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Projapoti Movie Review

by rameshe

Critic’s Rating : 3.5 / 5

Projapoti Movie Review : A Mithun movie through-and-through

In 2022, the Bengali family saga found greener pastures and better scripts. Alternative parenthood, urban co-living arrangements and non-traditional careers found representation and female-led stories were treated better. Tollywood’s efforts to tell better, nuanced stories did not go unnoticed in a year that was particularly difficult for Bollywood, especially in the wake of OTT. Avijit Sinha’s Projapoti isn’t a family tale per se, but bets on an intimate story — a formula that has worked for some of the most acclaimed theatrical releases in Tollywood, be it Boudir Canteen or Shrimati.
Mid-life or golden-age narratives at the moment have more takers than ever -— just ask Hollywood’s prestige filmmakers (or Sooraj Barjatya whose Uunchai turned out to be a sleeper hit). Sinha, who also made Tonic, is clearly in on the secret; the filmmaker tends to go for gentle-hearted stories to delve into complex sentimental problems that often have no real solutions. In Projapoti, Mithun Chakraborty plays Gaur, an ageing widower who wants his son Joy (Dev) to get married and believes a bigger family could be an answer to his loneliness. However, his son, a busy wedding planner, doesn’t seem to have any plans of getting hitched. There’s nothing quite ground-breaking about the premise but the movie starts out quite strong.
Casting is one of the best things about this movie. Mithun is innately watchable as an ageing father with the same insecurities as so many other single, older parents. The actor has always been an effortless performer; while he can draw applause with a larger-than-life Fatakeshto, he can also deliver big emotional moments. If the film does end up getting repeat audiences, Mithun would probably merit most of the credit. Dev and Mithun’s chemistry is also impressively drafted to appeal to contemporary audiences.
Dev is getting rather good at holding his own whenever he’s paired with heavy hitters, be it Mithun in Projapoti or Prosenjit Chatterjee in Kacher Manush. His performance is believable but could have used a more astute character design. This also goes for some of the secondary characters who become victims of sloppy arcs, especially the ones played by Koneenica Banerjee and Ambarish Bhattacharya. The second half could not play to the movie’s strengths and lacked the elements that make the first half so engaging.
Kharaj Mukherjee proves to be quite a comic asset to the film and Mamata Shankar is well-cast, but Sweta Bhattacharya’s role could have used a different direction. Her chemistry with Dev isn’t quite there and it’s possible that the character needed a different energy or a different actor.
The runtime could have been shorter and the screenplay crisper, but the last half hour does go big with the emotional pay-off. Rathijit’s music holds up really well and helps the storytelling. As holiday releases go, Projapoti brings a lot to the table, be it in terms of cast, story or a family-friendly viewing experience and audiences wouldn’t be remiss if they walked into the theatre for this, especially if they’ve ever been Mithun fans.

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