Starring: Prosenjit Chatterjee, Paoli Dam, Raima Sen.
Dir by Kamaleswar Mukherjee
A bestselling writer, missing for two decades, is discovered in his hideout at a secluded beach resort by a couple. Claiming that he has only a few days to live, he tells the duo that he will tell them the contents of his last, unfinished novel. It is the story of his life. What ensues is a racy plot replete with love, lust, insanity, illicit affairs, power dynamics and fatal guilt. With a hint of disapproval for a life of debauchery and indiscretion, the director has the narrative flow from the point of view of the protagonist (Prosenjit), the self-confessed, self-questioning “lecherous creative genius”. The film works as a thriller with slick cinematography, crisp sound and editing but is marred by the jarring themes of death and murder, with recurrent scenes of blood dripping from the nib of a fountain pen onto a manuscript. But the flaw is made up for by the characterisation—a trusting wife, a naive husband, a suspicious friend, a slimy editor, a judgmental neighbour. The ever-impressive Prosenjit apart, Raima’s impotent rage at the discovery of her husband’s affair and Paoli’s distant stare through the window of the asylum stand out. Yet Khwato (Wound), which fits into the genre of the current rage in Bengali cinema—the masala-morality merger—doesn’t inspire or provoke thought. To its credit, it doesn’t pretend to.