Based on a short story by Shirshendu Mukhopadhyay, Ashchorjyo Prodeep is a contemporary take on Aladdin and his Magic Lamp. The film revolves around a couple and their unfulfilled aspirations, as they try hard to excel in this consumer-driven society.
So what happens when a quintessential middle-class Bengali man, Anilabho Gupta (Saswata), suddenly becomes the owner of a magic lamp? Can the genie — the
aka Prodeep Dutta (Rajatava) — solve all his problems with magic? Can money really buy everything? Well, that's for you to find out.
Although this modernized version of the fantasy fable takes off on a promising note, but alas,
never really soars. The film, loaded as it is with biggies like Dwijen Bandopadhyay, Paran Bandopadhyay, Kharaj Mukherjee, Mir and Arindam Sil, expectations are bound to be high. But regrettably, the audience feels betrayed as
doesn't offer anything extraordinary in terms of their portrayal on screen.
Among the lead actors, Saswata is good, but this is definitely not his best. Sreelekha Mitra — as Anilabho's ever-cribbing wife, Jhumur — does complete justice to her character. Rajatava is funny and weird at the same time — all with his plastic smile and mannerisms of an automaton. Mumtaz Sorcar as Mala M(aal) looks gorgeous in the song,
. From her body language to fake accent, she plays a supermodel and an aspiring actress to the hilt.
Strangely, the picturization of the 'makeover song',
Case jabe bodle
, bears an uncanny resemblance to Mr Suri's (Shah Rukh Khan) makeover session in
Rab Ne Bana Di Jodi
However, one particular track,
Charidik bodle gechhe
, deserves a special mention, wherein composer Raja Narayan Deb collaborates with Amit Kumar to recreate the evergreen number,
Prithibi bodle gechhe
— originally sung by Kishore Kumar. Keeping the melody intact, Anik Dutta himself has re-worked the lyrics.
The film abounds Anik's trademark sense of humour. But unlike in
, he miserably fails to evoke a genuine laugh this time. For example, the scene where genie tries to establish that 'Anil
' (as he refers to his master), interestingly, has the same alphabets as ALADIN, is more ludicrous than smart.
The dialogues lack soul and sometimes come across as a bit forced. When genie tries to convince Anilabho that he can afford to have offices at every corner in the world, be it in New York, Sanghai or London... Anilabho cuts him short, saying, 'London
e giye aar ki hobe?
...' Then again, we see 'the rich and famous' Anilabho telling his sexy secretary in office, '
shoriye rakhchhi, tumi aamar
e bosho. Tomar moton
korte aar ichhe kore na.
' To which she replies, '
korun, sir. Ami ki aapnake ektu tipe debo
?' Anilabho retorts, '
hole bhalo hoto na?
Despite an interesting concept like that, the film, overall, leaves enough scope for improvement. The first half is more or less engaging. How we wish the genie could simply spice up the second half! Watch it if you must.