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The Plot Thickens

Friday, January 11, 2019
By Deepa Gahlot

A film about murder and the supernatural needs a title catchier than 706, though it is certainly intriguing—what the number stands for any how is it so important.

706, directed by Shravan Kumar, is the kind of film that slips through the cracks amidst a plethora of releases—not extraordinary enough to stand out, but not so inept as to be ignored. In fact, the casting of Atul Kulkarni and Divya Dutta in the main roles ensures that the acting department is in safe hands (both actors are made to puff
away at cigarettes for some reason, though neither really needs such a crutch).

Kulkarni plays DCP Shekhawat, who is particularly concerned about the disappearance of Dr Anil Asthana (Mohan Agashe in a tiny role), and tries to reassure his skeptical wife Dr Suman (Divya Dutta) that all efforts are being made to trace her husband.

In the Asthanas’ hospital is a patient, Neeraj (Yashvit Sancheti), a young boy who suffers from convulsions and reveals things that he could not possibly know. His hapless parents wring their hands as his reports come out normal and the doctors cannot figure out what is wrong with him. Neeraj tells Shekhawat that Dr Asthana is dead and also where his body is to be found. The information turns out to be correct, and when the flummoxed cop tries to interrogate him about how he came upon those details, he tells Shekhawat a secret about his past, that even has tried his hardest to forget.

The plot goes into supernatural territory and into Benaras, where a secret from Shekhawat’s past lies buried and what is going on in Dr Suman’s life and a former patient (Rayo Bakhirta) are connected to it as well. Shravan Kumar keeps up the suspense, and paces the film well, with links to the mystery being unravelled gradually.

At some point, the audience can guess which way the story is headed, still, the interest in how the case will be solved is maintained. The film does touch upon the paranormal, but does not treat the scenes with shlock horror or go into needlessly convoluted superstitious details. As Shekhawat explains to Suman, that he is an educated man, but accepts that there are things that cannot be explained rationally. He is smart enough to connect the dots and see clues that other cops missed, but is also wears a taveez (talisman) as protection.

706 is a watchable, perhaps not in the cinema, but should work well as home entertainment.

Both the characters have secrets to hide, that are threatening to destroy them now, and at least Shekhawat has the ruthlessness needed to save himself at any cost.

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