Shibpur Movie Review : Visually Intense Crime Drama Falters Due to Muddled Storylines and Unanswered Question

Shibpur Movie

Movie Rating


Arindam Bhattacharya’s Shibpur: A gritty 1980s crime tale set in violent Shibpur. Widow Mandira seeks justice for her husband’s murder, teaming up with goon Tapan to eliminate the killers. Rising to power, Mandira becomes a mobster, causing conflict with rival gang leaders Tapan and Nepal. However, the film lacks clarity on character motivations and their rise to prominence. Swastika Mukherjee delivers a captivating performance as Mandira, supported by a strong cast. Visually striking frames heighten the intensity, though excessive violence clouds Mandira’s personal journey. Despite its strengths, Shibpur suffers from a cluttered script and unanswered questions, hindering viewer engagement.

Positive :

  • Visuals and Violence: The film successfully presents visuals and violent scenes that were unlikely to be approved for Bengali cinema a decade ago. It portrays a side of the city’s violent past that is rarely discussed, shedding light on rampant gang violence and police encounters in certain areas. The portrayal of violence is handled skillfully, with impactful moments such as a bloody head rolling down a bylane or a mobster being hanged, leaving a lasting impact on the audience.
  • Performance: The casting in the film is commendable. Swastika Mukherjee‘s portrayal of Mandira, the central character, is different and captivating, showcasing her acting range. Rajatava and Kharaj deliver impeccable performances as contrasting villains, creating a compelling dynamic on screen. Mamata Shankar’s role is also noteworthy and brilliantly cast.
  • Cinematography: The film features visually striking frames that enhance the intensity of the scenes. The sharp cinematography adds depth to the storytelling and engages the audience effectively.
  • Portrayal of Unexplored History: The film successfully delves into a violent period of Shibpur’s history that is seldom discussed. It sheds light on the era when gang violence was prevalent and police encounters were commonplace in certain pockets. By depicting this lesser-known aspect, the film adds depth and authenticity to its narrative.

Negative :

  • Cluttered Storylines and Underdeveloped Characters: The script suffers from cluttered storylines and insufficient development of central characters. In its duration of 132 minutes, the film fails to provide a solid character design for even one of the main players. The motivations behind the feuds between mob bosses Tapan and Nepal are unclear, as are Mandira’s true intentions to pursue a life of crime. The lack of clarity regarding the characters’ personal priorities makes it challenging for the audience to invest in the narrative or empathize with their actions.
  • Lack of Character Background and Motivation: The rise of Mandira from a housewife to an influential figure in the crime circle is presented without sufficient explanation or justification. It remains unclear how she gains unchecked power and influence in a predominantly male-dominated criminal environment. The film does not adequately address who supplies her with men and weapons if she is cut off by Tapan, leaving unanswered questions and diminishing the audience’s connection with Mandira’s character.
  • Mixed Agendas of Cop Character: The character of Sultan Ahmed, played by Parambrata Chattopadhyay, suffers from inconsistent writing. Although he claims to be reluctant to resort to killing, he is shown to be excessively comfortable with his gun. The portrayal of a cop with mixed agendas and the presence of three mafia bosses clutters the second half of the film, diluting the focus and leaving little room for a genuine exploration of Mandira’s personal loss.
  • Unanswered Questions: Despite the film’s attempt to provide closure, it leaves too many unanswered questions. The lack of clarity regarding the characters’ motivations, the source of Mandira’s power, and the intricate dynamics among the various factions within the crime circle hampers the overall narrative and leaves the audience wanting more.

Overall, while the film boasts strong visuals, impactful violence, and commendable performances, it is let down by a cluttered script, underdeveloped characters, and unresolved plot elements.


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Written by Souvik Saha

Discover the mind behind Cine Kolkata – Souvik Saha, an innovative entrepreneur and editor. With a passion for authentic news, he's the driving force behind Cine Kolkata's captivating film, atoz entertainment, sports, and lifestyle coverage. Souvik also heads Cine Digital, a digital marketing agency, expanding his impact across the digital realm.


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