The Jengaburu Curse review: Slow-burn, fiery and intriguing

The Jengaburu Curse review: Slow-burn, fiery and intriguing

The Jengaburu Curse review: Slow-burn, fiery and intriguing

Touted as India’s first Cli-fi thriller, The Jengaburu Curse, directed by award winning director Nila Madhab Panda centers on Priyamvada Das (Faria Abdullah), a financial research analyst working in London who is called on emergency to Odisha, when her father, Swatantra Das, goes missing in the bauxite mining belt of the state – Keonjhar.

Priya’s search for her father evolves into a daunting quest where she discovers a plethora of truths buried under the hills clad with red soil and waiting to be unearthed. During the investigation, it is revealed that his dad was kidnapped by the Naxalites and there is imminent danger to Priya’s life as well. While she is assisted by Her father figure, Mr. Rao (Nasser), a Samaritan constable (Sukumar Tudu), and a foreigner lady, Beatrice and her IAS friend (Sudev Nair) she brushes rough shoulders with the local police officer, Padhy, eventually leading to discover a startling connection between nature and mankind and an international conspiracy.

Award-winning Director Nila Madhab Panda casts an unrelenting eye on the mining belt and the geopolitical landscape of Odisha and his effort to bring the state onto the pan-India forefront is highly commendable. Fashioned as a fiery and intriguing thriller, Jengaburu underlines a looming threat to human civilization from unscrupulous powers. It delves deep into man’s greed and his relentless pursuit of natural resources and its repercussions.

Priya’s identity is rooted in the tribal people. Though not brought up in Odisha, she belongs to the Bondria tribe, which her father was very possessive about. The tattoo on her limb keeps reminding her of that – one of the strong nuances that Panda and his co-writer Mayank Tewari, employ in his slow-burning narrative and makes it look real and authentic. As Priya – the protagonist on the run, Faria is consistent and sure-footed while conveying her predicament and vulnerability with elan. The suspenseful music by Alokananda Dasgupta, always insinuating tension and urgency, is the show’s highpoint.

Pandas assemble real tribal people and portray their anguish and predicament effectively. They are plagued with a rare disease which looms like an epidemic. Makarand Deshpande plays an Odia-speaking socially responsible doctor who devotes his life towards them. We see the Naxals gunning down trucks to get bare minimum food for survival. Their precarious life is suffused with darkness and deficiency.

The casting is bang-on. Embellished with compelling performances and sweeping cinematography by Paulo Perez, Jengaburu captures some unseen, pristine and gorgeous landscapes – the hidden treasures of Odisha including the exquisite aerial shots of the capital city – Bhubaneswar.

The Jengaburu Curse – final words

I go with 3.5 stars out of 5 for The Jengaburu Curse. The seven-episode series is highly recommended for a binge-watch and is streaming on Sony LIV.




Rating : 3.5/5

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About Ahwaan Padhee

Ahwaan Padhee

Ahwaan Padhee, is an IT Techie/Business Consultant by profession and a film critic/cinephile by passion, is also associated with Radio Playback as well, loves writing and conducting movie quizzes. More By Ahwaan Padhee

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