First things first, Dev’s performance in Golondaaz is probably his best performance till date. After years of criticism over her acting prowess and the Bengali language, she has given a truly captivating performance that reflects both physical and acting hard work.
He has stumbled here and there. But we have to admit that this is his film (and Dhrubbo Banerjee’s of course) and he has done justice to the character in almost his entire screen time.
The film gives off a Lagaan-esque vibe. But it is not fictional. Biopics certainly do not feature a Bengali film. And yet Golandaz is a valiant effort with ups and downs. The strength of the film is the ethos of nationalism that is spread across faith, caste and creed.
The anger, anger and hatred that the patriotic revolutionaries instilled in their hearts against the colonial rulers is visible throughout the film and in just the right amount to ignite enthusiasm among the audience.
Hailing from a reformist family, Nagendra Prasad Sarbadhikari dreams of defeating the British in his game of football in the era when Indians were flogged for touching the ball or even just watching a game. The saga shows their patience, heartbreak and resurrection.
As the film reminds us of the old adage, ‘History is written by the winners, not the losers,’ we can imagine what to expect. But travel is often thrilling and engaging.
But what really keeps us glued to our seats is the scintillating performances by almost all the supporting actors – the team members, the antagonists and even Esha Saha, who is barely on screen for a few minutes and has There is very little dialogue.
His effortless chemistry with Dev is a sight to behold. Anirban Bhattacharya (senior) is also a show-stealer as a comic villain. Agnijit Sen stole hearts with his faltering but unmistakable loyalty. Every member of the team leaves a defining impression, no matter how small their screen presence.
Ujan Chatterjee deserves a special mention. She is a natural on stage and on screen. Indrasis Roy as Captain Jitendra displays an undeniable arrogance despite a late entry. One can’t help but despise Alex O’Neill as the British officer who wants to win the game by hook or by crook.
Golondaz is loud, long and flabby. One must definitely question the use of certain songs, especially Vande Mataram, right in the middle of an important match. Felt absolutely unnecessary.
Also, Shiv Shambhu, who introduces Anirban Bhattacharya to the audience, is very funny and out of place. However, the actor has acted quite well.
He also tells about the first part of the film. Initially, the narration drags on a bit longer than the visual presentation. But Golondaz is a gritty film to be enjoyed on the big screen. It gives people a perfect reason to return to theatres.