The Last Thakur

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Review byMatthew Turner24/06/2009

Two out of Five stars
Running time: 81 mins

This dark, British-made drama has an intriguingly familiar premise and a trio of strong performances but it's painfully slow and ultimately underwhelming.

What's it all about?
Directed by Sadik Ahmed, this British-made drama is set in present day Doulathpur, an isolated corner of Bangladesh. Tariq Anam Khan stars as Thakur, a powerful landowner and the only Hindu in the area, who has repossessed debt-ridden land in order to build a Hindu temple – this, in turn provokes a suspicious and intense rivalry with the equally powerful Chairman (Ahmed Rubel), a Muslim who appears to run everything, after a possibly rigged election.

The rivalry between Chairman and Thakur is further exacerbated by the arrival of Kala (Tanveer Hassan), a mysterious, gun-toting ex-soldier who seems to be seeking clues to his parentage. Offering himself as a gun-for-hire, Kala is soon employed as Thakur's bodyguard, but Chairman secretly approaches him to work as a double agent, intending to get rid of Thakur by any means necessary.

The Good
The performances are good; Hassan is suitably enigmatic and Ahmed and Khan both have subtly different sinister sides, so you're never quite sure who the bad guy is. There's also strong support from Tanju Miah, a young boy who narrates the story and is fiercely loyal to Chairman (meaning that the narration doesn't always match what we see on screen).

The Bad
At first glance, the plot of The Last Thakur appears to be yet another version of Dashiell Hammett's Red Harvest – if the story seems familiar, it's because you've probably seen Akira Kurosawa's Yojimbo, Sergio Leone's A Fistful of Dollars, the Coen Brothers' Miller's Crossing or even Walter Hill's Last Man Standing. Unfortunately, the pacing is painfully slow, so the story loses much of its impact, though it does rally for an effective climax.

Worth seeing?
The Last Thakur is a watchable drama, but the painfully slow pacing detracts from its tried-and-tested plot.

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Content updated: 17/12/2018 21:14

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