Producers: Soumitra Ranade, TempleTree Motion Pictures, Paperboat Design Studios, Vikram Saxena, Jagmeet Singh, Noopur Raje, Pinke Ankur Patel, No Guts No Glory Films, Muvizz.com
Director: Soumitra Ranade
Cast: Manav Kaul, Nandita Das, Saurabh Shukla
Writer: Soumitra Ranade
Music: Avishek Majumder
Remaking a film is always a challenge, more so when it is a cult classic. Saeed Akhtar Mirza’s Albert Pinto Ko Gussa Kyoon Aata Hai, starring Naseeruddin Shah, Shabana Azmi and Smita Patil, focused on the angst of the middle class through the eyes of Albert Pinto. His anger towards everything around him finally takes him to the realisation that to fight the problems within the system, he would have to become part of the system. Being a bystander will not help.
Soumitra Ranade’s Albert Pinto… is similar in spirit to the earlier Albert Pinto… but this story is set in the present, and the treatment is much more experimental and darker.
Albert Pinto is an educated young man with a decent job. A man with a good heart, he is always ready to help anyone in need. Everything in his life seems to be going well. He has a girlfriend, Stella, who loves him. His father Jeffery has a good government job. Things take a turn for the worse when Jeffery is suspended on bribery charges. Unable to bear the humiliation, he commits suicide.
The incident changes Albert drastically and he loses the will to do anything. He quits his job. He is angry with everyone and with everything around him. He gets so out of control that he joins a gang of hired killers lead by Satam. As his first mission, he decides to kill the two people who threw his father under the bus.
Albert embarks on a journey to Goa, where his victims are. With him is Satam’s close aide, a seasoned killer. During the journey, Albert goes through several emotional ups and downs. He struggles to find the answers he is seeking and, at the same time, tries to find a purpose to his existence. Does Albert find his answers? Is he able to fulfil his mission? What does the future hold for him? The film tries to answer all these questions.
The film has two tracks – one with Albert and the other featuring the people who are trying to find him. Both these tracks run parallel to each other as well as in different time zones. It is an interesting way of presenting the story, but it gets tedious at times, leaving you wondering where the narrative is headed.
On his travel to Goa, Albert keeps seeing Stella in the different women he meets, but the purpose of this is unclear. How much of what we see is real and how much is imaginary is blurred, and by the time the film ends, you are very confused. While the original film ended on a hopeful note, this version is darker.
Soumitra Ranade has tried to make his version of Albert Pinto… edgy and quirky. Although he succeeds in some ways, the film fails to hold interest for long. What really stands out, though, is the camera work and the music, especially the use of the song Aaj jaane ki zidd na karo. It is amazing, especially in the climax.
Performance-wise, Manav Kaul as Albert Pinto impresses. He manages to get into the psyche of the character and brings to life the pain, struggle and dilemma that he faces. Nandita Das gets a chance to appear in different avatars and she does justice to every part she plays. More than Stella, it is the other characters she inhabits that are interesting to watch. Saurabh Shukla is Satam’s aide and Albert’s mentor, of sorts. His tongue-in-cheek humour gives the film much-needed relief.
Verdict: A decent product but has bleak commercial prospects.