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All about attitude - Challenge surprises with its mix of style and substance
Ever seen a Tolly hero shaking a leg with firang babes in a snazzy nightclub and getting the moves right? Well, it happens in the world of Challenge. You also have the hero and heroine walking arm in arm on the streets of Dubai and dancing on the sand dunes.
Challenge is certainly about style and attitude, as director Raj Chakraborty has claimed, but it's also something more. For a change, you won't find the characters howling, screaming or going hysterical at crucial moments. You don't find the goons dangling in the air after the hero has punched them. There are very few 'bizarre' situations and the dialogues are quite life- like.
The plot of Challenge is not an original piece of work but the smart treatment does make it engaging. At the centre of the knotty affair is Rajatava, the baap of local goondas who is obsessed with the need to shield his daughter Subhashree from male gaze. Rajatava's men bully every boy who dares look at her, but Cupid strikes when Dev-Subhashree meet and the hero takes on the father's might with brain and brawn.
Despite the theme, which could have easily spiralled into the usual Tolly ordeal of sound and fury, Raj keeps the tenor breezy with music, humour and cute romance. Somak Mukherjee's cinematography helps do the trick for Raj.
Challenge belongs to Dev. He does set hearts aflutter. He looks good, dances well and carries off the angry young man attitude with panache. And yes, he can act too. Subhashree, sweet and sassy, plays Miss Touch-me-not with poise but a little more effort would have helped her match up to her suave and spunky hero.
Rajatava looks a tad different from his other villainous roles as the story prevents him from going into the routine blood-and- gore nautanki. As the funny college principal, Kharaj is loud and theatrical but he fits into the scheme of things to make you laugh. Don't miss little Aritra pulling out some gags in a cameo.
Jeet Gannguli's music packs a punch, like the high-energy Bhajo Gouranga, where Dev tries to do an Akshay Kumar from Bhool Bhulaiyaa, crossing his fingers and singing Joy Sri Krishna Radha/ Bol Sri Krishna Radha But the pick of the lot is the grungy title track Challenge nibi na shaala!
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