just to detail his character to us.
Sai Pallavi plays Rosie, a devadasi who later becomes Shyam Singha Roy’s wife. The way she establishes her presence on screen is simply dynamic. Her expressive eyes and commanding body language make her stand out far from being an arm candy to the male lead. She owns her role and her space in the film like a queen. Her graceful dance radiates energy that has us mesmerized.
Krithi Shetty has most of the stage only in the first half, after which she takes the back seat. However, I was a little disturbed by the intimate scenes of Krithi and Nani, owing to the fact that she was just 17 when she shot it. Why did the makers of the film not consider someone much older for the role?
Most of the second half of Shyam Singh Roy happens in the 60s and 70s West Bengal. The production team has done a wonderful job in recreating 70s Bengal. The saffron-tinted frames make the time frame more evident. Sanu John Varghese has done a wonderful job with the cinematography. Everything looks beautifully convincing, making Shyam Singha Roy a visually stunning narrative.
However, the film is not devoid of any loopholes. Shyam Singha Roy reincarnates as Vasudev for a reason, and the reason does not seem satisfactory enough. The climax of the film is decent but average. Nonetheless, Shyam Singha Roy is an entertaining watch that keeps us hooked till the end.
Watch on: Netflix
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