A thriller par excellence. And it definitely deserves a watch.
Nandini's (Paayel) murder during an apparent burglary at entrepreneur Bishan Roy's (Anirban) house sends ace police detective Shabor Dasgupta (Saswata) and his assistant Nanda (Subhrojit) on a journey into a world of lust and intense psychological gameplay.
Eagoler Chokh would've had a flawless storyline had there been a bit more clarity about what actually happened on December 31. Was Shivangi (Jaya) really in Bangalore on that day? If she was, who did the dead drunk Bishan make love to? If it was Nandini (Paayel), how did Shivangi conceive? Confusing... But I guess this is one secret Shabor (Saswata) keeps to himself. We'll never really know.
What we do know, however, is that this second film in the Shabor franchise is one hell of a watch. While Saswata is perfect as the shrewd yet not-really-fighting-fit Kolkata cop, Subhrojit nails it as his diligent assistant. But the actor who draws most of the attention (ours, and that of the women in the film) is Anirban. He plays the psychologically scarred woman magnet to perfection. In his rather understated performance, he mixes the body language of a successful entrepreneur and a mentally tormented man quite well. But in his character lies another unsolved mystery. He's a mechanical engineer-turned-businessman, successful enough to own a bungalow in New Alipore and at least three premium sedans, but there is no logical string connecting the sexually exploited and mentally traumatised teenage Bishan to the 36-year-old man in the film. The trauma and the way it affects his mind and life makes his success and resultant opulence seem highly improbable. Maybe the perfect Bishan would have been a non-performing heir to a fortune with a beautiful wife, who is also a successful businesswoman. Despite all this, Anirban has put up a really good show. As for the others, Jaya, Paayel and Riya have done complete justice to their roles, with Jaya nailing the body language of a woman in pain — physical as well as mental. Her effort shows in just a simple walk from one hospital bed to another. The pain, the physical weakness... she expresses it all to perfection. But yes, she seems to be recuperating too fast and remembering things too clearly for a woman who is recovering from a shot to the head. If we go by what the doctor says about skull fragments injuring her brain, then her recovery seems almost miraculous.
In short, Eagoler Chokh has flaws in the storyline, but not performances. Every actor has done their bit, creating a thriller that keeps you glued to your seat. Even the music adds to the whodunit atmosphere. The Arindam Sil signature is visible in the overall presentation, right from the title graphics to the end credits. No wonder the film is stylized and quite urbane. Even the chase locations seem like revelations hidden somewhere in Kolkata's underbelly.
But yes, when we compare this film with Ebar Shabor, it falls a bit short of expectations. Maybe it lacks a bit on the character sketches and back stories. But all these finer flaws don't take much away from the film as a whole. It remains a thriller par excellence. And it definitely deserves a watch.