Helmed by debutant director Atanu Mukherjee, Rukh stuns with its self-assured solid storytelling. A thriller where details bleed out one at a time, and the understated drama slowly spreads its tentacles taking us the viewers firmly in its grip.A car accident, a sudden death, hushed talks about an impending CBI enquiry, studied schemes of erstwhile friends and business partners along, a wife’s grief and a son’s still, piercing gaze — Rukh comes alive in its moments of lull and silence.There is a delicate meditation on the aching loss of a parent, the finality of death and its undeniable impact on changing the course or as they say “rukh” of life.Through Atanu Mukherjee and Akash Mohimen’s screenplay, along with dialogues by Vasan Bala, the film lets us “see more” than the sordid Bollywood way of telling us and dictating every motivation of each character.We first meet Divakar (Manoj Bajpayee) and his wife Nandini (Smita Tambe) at the dining table. Their half spoken sentences and unhappy demeanor gives us an inkling that all might not be right. Soon after we meet the son, who looks around listlessly and in so many ways mirrors our own anxiety.Of all the characters, it’s the young Dhruv (Adarsh Gourav) and how he must deal with the sudden tragedy that anchors us to the story. It’s by following his vision that we peel the various layers of intrigue bit by bit.As Pooja Gupte’s cinematography captures the rising anxiety, it’s the compelling performances that shine through.Manoj Bajpayee’s full-bloodied commitment to every film is remarkable and here in his portrayal of Divakar we see yet again his glorious craft. Smita Tambe mines the weariness of Nandini with stunning efficiency.Then there is Kumud Mishra, the business partner with his not-so-noble intentions, who walks a thin rope with a determined ease. Not to forget the ensemble cast of Pawan Singh (Hassan), Subhrajyoti Barat (Jayant) and Bhushan Vikas (Shinde), who are terrific.But it is Adarsh Gourav who holds his own and doesn’t get eclipsed with even the best around him. There is such an emotional truth in his performance that he manages to evoke the most authentic sense of displacement and grief.Rukh is subtle and hugely impressive. 4 Quints out of 5. For those fed up of the regular craven plots that Bollywood offers, this is going to be a welcome change.Camera: Shiv Kumar MauryaEditor: Rahul SanpuiProducer: Vivek Das(Breathe In, Breathe Out: Are you finding it tough to breathe polluted air? Join hands with FIT in partnership with #MyRightToBreathe to find a solution to pollution. Send in your suggestions to firstname.lastname@example.org or WhatsApp @ +919999008335) We'll get through this! Meanwhile, here's all you need to know about the Coronavirus outbreak to keep yourself safe, informed, and updated. The Quint is now available on Telegram & WhatsApp too, Click here to join.