Five years back, when Kenny Deori Basumatary made ‘Local Kung Fu’, with a meagre budget of Rs 95,000 and a motley group of actors, mostly comprising of his friends and family, few could predict that the film was going to attain such a cult status in years to come. Kenny with his Local Kung Fu franchise has developed this unique brand of martial arts comedy movies, something which was hardly seen in Indian movies before.
Now, he is back with his third film ‘Suspended Inspector Boro’, which has a more serious tone and treatment, compared to his earlier films. In this thriller, the protagonist Inspector Gagandeep Boro (Utkal Hazowary) who is on suspension is unofficially asked by his superior to trace a missing girl. While on the job, Boro learns about a flourishing flesh trade and human trafficking business run by crooked cop Lakhi Madan Jwala (Kenny Basumatary). He decides to take on Jwala and his thugs and mayhem ensues.
The best thing about the film is while it fulfils its promise to entertain the audience in ample doses but at the same time, never loses focus on the story. While it is not much of a whodunit as the villain’s identity is evident from the beginning, it does hold some card in its sleeve to throw few good twists towards the end.
The action of the film is definitely its high point. Some of the fight sequences are top notch like the one between the hero and the villain’s main henchman Lee W. Because of the martial arts background of Kenny and his team, fight scenes in his movie was always good. However, as his earlier two movies were out and out comedies, things never became serious at any point. The shit gets real here though. The bad guys are sinister folks who mean business.
But Kenny keeps his trademark humour alive in this movie as well. The protagonist Inspector Boro, has some terrific one liners and his verbal duel with the villain is surely the highlight of the film. However, one grouse might be that the villain is not menacing enough. Inspector Lakhi Madan Jwala elicits more laugh than chill from the audience. Also, as lot of stress has been given to the fact that Inspector Boro is suspended, I guess that aspect was not highlighted much in the movie. A reason is given in the beginning behind Boro’s suspension and while other characters mention that repeatedly, nothing much is known about how these suspensions affected Boro’s life. So, in a way, a bit of character development for the protagonist would have been welcome.
Despite making entertainers, Kenny Basumatary never shies away from making few important statements through his films. In his last movie ‘Local Kung Fu 2’, he made a case for homosexuality by making one of his protagonists gay. In this one, he makes some strong statement against the wannabe moral police in the city. He also shows us the dark underbelly of human trafficking and flesh trade in the city and makes a case in favour of self-defence training for girls.
The film is an easy ride because there are no unnecessary distractions like songs or romantic interludes. Bollywood can definitely take a leaf or two out of ‘Suspended Inspector Boro’s’ book as in how a good commercial movie can be made without these elements. Another plus point of the movie is the usage of local lingo which adds flavor to the narrative and makes the characters very relatable to the audience.
When it comes to the cast, Kenny generally retains his actors from Local Kung Fu. In ‘Local Kung Fu’, Kenny played the hero while Utkal Hazowary played the villain. Here, in a sort of role reversal, Hazowary is playing the protagonist Inspector Boro while Kenny is playing the villain.
Both the actors are in superb form in the film. Apart from showcasing his martial arts skills with full abandon, Hazowary is terrific with his one-liners which he delivers with a straight face. He is brilliant as this no-nonsense pork loving cop. Kenny’s character is on the receiving end of most of these lines and his reactions make these scenes really hilarious.
Suneet Bora who impressed with his comic timing in ‘Local Kung Fu 2’, is very good here as DSP Konwar, a cop with an axe to grind against the villain in this movie. Scope for comedy is less for his character this time, but he nevertheless elicits some laugh. Poonam Gurung, who hails from Siliguri is terrific as the missing girl Sabrina Rai. There is adequate support from Eepsita Hazarika, Mrigendra Konwar and Bibhash Sinha. Filmmaker and actor Anupam Kaushik Borah, who recently directed the movie ‘Bornodi Bhotiai’ is quite good in a Shakti Kapoor-esque character.
When it comes to the technical aspects, ‘Suspected Inspector Boro’ is a polished product. Especially the cinematography and the background score is spot on. The film has subtitles which could have been better as they stick out like sore thumb in many places.
Lastly, ‘Suspended Inspector Boro’ is an engrossing watch and in my opinion, miles ahead of Assamese commercial films made in recent times. It sets out to entertain and does so with complete abandon. ‘Suspended Inspector Boro’ has all the makings for a successful franchise and I would be quite excited to see this quirky cop take on baddies in another mission.