All said and done, Khawto is a film you shouldn't miss. But yes, don't expect too much eroticism and or too many steamy scenes.
Lovebirds Sohag (Tridha) and Rishav (Ronodeep) cross roads with celebrated writer Nirbed Lahiri (Prosenjit) during a vacation to Koelphuli. In his isolated cottage, Nirbed, who had isolated himself from society two decades, narrates his tale of lust and misadventures to the young couple.
Khawto is a stylized tale of human failings. Call it lust, anger, desperation or ambition, everything boils down to one question — why? And the whole film is Nirbed Lahiri's attempt to present a plausible explanation...something that justifies his misadventures... to himself and the two young members of his minuscule audience. While Sohag is moved by the tale on a superficial level, the story is entirely different when it comes to Rishav. And there is, of course, a reason for that.
As I mentioned at the outset, it's a very stylized look into the workings of creative minds, with the colour red finding frequent use in the framescape. And the premise, too, is justified, as it's a widely accepted fact that highly creative people often have a rather eccentric approach to life, love and sex. So, when a celebrated fiction writer is depicted as being a flirtatious, amorous individual, it perfectly fits the groove. But while every frame of the film is delight to watch, with the reds and the alphabets jumping out at you at every turn, it's the timeline that seems a bit askew. Most of the car makes shown in the flashback were not even manufactured 20 years ago, though the black-and-yellow taxi was spot on. The fountain pen, handwritten manuscripts and autograph books are, however, in sync with the timeline. Even the fashion timeline seemed a bit off. Most of the flashback actors wore very 'now' clothes. Coming to performances, every actor was a treat to watch — in character to the tiniest gesture. Prosenjit, especially, has put up a truly wonderful performance. He is Dhruba aka Nirbed Lahiri throughout — be it in the writer in the late 30s or late 50s. And yes, he should maintain his clean, waxed look. It's a welcome break from the Bhishma Pitamahesque body hair. It added class to his suave and seductive onscreen persona. As for Paoli (Antara) and Raima (Srijita), both are good as Nirbed's illicit and legal (wedded) lovers and especially shine in the scenes of emotional turmoil arising out of Nirbed and Alokesh's (Rahul, Antara's on-screen husband) actions. Tridha and Rishav have sizzling chemistry and have worked really well as a couple. Moreover, both looked very comfortable and natural acting out roles their age.
The songs by Anupam and the background score are good but unobtrusive parts of the narrative. They overall music-narrative blend is smooth, heightening the viewing experience. All said and done, Khawto is a film you shouldn't miss. But yes, don't expect too much eroticism and or too many steamy scenes. Sex has been used more as a narrative component than a crowd-puller. That's why filmmaking is an art. It's all about balance and shades. And Kamaleswar Mukherjee has proven himself to be a really good artist yet again.