One year after Punorjonmo 2, Vickey Zahed returns with a compact thrill. The notorious chef Rafsan Haque (Arfan Nisho) in the latest part of the psycho-thriller series Punorjonmo starts exactly where it was left off at the end of Punorjonmo 2.
You must have watched cannibalistic scenes in movies and web series that unsettle you or make you want to throw up – or you skip them altogether if you are sensitive to such scenes.
But Punorjonmo 3 is not like that, if you were wondering. Vicky Zahed depicts the catering and consumption of human flesh as if it is food served fresh and tasty and he has even been criticised for normalising an abnormal act.
Rafsan Haque carefully cutting bananas into equal sizes – which he believes is a prerequisite for a dainty dish – foreshadows his new hobby, or rather addiction. Vicky presented a new Rafsan Haque in the series: as an anti-hero; a villain you could root for. With proper culinary skills, gestures and postures, he will definitely pass for an actual chef.
Trending at number one on YouTube in Bangladesh for weeks since release, Punorjonmo 3 has been widely acclaimed by netizens. Through its one hour and 26 minutes of runtime, the thriller will keep you glued, while Nisho's narration guides you through it.
The third serving of the four-part drama series begins with a flashback of a wedding feast in 2018, when the plot originally began. Zahed shows his virtuosity using television-news and promotional texts to keep the audience notified on the timeline, since the story uses frequent jump cuts to tell the story, spanning from 2018 to 2022.
In 2018, we see Kamal at the wedding of Rashed Chowdhury's son enjoying the great Rafsan Haque's cooking. In 2022, OC Harun (Mukul Siraj) is deeply concerned with the Neela missing case, and Rafsan Haque has a few pieces to set in his puzzle.
In the previous two instalments, the mysterious plot thickened, which Vicky dragged into his web film 'Shuklopokkho' that came out between Punorjonmo 2 and 3.
In Punorjonmo 3, he roped in some characters from Shuklopokkho and seamlessly blended the stories, which is an entirely new phenomenon in our industry. In Shuklopokkho, we saw Rafsan Haque's fan and fellow cannibal, Kamal (Abdullah Al Sentu), OC Kamrul in charge of finding missing girls from a university and Manju, who lost his twin brother. The characters are also present in this part.
It is not difficult for the audience to understand that Vickey Zahed is creating a 'Punorjonmo universe' or 'Vickiverse.'
Sentu grabbed attention once again with his extraordinary performance following Shuklopokkho. In both her characters – though totally different – Mehazabien Chowdhury acted brilliantly as usual.
Also, Shahed Ali as Nuru driver excellently played the role of a drug-addicted abnormal character. The colour grading and sound engineering all intermingled with the story, making it more pleasing to the senses.
The only bland aspect of the drama was Rafsan's same-tone dialogue delivery, irrespective of the situation. Although the background score was perfectly used to build tension when needed – Rafsan's husky, deep voice with the background music overlapping the narration sometimes makes it difficult to follow the story.
First released in 2021, the Punorjonmo series adds a new flavour to the Bangladeshi thriller genre, enthralling the audience with a completely different story style. The plot revolves around a celebrity chef and his missing wife who returns home only to be discovered as a look-alike.
This latest part reveals more about the Rafsan-Nila chemistry and ends with a sharp turn which might not cross your mind, or you might not want to believe. The fourth and final part is expected to be released during Eid-ul-Fitr. As it gets intense – you cannot ignore it the way you cannot ignore Rafsan Haque's dishes.