Chhoan, written and directed by Shibendu Guha Biswas and produced by Pintu Roy could have been an excellent psychological thriller. Mainly because it features the talented Tanushree Chakraborty in the title role. But it turns out to be a badly made film that makes little sense and lesser logic and does not leave even a faint memory. In fact, towards the end, the thin audience in the theatre is anxious for the film to show the “The End” note and make its way towards the exit.
Chhoan (Tanushree Chakraborty) strangely, is the name of the protagonist who has a severe psychological problem firstly of coping with her mother’s death and secondly, of the problem of suffering from an obsessive compulsion to ‘possess’ her friends who get close to her. When her mother passes away, her maternal uncle and aunt try to persuade her to stay on with them. But she refuses and leaves for Kolkata to make life as an artist. Her childhood friend Suranjan (Siddhartha Banerjee) also a painter helps her get the job of art teacher in a school and she also sets up an expansive studio with ample space and expensive décor in Kolkata.
Not once however, does one see Chhoan actually taking an art class in school or discussing her art with her students. We do not see her wielding paintbrush or dipping into paints or setting up an easel at any point in the film. What kind of artist is she? She hates Suranjan’s girlfriend and is jealous of their relationship and their plans to marry and settle down. But she does not love him enough to marry him. It is a symptom of her obsessive desire to ‘possess’ people. Suranjan’s character is shadowy and not clearly articulated made worse by his bad acting. Suranjan realises this abnormal streak in Chhoan and goes away with his newly married wife. There is an ‘art dealer’ called Dhamija (Ranjan Roy) who goes everywhere with two young girls wearing skimpy dresses wrapped around him opening their laptops to key in God-alone-knows What or Why!
She gets into a live-in relationship with Riju (Riju Biswas) who she meets in a taxi back home and who visibly, does nothing for a living though he claims to be a musician with a guitar strung across a shoulder. Once again, not once do we find Riju actually playing the guitar. Riju tries his best to give a stylized performance al la Salman Khan but fails miserably. He also needs to get a make-over done to improve his screen image. He walks out when Chhoan asks him to share the household expenses and she is left alone all over again. The twist comes when Tilak (Rudranil Ghosh) steps into her spacious apartment. He is a contract killer. But none of the moves he makes follow the rules of a genuine contract killer. Telling the truth at this point would be giving the mystery away. The main mystery that remains unsolved till the end is what is the bandaged dressing around one leg of Chhoan all about. When did she get hurt, how and why? No one knows. The film is structured in flashback where the story comes back to the present again and again. Tanushree tries her best to invest the character with depth but she cannot help things if the script lacks depth, focus and logic. Rudranil is okay but has an ill defined role. Why it occurred to no one to suggest that Chhoan consult a psychiatrist for treatment is beyond me. Raj Singh Sidhu’s editing is terrible. The music by Soumen Hazari is nothing to write home about. What can one expect from this kind of film?