When someone disappears, everything gets infused with that person’s presence. Every single object becomes a reminder of absence, as if absence were more important than presence. Trending on the online subscription video-streaming platform, ZEE5, “Lost” is a mystery-thriller which has been inspired by true events. The film has been directed by Aniruddha Roy Chowdhury and stars Yami Gautam Dhar as a female crime reporter named Vidhi Sahani who investigates the sudden disappearance of a young theater activist Ishan Bharti (Tushar Pandey). This mystery-thriller is based on my hometown, the city of Kolkata in West Bengal, India.
Lost showcases the efforts of Vidhi in unveiling the mystery of Ishan’s sudden disappearance. This thrilling story has a lot of layers inculcated within it which may impact your mind and render you thoughtful.
Lost (2023) Official Trailer:
The plot of Lost, co-written by Aniruddha Roy Chowdhury and Shyamal Sengupta, is something new and intriguing. In fact, there have been many Bollywood films in the past which portrayed investigations regarding mysterious disappearances of individuals. However, the in-depth investigative endeavors of Vidhi Sahani showcased in this movie did keep it thrilling throughout. There are a lot of twists and turns in the screenplay. When Ishan went missing, the police ruled him to be linked with Maoists who they thought were responsible for his disappearance. While Vidihi thought otherwise. She laid her suspicion on politician Ranjan Varman (Rahul Khanna). The screenplay of Lost is philosophical and portrays the lost values and integrity in the modern era.
The film runs for 2 hours. Even if certain scenes appeared a bit stretched, they won’t cause boredom. It is because the frequent twists in the story as it unfolds will engage you in a puzzle-solving game. You would surely not leave your seats without finding out what really happened to Ishan. Also, the dialogues in Lost by Ritesh Shah are impactful enough to stay in your mind for a long time.
Yami Gautam Dhar has played her part as the female crime reporter Vidhi with conviction. The entire film rested on her performance as she is the central character in this story. She anchored her role as the inquisitive crime reporter with earnestness and proved her mettle once again after “A Thursday“.
Pankaj Kapur plays Vidhi’s maternal grandfather and I must say, the film truly depicts a beautiful relationship between a grandfather and his granddaughter. His character is important too from the film’s point of view. In fact, Vidhi’s grandfather was the one who helped her by leading her to a solution during her investigation.
Rahul Khanna as the suspicious antagonist added to the thrill. Tushar Pandey who plays Ishan has a brief role in the movie but he carried it out well. It is obvious that his role would be brief because, after a certain instance, he disappears. Jokes apart!
The supporting cast included Neil Bhoopalam as Vidhi’s boyfriend Jeet and Pia Bajpaiee as Ishan’s girlfriend Ankita, who rendered great support.
The Mystery Atmosphere
The shady sepia tone prevailing in the cinematic backgrounds of the movie added to its mystery essence. Cinematographer Avik Mukhopadhyay deserves appreciation for this clever approach. The film was shot in Kolkata and the retro buildings and landscapes of the city amplified the mysterious atmosphere.
Who Is Ishan?
The main reason why this movie may fail is because of the character Ishan. I would like to ask the filmmakers, who really was Ishan? Was he some famous celebrity or politician, that his disappearance made a popular crime reporter spend her valuable time investigating? India is a vastly populous country and here, several people go missing every now and then. So what’s so special about Ishan which raised such a hue and cry about his disappearance?
What I mean to say here is that the filmmakers failed to establish the character of Ishan. Because of this the sympathy of the audience doesn’t build up upon his character in the first place! So, the audiences are like, if a “nobody” like Ishan has gone missing, then let it be! After all, he was some unpopular street performer who just used to entertain the crowds. People like that go missing every day!
Also, the audiences would have accepted the character of Ishan if it had been played by some top star in Bollywood like Kartik Aaryan, Varun Dhawan, or Sidharth Malhotra. The filmmakers could have made a wise decision by portraying a top Bollywood star as Ishan rather than an unpopular newbie like Tushar Pandey. This would have established the character in the minds of the audiences and then they would have appreciated this film much more.
The songs in Lost are extremely irritating and are not worth even to be discussed. There are four to five unpopular tracks in this movie and all of them are exceptionally bad. Listen to their unmelodic cacophony at your own risk!
The making of Lost is as mysterious as the film itself. Reports reveal that this film was shot within a month. Its filming began in July 2021 and wrapped up in August 2021. I wonder, what made the filmmakers hold it for so long and release it on February 16, 2023? Moreover, this mystery drama suddenly released with no prior news of its release anywhere! The editing of this movie was well done considering the fact that editor Bodhaditya Banerjee managed to keep all the detailed investigative scenes within the 2-hour time frame.
I find reports that some people are ultra-fascinated by the “mysterious” city of Kolkata which has been portrayed in this movie. Kolkata, being my hometown, arouses the least fascination in me. In fact, I find it everything other than mysterious. If you ask me, it is quite an old-fashioned and boring place to reside and if you reside here, you would feel that you have traveled back in time somewhere in the 19th century.
Lost also indicates director Aniruddha Roy Chowdhury‘s obsession with feminism. He directed the movie “Pink” with the tagline “No means, No!” That means when a woman says the word “No” in order to express her denial, it genuinely means “No”. No man can force her without her consent. Now with Lost, he showcases to what extent a woman can go and what she is capable of doing when she is determined. Crime reporter Vidhi did dig deep into her investigations despite facing several oppositions to finally uncover the mystery of Ishan’s disappearance.
In my opinion, Lost is a fair entertainer for thriller lovers. However, apart from experiencing a thrill, you may be left with several questions to ponder after watching it. The film is thrilling no doubt, but its philosophical screenplay may not be digested by all. Perhaps, this is the main reason why this film itself may get lost a bit too early just like Ishan did.
I would say that the filmmakers did the right thing by releasing this film on an OTT platform and not on the big screens. Had it been released on the big screens, then the audiences in the theater hall would have gone missing as well. Excuse me for this joke, but if you love some “philosophical thrill” you can very well consider watching Lost streaming on ZEE5.
- Acting - 8.5/108.5/10
- Cinematography/Visual Effects - 9/109/10
- Plot/Screenplay - 7/107/10
- Setting/Theme - 8/108/10
- Watchability - 8/108/10
- Rewatchability - 0/100/10