Dabaru (2024) Movie Review: Pathikrit Basu Delivers An Inspiring Sports Drama

Director Pathikrit Basu’s film Dabaru, starring Samadarshi Sarkar, Arghya Basu Roy, Rituparna Sengupta, Chiranjit Chakraborty, Dipankar De, Kaushik Sen, Shankar Chakraborty, and Kharaj Mukherjee, was released in theaters on May 10, 2024.

Seeing a chessboard in his grandfather Nabin Sarkar's (Dipankar De) possession, the little boy Souro (Arghya Basu Roy) wanted to know about it and requested his grandfather to teach him how to play chess. That’s when Souro learned about the game and gradually developed a deep interest in it.

Souro’s mother and Nabin’s daughter, Karuna (Rituparna Sengupta), was impressed with her son’s skills, but Souro’s father, Gouri Shankar Ganguly (Shankar Chakraborty), who is an astrologer, did not show any interest in his son’s game.

Souro defeated an old man from the local area and became quite popular. He then started participating in various tournaments and winning them. Seeing him play at a tournament, chess coach Rathindra Chakraborty (Chiranjit Chakraborty) had a conversation with Nabin Sarkar, where he offered to coach Souro for national exposure. How Souro becomes a Grandmaster at the age of 19 will be unveiled in the film.

Samadarshi Sarkar and Arghya Basu Roy, as young Souro, are the standout performers of Dabaru. Especially enjoyable is watching the sweet and cute Arghya Basu Roy, known for his role in Posto. Souro’s bonding with his grandfather and his mother are other positive aspects of this film. Samadarshi Sarkar, as the grown-up Souro, impresses with his dialogue delivery and expressions. His last scene with his new coach, Samiran (Kaushik Sen), was top-notch.

Dipankar De, as Souro’s grandfather, delivers a convincing performance. Rituparna Sengupta leaves a good impression in the emotional scenes, and overall, she has a strong screen presence which is utilized quite well.

Chiranjit Chakraborty delivered a decent performance as Souro’s coach. The emotional angle does not work well for his character as it missed a proper backstory. Kaushik Sen looks okay in a cameo. It was an over-the-top performance from Shankar Chakraborty as Souro’s father in the first half, but he left a good impression in the second half. Kharaj Mukherjee's character had no significance in the plot.

The dialogue writing is pretty impressive. Two dialogues deserve special mention: the one where Chiranjit Chakraborty tells Souro’s grandfather, “In foreign countries, when players are groomed, the government stands with them, but in our country, the government stands with their players after they become successful,” and the other where Dipankar De tells Souro, “The true test of a big player is not in his performance but in his comeback.”

The pace of the narrative becomes a bit slow after the interval, and that is one area where I felt Aritra Banerjee’s screenplay could have been better. Modhura Palit deserves a special mention for the impressive cinematography, capturing various places in North Kolkata quite brilliantly. Bonnie Chakraborty & Prosen’s music composition was decent.

Pathikrit Basu has started showing promise in his directorial skills after his last film Kacher Manush, and I expect he will keep improving with each of his upcoming projects. Dabaru is an honest attempt from Pathikrit Basu and is an inspiring film for sports lovers.


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