Bob Biswas was an intrinsic character of the movie ‘Kahaani’ whose uncanny presence accompanied by his folded hands when he introduced himself to his victims as “Nomoshkar, Ami Bob Biswas.” was enough to send shivers down our spine. However in ‘Kahaani’ we witnessed Bob’s horrific accident after which most of us had assumed that he died until we heard the announcement of this sequel ‘Bob Biswas’.
‘Bob Biswas’ maintains a fine balance in the timeline and depicts the condition of Bob in 2021 exactly after eight years of his accident which took place in 2012. Bob of 2021 is a person suffering from amnesia who hardly remembers his name. Earlier we only saw Bob as an LIC agent in the dreary walls of his office oscillating between his two jobs, one of an LIC agent and the other of a contract killer. We could find the resonance of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde in Bob but Bob of 2021 was a changed person who wanted to pay the price of all the errors he committed.
In ‘Bob Biswas’ we come across Bob’s family for the first time and Sujoy Ghosh manages to embed in his character different shades, one of a husband, other of a father, a person who tries hard to discover his identity recalling his past and someone who seeks redemption from all his dark deeds of past but is unfortunately trapped in the cycle of the consequences he ought to endure for his actions.
As the narrative of the film progresses we empathize with Bob’s helplessness who can’t decipher if he was a good or a bad man but wholeheartedly tries his best to shoulder the responsibilities of a father and husband. Bob of 2012 was a cold blooded murderer but Bob of 2021 is depicted as a human of flesh and blood who loves his wife Mary, to the moon and back and cares for his children Mini and Benny.
Bob wants to run away from his filthy past yet the more he tries, the more he gets involved in the vicious cycle he has entered. The director Diya Annapurna Ghosh does a brilliant job in capturing and exhibiting the dilemma Bob undergoes through the magic of images in motion, keeping craft parallel to the excellency in material.
Comparisons will be drawn between Saswata Chatterjee and Abhishek Bachchan’s performances as Bob but Abhishek shines in the role. He does complete justice to Bob and the way he brings out the emotions of a distorted mind through his flamboyant dialogue deliveries is commendable and once again proves his finesse. Chitrangada and the other actors do an equally fine job in their roles, enriching the intensity of the narrative.
Bob was constantly in a battle between his conscience and compulsion but he had to conform to his compulsion in order to reap the seeds he had sown and therefore he indeed paid the price. Bob was seen only as a villain in ‘Kahaani’ but in ‘Bob Biswas’ Bob becomes the hero of his own story.
Bob Biswas on the surface might seem to be a film with a predictable plot where we know that we will again see Bob killing people when he comes to rejuvenate his past with that typical gun of his but deep down it dissects a criminal mind leaving us with a question – Are all criminals born criminals or is it the circumstance which turns them into a criminal? For Bob it was money to provide a better life for his family but when he loses his purpose, we see a different Bob, who doesn’t hesitate to give a beggar woman a huge amount of money from whatever he saved, who ultimately musters up the courage to abide by his conscience and fight against the evil which made people around him suffer and of which he himself was a victim.
Bob’s conscience in the end triumphs over his compulsion but we don’t know whether Bob’s repentance will ever be enough for his misdeeds.