Last evening the Norwester hit the city. Gutsy wind coupled with an arrogant spate of shower lashed a giant hoarding of Kabir along E M Bye Pass. The hoarding had a calm smiling face of Dev almost reassuring that the storm will blow over. Aniket Chattopadhyay’s Kabir is based on the character of this eponymous hero who had locked a storm within and yet kept to his mission with the calmness of the man-of-war.

I have known Dev from the CCL days. He was the young usurper at that time who had dethroned the battle scarred monarchs with his ‘red shoes’ in a Khokababu jig. Yet, because he was committed to the cause he came to practice and batted at the nets for hours. He would do catching practice, stretching, knock down with the others. I knew if he had found it in his heart to do something correct he would do it, no matter what.

Few years and one Lok Sabha election later MP Dev Adhikari has come back with one of the most studied authentic believable fictional adaptation of Mumbai blasts. The psyche of loss, the mayhem of destruction, the turbulence in rebuilding and the meandering search for truth has been beautifully captured in the circuitous train journey through darkness, light and chiaroscuro. The continuous flux of flashback and present leading to the climax has been etched out with Craftsman’s perfection. You have to watch it with baited breath and the twists leave you glued to the screen till the end.

So much for the story. The rest you need to see to come back happy.

Dev in his reticent somber avataar is exceptional. Especially, when he sheds skins to reveal and then unravel he is just brilliant. His body languange and emoting works wonderfully well with the script and makes Kabir so next door, utterly believable. Rukmini Mitra is a very talented actress. She is here to play Test cricket. Priyanka Sarkar leaves a mark as the lady cop. Our ladies can do an exceptional job when they are not just beautiful props in films.

Coming back to Aniket Chattopadhyay. I have known him as a journalist first and then a film maker. As a journalist he had a few convictions. He had a few ethics. And so many years after he has quit active journalism, he has hung on. If film is the biggest mode of mass communication he has used this canvas effectively to pour his understanding of urban history and put it to perspective. Yet he has never ceases to entertain. Applauds.

Kabir will also be remembered for it’s marketing. For the first time in 100 odd years of cinema a movie has made a tie up with a national brand like Big Bazaar for cash back offer on movie tickets. This has virtually made Kabir almost free in the first week. The STF stunt at Acropolis Mall was also audacious.

Finally the message that Kabir gives is the need of the hour. Riots are done by anarchists they have no religion. But Kabir does and it’s called humanity.

Remarks: Ticks all the boxes. Must see.