Banner: Drishyam Films
Producer: Manish Mundra
Director: Atanu Mukherjee
Cast: Manoj Bajpayee, Smita Tambe,
Kumud Mishra and Adarsh Gourav
Writers: Atanu Mukherjee, Akash
Mohimen, Vasan Bala
Music: Amit Trivedi
First time director Atanu Mukherjee’s thriller, Rukh, boasts a generous dose of intrigue. The film is about an 18-year-old, Dhruv (Adarsh Gourav), who is sent to boarding school by his parents. Here, he battles his demons, tries to mend family ties, grapples with long-forgotten memories and rediscovers some dissonant truths about life.
Calm on the surface, Dhruv is a difficult person when it comes to taming his anger. There is a reason he is resentful and a reason he was sent to boarding school. His ordeal never seems to end and his life comes to a crashing halt when he receives news that his father, Divakar Mathur (Manoj Bajpayee), has died in a car accident.
His doting mother, Nandini (Smita Tambe), takes her son to his grandmother’s home, to calm him through this turbulent phase in his life. Divakar’s business had already fallen apart, thanks to his business partner, Robin (Kumud Mishra), an avaricious, manipulative man who made plans to flee after wrecking the business and his relationship with Divakar.
Dhruv is already overcome with a sense of loss when he is forced to come to terms with the crisis in his family. Now, he is desperate to unravel the truth about his father’s death. This is the crux of the story.
The film is a thriller set in dark tones and deals with an emotionally charged issue. While watching the film, you get a sense of deja-vu as there have been countless thrillers like this one.
The film succeeds in keeping Dhruv the central focus, despite obvious loopholes in the script. The technical team has done a marvellous job, capturing the nuances of every emotion on screen. But for a film to shine, especially a thriller, it has to be packed with elements that keep the audience glued to the screen. While the second half does keep the mystery alive, it also stretches the film to the point of dragging the narrative.
Amit Trivedi’s song Hai baaki, sung by Arijit Singh, is heart-wrenching. It makes you yearn for fatherly love. Mohan Kannan’s heart-melting voice in the song Khidki is soul-stirring and reveals different shades of the characters in the film.
Performance-wise, Adarsh Gourav has delivered a standout performance. He is a natural and makes it seem easy. Other powerful performances include that of Manoj Bajpayee, although his part is no more than a cameo. Bajpayee is fantastic as a with principles and a no-nonsense family man. Smita Tambe’s performance, as a devoted wife and a woman who tries to protect her family, is on point. Kumud Mishra’s devious act is notable.