A Death In The Gunj Movie Review: A Beautiful Tragedy
The film starts off with a Tarantinoesque scene where two men are casually discussing about how to stuff a body in the boot of a car effectively and the rest of the film goes on to show how the two reached that particular moment.With this, Konkona has already set the stage of a thriller as till the final scene, you keep wondering who got killed and had to be stuffed in the trunk... let’s find out.Set in McCluskiegunj, Bihar (now Jharkhand), A Death In The Gunj revolves around the Bakshi family and their set of friends. Nandu (Gulshan Devaihah), his wife Bonnie (Tillotama Shome) with their daughter Tani (Arya Sharma) and their shy cousin Shutu (Vikrant Massey) come to McCluskiegunj to visit Nandu’s parents (Om Puri and Tanuja) with the foxy Mimi (Kalki Koechlin) and a reunion is planned with Nandu’s friends Vikram (Ranvir Shorey) and Brian (Jim Sarbh) joining them.When all these characters come together for a family vacation, things start getting complicated as every character’s history and individuality comes to the fore. Shutu’s life particularly becomes more miserable as he is shy, reticent and not as ‘hip’ as the others consider him to be, which leads to a lot of bullying and cruel pranks being played on him. Various other incidents notch up the tension and finally when things reach a boiling point, a small spark ends up in an inevitable tragedy.As far as performances are concerned, every actor in the film has effortlessly gone under the skin of his/her character. Whether it be the femme fatale Mimi or the brash bully Vikram or the shy and reticent Shutu or the ‘jolly old fellow’ OP Bakshi (Om Puri) and Konkona deserves a pat on her back for getting this fine bunch of actors together for a film, which is a sheer delight to watch for their performances, among other reasons. As far as the plot is concerned, if the trailer of the film made you think that Konkona has weaved an Agatha Christie-ish story, nothing could be further from the truth. The movie is what could be called an ‘atmospheric thriller’ and despite having a languid pace, manages to keep you on the edge of your seat as you nervously keep wondering what will happen next. Despite being set in gentle McCluskiegunj, a quaint old town that conjures up memories of the British Raj, there is an undercurrent of violence (not necessarily physical), which makes the narrative more effective (the scene in which Nandu is teaching Shutu to drive a car will illustrate my point better).Another highlight of the film is its cinematography by Sirsha Ray, who has lent a certain sepia-toned magic to the scenes, reminding one of lazy Sunday afternoons during the summer vacations when nothing could go wrong. The background score of the film by Sagar Desai too has helped the narrative and escalated and defused tension as and when required. In conclusion, Konkona Sen Sharma has proved her mettle beyond all doubts with her directorial debut.
Release Date : 02 June 2017
Director : Konkona Sensharma