Saeed Akhtar Mirza‘s Albert Pinto Ko Gussa Kyun Aata Hai? – which is about a car mechanic and his angst against society as he wakes up to the unjust class biases – is considered a cult classic.
Soumitra Ranade’s latest can best be described as a conceptual remake of the 1980s original. “Anger” is an overarching theme that, in a way, connects the two films, but its trajectory is a completely different one from the one in the original.
A non-linear, slightly frenzied narrative introduces us to the principle characters. Albert is apparently missing and we meet his girlfriend Stella (Nandita Das) going to the police to somehow track him down. As she speaks of him and his habits, we slowly piece together a version of Albert.
But next we see Albert (Manav Kaul) driving with a man to an undisclosed location. Their conversation adds pace and chisels out a more clear character sketch of the two.
Saurabh Shukla is superb as a Haryanvi with malleable morals. He talks of a “man-eat- man world” and his complete acceptance of the status quo.
Albert, we soon find out, is on his way to Goa to undertake his first assignment as a hitman. Details about his life, his family and his eventual disillusionment all bleed out slowly. And in every phase and frame, we see Stella, in some way, a part of his plight.
The Quintessential Angry Man
Manav Kaul is the quintessential angry man who slowly disintegrates but keeps the proceedings buoyant with his angst that he makes his own.
Manav’s Albert is anti-establishment, ferocious in his rage but also vulnerable and fragile as he tries to negotiate and understand the world around him.
It is to Kaul’s credit that we feel invested to a degree in Albert’s story. His chemistry with Saurabh Shukla also translates beautifully on screen. But Ranade’s screenplay meanders and limps which means that the film seems longer than it actually is and drags.
Albert Pinto is angry and to a degree we empathise with him, but the film lacks the finesse to engage us.
The frenzied to and fro between timelines eventually leaves us baffled and asking for more. Not as effective as the original but still watchable thanks to the performances. 2.5 Quints out of 5!