Bob Biswas, played by Saswata Chatterjee in Sujoy Ghosh's 2012 Kahaani (starring Vidya Balan), has stayed with us even after nearly a decade. When Chatterjee/Bob introduces himself as "Aami Bob Biswas...Ek Minute" (I am Bob Biswas...one minute) It's spine-chilling that he waits one minute before shooting his victim at point-blank range. His shots are always on target. Here's our in-depth Bob Biswas review that bisects key aspects of the film.
Bob Biswas Review: Story & Character Development
It is this character, Bob, created by Sujoy, Advaita Kala, and others, that Diya Annapurna Ghosh introduces in her ZEE5 title, Bob Biswas, and weaves an entire story around him (Abhishek Bachchan), transforming him into a pure personification of poison. Before the bullet from his revolver flies, knocking a man or woman dead and cold, he doesn't even bat an eyelid.
His aim is perfect, and he never regrets his heinous actions. But this was before he went into a coma following a horrific accident in Diya's (Sujoy's daughter) debut thriller. When he awakens, he has lost his memory, and Diya softens and gentles him, greatly reducing his malevolence. We almost develop empathy for him and want him to live.
Diya's work begins when Bob awakens. He's been comatose for eight years, and when he wakes up, he's completely lost. His wife, Mary Biswas, brilliantly played by Chitrangada Singh, drives him home. They have a young son named Benny (Ronith Arora) and a teen daughter named Mini (Samara Tijori).
She is studying to get into a medical course, and her neighbor, practicing for a musical competition, disturbs her concentration every night. He is dogmatic and would not listen when asked to keep his volume low or to close his window facing Bob's apartment. He shoots him in what appears to be a reflex action that comes naturally to him!
Bob Biswas Review: Screenplay & Direction
The screenplay is compelling, well-helmed, and crisply edited, with some very interesting characters like Kali Da (Paran Bandopadhyay), who runs a homeopathic pharmacy – where Bob is ordered to get his "Nux-Vomica" by some strange-looking men.
The packet he receives does not contain medicine, but rather bullets and a gun. Bob, who is still unsure of who he is, is pushed into doing things he does not want to do. He is shown a photograph of the person he is to assassinate. And then he goes on a Kill Bill rampage. A few scenes reminded me of Quentin Tarantino's style.
The plot is neatly tied, with no loose ends, and some mind-blowing performances; Bandopadhyay's is unquestionably one, and Singh's is unquestionably another. She is enthralling as a woman perplexed by Bob's mood swings.
Bob Biswas Review: Acting & Performances
Although Bachchan Jr. gives one of his best performances, viewers are more likely to compare him to Chatterjee. Abhishek is no match for the vileness that Kahaani's Bob exuded with a devilish smile.
He was emotionless, with a cold and calculating demeanor. Diya, by humanizing Bob, takes away the character's core strength of being a ruthless murderer. In fact, few people will remember her Bob, and Bachchan may be overshadowed by Chatterjee. When I think of that murderous glint in his eyes, I still shudder.