Chatushkone – resonating hope in the mute tunnel of recent Bengali cinema

To begin with, please don’t consider it as a review of the film. It is not even a critical analysis. You can read it as an expression of gratitude for the man who brought a spring of hope in the Bengali film industry and is doing wonders for the last five years. It is a humble attempt to assert the fact that Bengali films are still intellectually superior in a country where senseless films are celebrated as commercial cinema!

It is very different here in Bengal. We tend to celebrate art in various forms and when it comes to films we have a natural tendency of becoming a little more critical. After the golden era of the seventies, there was a lull in Bengali cinema. I was lucky enough to experience the rise of Bengali cinema during the earlier years of this millennium. I would definitely credit a few film makers who compelled the Bengali audience towards theatres. Rituporno Ghosh, Aparna Sen, Anjan Dutt, Kaushik Ganguly and definitely Srijit Mukherjee are the leading names in this context.

chotushkone-still-1

The subject of this write-up happens to be the latest film by the last name in the aforementioned list, “Chatushkone”. The film is undoubtedly the biggest blockbuster in 2014 as far as Bengali cinema is concerned. It proved that the Bengali audience is still very particular about the art of cinema. It is not the mindless films (read commercial films) but intelligent and substantially superior films that attract audiences to cinema halls. Srijit’s films have been proving the point from his debut film to say the least! Autograph, Baishey Shrabon, Hemlock Society, Mishawr Roshshyo, Jaatishwar and then came Chatushkone.

chotuskone_aparna-sen

Being a film buff and a keen student of film making, I am a part of the stories that float around the industry for the last seven-eight years now. Chatushkone happens to be Srijit’s one of the oldest scripts that witnessed a number of adversities. If a film is perceived as the brain child of the film maker, perhaps this child of survived the most difficult conditions. Challenging the conditions like actor walk-outs to loss of inspiration (the sad demise of Rituparno), Chatushkone was perhaps the most adamant project of the director that turned out to be his best film till date. Analysis of the film is done in various scales and the success story has been written, discussed and celebrated through various means. I still wanted to point out some of the weak links of the film when I went to the theatre for the second time to watch the film. I considered taking notes! I couldn’t, I was converted to a keen audience.

chotuskone_goutam-ghoseThere are a number of films that are made with the concept of film within a film. Srijit challenged the form – he made a film with four films in it, treating them very uniquely. With different time lines, different colour codes, different taste and a very subtle approach all the four films had a statement of its own. The quadrilateral chemistry between the four directors illustrated in the film was entwined in a soothing yet a very compelling thriller story. The director has a unique signature in terms of his sarcastic and invigorating dialogue writing; Chatushkone was no different.

chotuskone_chiranjit

The plate was full for the audiences to grab their desired tastes. The likes of Parambrata Chattopadhyay, Goutam Ghose, Aparna Sen and Chiranjit played the major characters along with wonderful cameos from Kaushik Ganguly, Barun Chanda, Neel Mukherjee, Indrashish Roy, Paayel Sarkar, Arpita Chaterjee and Koneenica Banerjee doing justice to the script. Chiranjit (Dipak Chakroborty) probably collected the most number of congratulatory messages for Chatushkone, his comeback film. As far as the music was concerned, the songs penned by Anupam Roy were lyrical and soothing as usual. Although, I personally feel that the film had two songs too many, given the genre or the subject of the film is concerned.  Editing, Cinematography, set design and the execution couldn’t have been better.

 

chotuskone_parambrataAs a concluding note, I would definitely like to congratulate Srijit Mukherjee for restoring the hope of audience in Bengal. Dear comrade, keep inspiring us with your efforts that can and will nullify the efforts of some shallow trade-analysts who define films on the basis of box-office collection! I wish him all the success for his future projects and hope his films cross international boundaries bringing more glories for Bengali cinema.

 

Signing off from the desk of mymotionpicture seeking light on the other end of the mute tunnel called, Bengali Cinema!

Advertisements

Ganesh Talkies – A Commercially parallel film!

First impression: Anjan Dutt must be terribly pissed off with the recent trend in the industry that felicitates 100 Crore club members and he decided to make Ganesh Talkies. Well my second impression was logically reasoned and emotionally verified. Hope you will have a patient read…

Probably, this will be a critical appreciation of the movie – Ganesh Talkies. With all the speculations going on in the market and a huge section of the crowd trying to defend the veteran director, I would like to take a route upstream. It was June 24th, 2011 when his national award-winning movie, “Ranjana Ami ar Asbona” was released. Two years from then 21st June saw the release of Ganesh Talkies, a commercial film as proclaimed by the director himself.

GT-img

In a country, where film making is either business or art, the idea was to blend both of them and present something entertaining. A film not only dedicated to the class, but also for the mass. Ganesh Talkies, the recent motion picture by Anjan Dutt was a potboiler with many distinguishable characters that you can relate to. The story was simple, lucid and heartwarming for the young and the young-at-heart audience who would admire the actor, director, singer and song writer for all his credibility throughout the years. It gathered momentum from some wonderful performances by the actors and subtle skill from the director. A candid narration added some adequate flavor to the story telling and one has to admit that the film truly celebrated friendship and nostalgia like many other movies of Dutt. He had the courage to state some unsaid verses in his symbolic honest mannerism and you can easily find him and his ideologies in every scene of the movie. However, did Ganesh Talkies prove the quality and excitements that it created or did it surpass the expectation of the audiences far and wide?

Theory:  We are subjected to a very innovative style of cinema. A film where we have a typical hero and a heroine, however, the story is more about two people from two different strata of the society who were school friends and presently the parents of the protagonists. Now, how would you like the audience to react? A section of the crowd who wished to see some masala story with the major characters hardly got anything to take away and a section of the crowd, who inevitably watches a Dutt film found the item song unjust, untimely and extremely unpleasant to match with the nostalgia and the under-dog love story celebration. The screenplay lacked clarity at various points.

They say the market is a pyramid and to generate revenue you have to attack the base. So, our director did the same. However, with his intellect and perception of world cinema, he could not do away with the subtle features of film making that bagged him the much coveted national award. Here, he unknowingly disturbs the niche audience as well as the alluring new market.

Anti-Theory: We already have a dozen of directors in Bengal and may be hundreds of them in India who cannot think of a film without an item number. May be, they start writing the story after a catchy item number is finalized. Sincerely, the “jhal legeche” number was not bad at all, the depiction and use of the song shatters the entire gravity of the film, to be honest. Trusting the veteran film maker with his tastes and modernized approach, I felt that even the climax was too co-incidental. Raima Sen hardly had a screen presence and Chandan Roy Sanyal was seemingly uncomfortable in the first half of the film.

Even then, I won’t say the characters were excellent, but they were very real. However, it might be a choice for the audience to accept or argue.The alternate love story, the grey promoters in the city, the ageless friendship, selfless love and the captivating local goons fighting for power were equally emotional and hilarious from time to time. Anyone would rate Ganesh Talkies ahead of a lot of films released in recent times for coherent reasons.

Ganesh-Talkies-Bangali-Movie

Story in a nutshell: Pashupati (Biswajit) and Pravin (Rajesh) are childhood friends. Pashupati is planning to marry off his daughter Saban (Raima) to an NRI. But Saban is secretly in love with Arjun (Chandan), Pravin’s son. What happens when both families come to know of their concealed romance? The parallel stories revolve around a lack-lusture single screen theatre named “Ganesh talkies” and some enterprising promoters trying to convert it into a multiplex. A cross -cultural love story with all ingredients to tickle the idiosyncratic relationship of bengalis and marwaris which remains the USP of Ganesh Talkies.

GT-image
Suggesting “Jhaal Legeche”

Music and the rest: Unlike other Anjan Dutt movies, music of Ganesh Talkies didn’t turn out to be a memorable record to cherish for a long time. Although, I keep humming the “Na Jaane milo ge Kahan” number now and then, the item song, was definitely an itching experience which persisted even after the “happy” ending of the film. The lyrics of the songs are appreciated by one and all. The camera movements and editing were average baring a few signature scenes that can only be seen in an Anjan Dutt movie. However, as announced by the director himself, it would be unjust to expect anything “extra” from Ganesh Talkies for the same reason that would restrict me to write something about Khoka 420.

To wrap up, Ganesh Talkies is a film that should not be quantified with success pertaining to numbers but hearts won and broken. If this was the maiden attempt of Dutt gambling a different genre of films which is sadly known as commercial cinema in India, I must congratulate the Anjan Dutt for his efforts. The unification of viable (read commercial) films and parallel film making was certainly difficult to achieve and the director, like always breaks off the shackles to deliver something for the audience to chew upon. For those who have seen the movie, I would expect a constructive debate and those who are yet to watch Ganesh Talkies, make sure you don’t miss the transformed Dutt.

A Note to the audience from the desk of mymotionpicture:  In India, creating, endorsing and selling something intellectually crisp and indigenous is becoming extremely difficult. As an audience, if you feel restless and frustrated with the decreasing quality of films, original music, plays etc, do have a look at the mirror and reason your choices when it comes to piracy, downloading, stupid south Indian remakes and everything that disturbs the culture and aesthetics of the city and the country. Look around and let the good film makers derive inspiration from deserving claps and proper recognition. It is truly an ominous sign if sensible film makers of our times tend to change their ways and succumb to shallow stories and superficial entertainment. May be a wake up call!

Best Bengali movies of 2013 – First Quarter!

How are you movie watchers from the land of Rabindranath Tagore and Satyajit Ray? I hear, they cut cakes together now-a- days! Celebrated their birthdays recently!  The film industry of this part of the world is seeing some change. Some change for the good. I believe every time I am discussing something with someone from this good old place which was once called Calcutta (now known as Kolkata), the refinement of the thoughts always reflect cream and something else that raises the quality of the discussion. So, discussing movies has always been a pleasure! Movies critically analyzed and then pitched with mixed emotions and changed climaxes. I am sure you did this with your silver screen peer as well.

Experiment, Analysis, Conclusion...
Experiment, Analysis, Conclusion…

Bengali films, rather the new age Bengali films have really managed to make place in the hearts of urban Bengal. However, there are still senseless movies produced for the huge audience in the remote areas of the state. I would not chastise those producers and directors for capitalizing illiteracy; however, I would like to let them know, that we know as well. There is a very thin line between senseless and sensible in terms of creativity and here lies the question. For those who mint money with item numbers and rain dances, are they happy to serve their hunger with these or have completely murdered their urge for excellence in terms of creativity and inspiration!

Recently, I saw “Goynar Baksho by Aparna Sen and the national award winning movie “Shobdo” by Kaushik Ganguli. I loved them for entirely different reason, although I can only say that both of them (the directors) were brilliant in their approach. One explained contemporary commercial movies and the wide window it has to improve. The chances where one can improvise and make it an out and out entertainer without letting the audience know that its fiction. On the other hand, Shobdo was an attempt for which I should thank the producer first. I don’t know how Mr. Ganguli managed to gather enough courage and money to go and hunt for a dream film like this. I was overwhelmed with the editing, cinematography and specially the sound effect of Shobdo. It was rightly felicitated with the National award in Sound Design.

goynar baksho

Speaking more about Goynar Baksho, Aparna Sen adapted a story of Mr. Sirshendu Mukhopadhyay and brilliantly screened it with Mousumi Chatterjee excelling in her flick as the ghost Pishima protecting her closet of jewelries. Konkona Sen Sharma, Saswata Mukherjee, Paran Bandyapadhyay, Shrabanti and others did exceedingly well. The director used some apt visual imagery to portray the three generations attached with that particular box of jewelries. You can still watch the movie to know more about it.

Aparna-Sen

I was rather interested in describing a well made commercial film that can also fit into the genre of art films. If I am through to you, you can reciprocate with names like Hawa Bodol in Bengali or something like Barfi in Hindi. Aren’t they commercial films? They are thoroughly commercial ones. The ones with high box office risks, but the way they are presented brings this outlook of intelligent movies. The film makers who tend to reason the prospects of Masala movies can learn how to cook a quality recipe from film makers like Aparna Sen. She thanks her producer for realizing her long back dream script into a successful movie with a gesture indigenous to the crispy dialogues of Pishima!

Well, AnandaBajar Patrika – the eminent newspaper of Bengal rated Shobdo with an all time best of nine and a half on ten! Shobdo is acclaimed with a national award for sound and one for the best Bengali movie. Screened in various international film festivals and rated highly. Numerous reviews and many a wonderful words spent to describe this lifetime work of Kauhik Ganguli. How should I describe it now? A story about a Foley artist (Ritwick Chakroborty) who gets over-obsessed with the creativity involved in his work and fails to register normal human voices. He becomes engrossed in background sounds, precisely the free sounds in the nature. So, his wife (Raima Sen) becomes worried about this abnormal behavior and takes him to a psychiatrist (Churni Ganguly). She chases the case to its end and I would love to realize something what she actually discovers. Human beings like them are labeled abnormal, however, we the so called sane section of the society are more vulnerable. Anyways, go and watch the sound of Shobdo in case you missed it in the theater!

kaushik-ganguly shobdo-movie

Shobdo, is a film about a film technician or rather sound artist. We hardly wait in the theaters when the size of the font decreases. We hardly realize their contribution towards the movie. They don’t know about us and we don’t try to know about them. The film was special to me for many reasons. This was one of the major ones. It was wonderfully crafted barring a small section where Victor Bannerjee (respect) was probably over used. I was mesmerized with the acting skills of Raima Sen in this particular movie. The director was very particular about the continuity and rightly describes a splendid art film. Shobdo was articulately designed for the hearts of a niche crowd that applauds good work, rather exceptional work.

To wrap up a heart feeling discussion about two recent Bengali films, I would like to express my expectations and excitement for the entire year. I wish like the last year, I get to watch a flock of differently beautiful Bengali movies. Some of them are already waiting to hit the screens. Fingers crossed for “Ganesh Talkies” by Anjan Dutt.

Signing off from the desk of mymotionpicture till I find a SOUND jewelry Box to sponsor my movie…

Top five Bengali films -2012

Some of us thought we will not make it to 2013. Some of us were hopeful enough to plan and fabricate new proposals for the fresh year. I was watching movies all the year round. (*Laughs!)

For the audience in Bengal who express their happiness and sorrows in a language which is the second sweetest in the world, the last year was quite eventful in terms of quality motion picture production. The audience of the state and the film industry is yielding money in good work and that is the happier part of the story. I would like to feature top five Bengali movies of 2012 in this presentation from my-motion-picture.

1)      Hemlock Society

Die if you want.. please don't promote...
Die if you want.. please don’t promote…

 Genre: Drama

Released on: 22nd June, 2012.

A very different story line where the protagonist runs an institute training aspiring candidate to execute their right to euthanasia! Writer/Director Srijit Mukherjee in his third venture after Autograph (A tribute to Satyajit Ray ) and Baishey Shrabon teamed up with Parambrata Chatterjee, Koel Mallik, Rupa Ganguly, Dipankar Dey and some wonderful actors to tell this unconvincingly true story. If you managed to miss the show, make sure you watch this as you are still alive in 2013!

USP: unique story, crisp dialogue, music by Anupam Roy, Photography and Parambrata’s acting!

2)      Muktodhara

Nigel Akara exclusive still from Muktodhara
Nigel Akara exclusive still from Muktodhara

Genre: Drama

Released on: 3rd August, 2012.

The director duo Nandita Roy and Shiboprasad Mukherjee penned a screenplay that was inspired from one of the famous theater with the same name that featured Rituparna Sengupta and prison inmates including Nigel Akara, a real time convict. The film although remains a shadow of the real drama played on the stage, tells an inspirational story about rehabilitation of criminals and life after imprisonment.

USP: Music by Surajit Mukherjee and Joy Sarkar, distinctive story and Nigel Akara.

3)      Chitrangada

 A still from Chitrangada..
A still from Chitrangada..

Genre: Drama

Released on: 31st August.

Rituporno Ghosh takes a deep insight in one of the dance dramas of Rabindranath Tagore with the same title. The screenplay, direction and metaphorical description of time and psych in the movie were awesome. Actors like Anjan Dutt, Dipankar Dey, Raima Sen and Jishu Sengupta along with the director himself did justice to their characters. The crowning of a hearts wish would rather be the bottom line of the film.

USP: Crisp dialogue, subtle camera works depicting time, Anjan Dutt and spectacular story telling.

4)      Aboseshey

Abosheshey - a film by Aditi Roy
Abosheshey – a film by Aditi Roy

Genre: Drama

Released on: 21st September.

Debutant director Aditi Roy won my heart with her wonderful story telling technique. The story celebrates the love of a woman in true perspective. A son discovers his mother as a person after she passes away through her intimate acquaintances. The story itself rose to a new height as Rupa Ganguly did splendidly well to justify her character. Co-actors Ankur Khanna, Sen, Dipankar Dey and others were so well placed in the movie. This film demands poly-watch attention from every story lover of Bengal. How about naming the film differently, “Suchismita’s Diary!”?

USP: Tagore Songs by Rupa Ganguly, fabulous direction, apt time transition.

5)      Dutta vs. Dutta

A story celebrating life, love and music...
A story celebrating life, love and music…

Genre: Drama

Released on: 23rd November.

Veteran film maker, Anjan Dutt takes a magic wand to make an autobiographical drama and presented the audience a straight from the heart story. The celebration of life amidst all the worldly problems and victory of life remains the bottom line of the movie. The director stepped in the shoes of his father and introduced the very talented Ronodeep Basu as Dutta junior in the film. The story revolves in the city of Kolkata and brings in a lot of nostalgia along with the celebration of idiosyncratic Bengalis. Actors like Rupa Ganguly, Rita Koiral, Parno Mitra, Dipankar Dey, Kaushik Sen, Shankar Chakraborty, Srijit Mukherjee, Arpita Chatterjee and others were undoubtedly remarkable as the Director splendidly placed in the movie.

USP: Music by Neel Dutt, dialogues, profound story line and Anjan Dutt’s acting.

I wonder how much money these five films made, but I can guarantee love, happiness, music, sorrow, smiles, tears, anger, compassion, sensibility, hatred, life, death, friendship and everything that your heart yarns for in these movies.. Why watch senseless Indie movies!!!?????????????

There were genuine efforts by other film makers as well and Bengal is surging ahead in sensible film making as the city waits for more formidable stories and more honest efforts from directors, producers, actors, cinematographers, music directors and everyone who contributes in making a film and turning it into an art from a mere motion picture!

Signing off from the lens desk of my-motion-picture till you see all these five films and tell me if I was right… 🙂

 

Dutta vs. Dutta – A story celebrating Life, Love and Music!

Assess Mr. Dutt.
Assess Mr. Dutt.
Assess Mr. Dutt.
Assess Mr. Dutt.

It is difficult to assess a film in India. It is even more difficult to assess a good movie in India. I am writing this with the hope that whoever reads this, understands life.

Indian movies get released in theaters and then after a while DVDs hit the market. I watched Dutta vs. Dutta thrice in the last few days and realized some of the key factors that differentiate a well made film from something that we call commercial movies. I call them senseless though!

Dutta- jr. - Played by Ronodeep Basu
Dutta- jr. – Played by Ronodeep Basu
Dutta Sr. - Played by Anjan Dutt.
Dutta Sr. – Played by Anjan Dutt.

Should I do an assessment then? I am not a film scholar, although I religiously love films. So, what I would like to portray in this “What I wrote” section is Life as it seems to us and to the man who made Dutta vs. Dutta. Yes, I am talking about the national award-winning director Mr. Anjan Dutt. He has depicted life in the true spirits of life for so many years now, not because he is getting paid. He believes in life that celebrates the fact that we are we and we are alive to see who we are!

I know things are getting complicated. It actually demands an extended discussion. However, let me limit my thoughts and words in the boundaries of cinema and art for the time being. There were movies that were self-explanatory, biographies or auto-biographies. This movie can fit in all those genres, and yet proclaims an organic signature of its own.

St. Pauls, Darjeeling!
St. Pauls, Darjeeling!

My first reaction after I saw the premier of the film in Priya Cinemas was, “Naah! Not up to the mark!” Although, I liked the movie, I thought it was hurried at some points. The story could have been done in two parts. I know I am sitting in this lousy place called India, where good work needs to be referred and endorsed and reckless exertions gets financial applause. I know how things are! Yet, I am proud of the man who had the balls to stand up and tell his own story in such a fearless disposition!

Srijit Mukherjee as Tony
Srijit Mukherjee as Tony

Believe me or not, if you understood life even for a day, you would say this is a real story! Fiction and reality go hand in hand, and as the saying goes, “Reality is stranger than fiction”, I would advocate everything shown in the movie and endorse every story told about every character that comprised Dutta vs. Dutta. No one in this world is a Hero, if he is not a hero in his own perspective. We all commit crimes, speak untrue versions of incidents, hurt our loved ones, fight for hasty egos, shout for something wrong, campaign violence, and dream about other women and wish to have all the happiness in our lives. We suffer defeat; we stand up, shrug our shoulders and start of all over again. What we don’t do is we don’t speak about our defeats in the same way we speak about our victories.

Dutta-bari..
Dutta-bari..

Art is a form that hardly requires a language.  Film art is even more international and Mr. Anjan Dutt, a true legend by all means depicted how a simple and an earthly story can reach a new altitude with the sheer intention of speaking what is true and natural. He told his own story. How he was brought up? Who and What were his inspiration? What odds did he come across? How he experienced love? What made him Mr. Anjan Dutt, the person he is now!

Kaushik Sen and Anjan Dutt in a still from the movie!
Kaushik Sen and Anjan Dutt in a still from the movie!

Let me speak on behalf of the man, “Yes! My mother was alcoholic, yet she was a wonderful musician. Yes! My father was unsuccessful, had artificial egos and had an extra-marital affair, yet he was valiant enough to save an innocent soul and suffer the wrath of an ill-maintained government norm. Yes! My uncle sued my father for a meager property, yet he took the responsibility of the entire family when times were not so happy. Yes! We all have short comings, like every family we too suffered, yet we defeated bad times with our own honest approach.”

Rupa Ganguly in Dutta vs. Dutta
Rupa Ganguly in Dutta vs. Dutta

The story grows in every one of us who fight the odds of life and chase a dream that sometimes become a mere mirage. We convince our defeating morals and come back with rejuvenated enthusiasm. The film celebrated Music; it certainly celebrated the aesthetic features of music. It tells me how dreams can be true even if the worst Tempest hits your heart! The film spoke about the power of music that encompasses a bullet or a gun!

I would like to dedicate this movie to the man himself, Mr. Dutt and to all those who get disillusioned everyday and yet has that lion’s heart to express what is true. The narration done by the Director was heartfelt. Throughout the movie, I could relate every song he wrote in his entire life, every word he spoke, every gesture he made and every smoke he exhaled in my knowledge. It seemed like every character in the movie spoke about the man he is now! To congratulate him for this brilliantly made movie, “It’s simply a Director’s movie” won’t be an understatement! Or should I look for a better phrase?

P.S.: I would like to congratulate the Producer of the movie, Mr. Purnendu Roy and Mrs. Neelakhi Roy for their courage in believing what Mr. Dutt wanted. Congratulations to the entire team of Dutta vs. Dutta. Everyone was spectacular!

Signing off from the desk of mymotionpicture, till I gather enough courage to pen down my thoughts..

 

How I perceived Calcutta 71 – A tribute to Mrinal Sen!

Beginning of an era! - Mrinal Sen in his early 20's.
Beginning of an era! – Mrinal Sen in his early 20’s.

A young man completes his degree in Physics from Scottish Church College, Calcutta and then becomes a journalist. Political backdrops and unseen personal clashes drive him out of the city and compel him to be a medical representative and medicine seller in an unknown land. He comes back to his city to take up a job of a sound technician in Calcutta and then the story begins. The journey through which Mr. Mrinal Sen took us, the film lovers of India, instigated and regularly echoed his struggles and frustrations about the fake and senseless culture of Indian cinema.

A still from the movie Mrigaya (1976)
A still from the movie Mrigaya (1976)
Sound - Camera- Action!
Sound – Camera- Action!

He believed in the art and realized its mass appeal. He wanted to tell stories in a different way. He tried to cause worries and also supplied means to tackle them. India has wasted many years after his efforts were fizzing off. He is 90 years old now and his dreams are still dreams in terms of implementation and honesty in the approach which beautified his films. The entire film fraternity saw three dominating film makers at that point as Satyajit Ray, Ritwik Ghatak and Mrinal Sen complemented each other with their strong story line and candid cinematography.

A still from a Mrinal Sen's film.
A still from a Mrinal Sen’s film.
A still from Khandahar.
A still from Khandahar.

I personally believe that a even simple story can reach the hearts and minds of the audience with sheer brilliance of effective story telling technique. Mrinal Sen colonized this idea and he had this in-born talent of insightful story telling. With technicians and machines that are obsolete and out of practice in the modern film industry, he made some of the best films that Indians ever experienced.

Mrinal Sen, disillusioned by the inflexible and unjust rules of the world and specially his country had the guts to comment on some of the most sensitive issues of the 60’s, 70, and 80’s. His films in the 90’s and one in 2002 also had a social commentary to ensure food for his thoughts. He was a rebel as far as film making is concerned. The film industry broke some of the traditional shackles as he introduced his formula of new age films.

As he watches the proceedings...
As he watches the proceedings…

Sen’s works were inspired by a lot of unseen people and associations. His love for theater and drama might be the primary cause for shifting his interest from physics to films. Similarly, his respect for the doctrines of Karl Marx made him direct the Kolkata trilogy in the early 70’s. Interview (1971), Calcutta 71 (1972) and Padatik (The Guerilla Fighter, 1973) speaks about romantic and idiosyncratic Bengalis who fought for civil independence in their own land. He depicted emotions of a large section of our society who are deprived every day.  The Naxalite movement was enclosed and celebrated with correct mindset and apt verbiage.

Poster
Poster
A still from Calcutta 71
A still from Calcutta 71

Humor was also an integral part of Mrinal Sen’s films and classy humor should be the term to define his witty depiction of scenes. He used visual metaphors and efficient ironical dialogues to establish his thoughts. He commented on a number of political events of that time and also displayed the pains and anguish of his hapless inmates due to the reckless and selfish political system of our country. From being a petty medical representative to be a film maker respected by the entire nation, Mrinal Sen’s journey witnessed 27 feature films, 14 short films and 5 documentaries.

My motion picture pays a humble tribute to Mrinal Sen for his lifetime achievements and efforts. He was a visionary who tried his best to reform the film industry, to enhance the creativity and film art, to negotiate unprofessionalism and establish honest intellectual approach towards films. His efforts didn’t go in vain but lacked proper support as sluggish film makers found means to promote their ideas about senseless cinemas and its profit quotients. The affluent educated society of the country still believes what Sen, Ray and Ghatak wanted to portray in their films, writings and interviews. However, the system has lost the zeal to implement new ideas.

Ghatak
Ghatak
Ray
Ray
Sen
Sen

The critics will be shouting and filthy business policies will be flourishing. Time goes by and Indian film industry including the regional film industries are still satisfied with box office returns. Film business schemes murders film art on a regular basis and deceive the illiterate common mass by showing rain scenes on the road, half-clad women in item numbers and sensual scenes of extra marital affairs.

As desperation and frustration creeps in my mind while I finish my reverence article for one of the pioneers of Real Indian movies, Mr. Mrinal Sen, someone tells me “Dabang 2” becomes a 100 crore member! (*sighs)

Dutta vs. Dutta – An excitement that transformed into understanding limitations in Indian Cinema!

Dutta vs. Dutta – An excitement that transformed into understanding limitations in Indian Cinema!

Was it difficult to portray time that was so special to one’s heart in the best possible way or was it difficult to create the time when the story unfolds itself? I had even higher expectations from Dutta vs. Dutta than what it actually is. I am almost a blind follower and fan of Mr. Anjan Dutt and all his philosophies. I respect the man who had the courage to tell his stories and his uncanny experiences in the city. I expected a better form of story telling and it might be a personal impression.

We all have a teenage that is celebrated with deeds of immense bravery and courage as far as the time and the scope is concerned. It might not reach the standards of the stories told in the cinema, but it still remains close to our heart. The first cigarette, first crush, first kiss or the first shot of tequila that shook the world in-front of your eyes will always be special. The film took a step ahead in showing some matured relationships abiding the rules of realism and keeping the idiosyncratic Bengali-s in mind.

A visual imagery of Bengali-s and their value for education and intellect is depicted in many of the recent films. However, the metaphorical description and speaking fewer scenes (although describing everything) is best experienced in Mr. Dutt’s movies. I was searching an extension to those fond memories and I was disappointed.

I must say, the film was hurriedly completed and some scenes lacked heart and some characters were too feeble. Some wonderful actors were misused and some weak links were given more time on-screen. I would still fancy someone from the theater world as junior Dutt, who could compliment the stand out performance of my pied-piper (Gaanwala), Anjan Dutt as the senior Dutta of the story.

The film relived some moments of rejuvenated Bengal in terms of political perversity, musical movements and an offbeat hippie culture that was a new part of the city during the 70’s.  The difference between generations, the clash of identities and ideologies were so candidly shown throughout that it evokes a sense of kinship in the minds of the present generation as well. The problems may be different but the issues still remain the same.

As far as the story, music and screenplay is concerned, I didn’t get amazed like I get amazed every time I watched an Anjan Dutt movie. The movie was not like the contemporary ones we get to watch every day, although it lacked something that would actually beat the previous endeavors of the national award-winning director. I was excited before the movie started and now I understand what it takes to tell a story with so many layers and so many emotions. I still believe the director had some issues regarding the entire project that debarred him from improvising to the next highest level.

The film has thousand and one aspects to love, cherish, sing, relate, think, smile and cry and it will be a crowd puller for all reasons and I am extremely happy that films of these genres are hitting the theater halls and people are turning down glitzy Tamil remakes for the sake of true art and creativity. Cheers to the pioneers of alternate cinema. I still have a dream and you guys feed my dreams with the right nutrition.

A must watch for every Bong with a soul and every Bengali with a heart!

My rating :- 7/10….

P.S. Watch the trailer ::- A note to his father  expressing love and regards!

A note to his father saying, “I love you”!

A must watch video for all the fans and supporters of Anjan Dutt. For all of them who wish to know him better. For all of them who waits for his movies, songs or any other form of creative excellence… I will not say much about the movie and rather expect all of you to pour in and view this teaser of one of the best upcoming movies of this year!

My-motion-picture wishes the team of “Dutta vs. Dutta” all the luck.

Behind the scenes of “Dutta Vs. Dutta” – A YouTube video link.. (must watch!!!)

A special note of thanks to Mr. Anjan Dutt, as he was and he will be my inspiration for all my life. A word of wisdom is magnified, signified and well served when you say them, Sir!

Cast and Crew details:

o Ronodeep Basu,
o Anjan Dutt,
o Dipankar Dey,
o Rupa Ganguly,
o Arpita Chatterjee,
o Music Director: Neel Dutta
o Director and script writer: Anjan Dutta
Respect, Love and Regards for everything Sir! 🙂

Crowning the wish of Chitrangada…

Lets say that one of the most enigmatic directors of the Indian cinema, Rituporno Ghosh started his journey in this particular film, “Chitrangadaa – The crowning wish”, from where he left his scripts in his earlier acting venture, “Memories in March”. The sensitive notion about sexual preference and choosing one’s identity is the subject of this movie. Rituporno Ghosh, armed with a vast knowledge in cinema, practical wisdom and a perfect insight about this section of the society crafted his story in a commendable screenplay. His direction was exceptional and the frames that comes and goes on the screen gives us a mesmerizing experience as far as watching an outstanding cinema is concerned. The narration and the present story including all the characters were wonderfully show-cased in the film. The experience and creativity of “Rituporno Ghosh” was quite significant in the entire movie. He dominated the sequences on every part of the movie and was quite successful.

A still from the movie..

The epic Mahabharata tells us a story about “Chitrangadaa”, who met Arjun in the woods during his term of exile and falls in love with the dashing archer brother among the Pandavas. She was the princes of Manipura and being the sole heir to the throne his father, the king of Manipura brought her up as his son. She used to dress like a man as well. However, Chitrangadaa was profoundly in love with Arjun and wanted to marry him. She discovered her wish to be like woman and defied her father to marry him. Rituporno Ghosh’s “Chitrangadaa” evidently takes some reference from the epic and also merges Rabindranath Tagore’s musical drama with the same title.

Mr. Anjan Dutt played a casual yet a very “close to my heart” character in this film. Jishu Sengupta (who plays Partho, a drummer) and Raima Sen (Kosturi, a dancer and friend of Partho) also steals the show with their skills and comforting screen presence. Jishu’s acting skills were beautifully highlighted by the director. Kudos! Rituporno, himself did a great job as an actor after “Memories in March”. He looked quite exhausted in some of the scenes which might be because of his age. Otherwise the makeup and styling was special as well. The screenplay is impeccable and I loved the switch of scenes that narrated the story about Rudra, a choreographer and director of a famous dance troop in Kolkata. He is an extremely talented person and professes a creative art form. He is a special person in all other aspects as well. He prefers an identity where he himself will be responsible for his sexual orientation and emotional boundaries. He and Partho falls in love with each other and at a dramatic quandary (which I thought was quite feeble a cause.), Rudra decides to go through a complete medical transformation to be the lady among the two. However, the film gives us some interesting insight of human psychology and describes the end of the story which is quite shocking as far as emotions are concerned and you can easily label the movie as a psychological tragedy.

The film deals with a minor yet significant section of our society who equally has the right to live a life like we do. The classy dialogues, metaphorical explanations (‘spiral staircase’ to site one example), arty references, incredible editing and some stunning cinematography provide the viewers a lot of pleasant feelings which are completely gentle, humane and at par with the taste of the modern creative audience. It is quite evident that Mr. Ghosh has designed this movie (listen how the director feels) like his own child. The hard work in-front of the lens and behind the camera along with the entire effort to convert an idea into a reality should be acknowledged with a round of standing ovation, No words will adequately do justice to define the movie, “Chitrangadaa”. It is more of an organic audio-visual experience than something that can be expressed in phrases and idioms. I would prefer suggesting it to all the film lovers of the country who wishes to watch something interactive in terms of emotion, drama, empathy and creative thoughts when they go to the theater.

My Rating:- 8/10… 🙂 and now you can watch the trailer as well…

Cast & Crew :

Director : Rituparno Ghosh
Producer : Shree Venkatesh Films
Story : Rituparno Ghosh
Cinematographer : Abhik Mukhopadhyay
Editor : Arghyakamal Mitra
Art Director : Indranil Ghosh
Assistant Director : Sanjoy Nag
Star Cast :
Rituparno Ghosh 
Jisshu Sengupta
Raima Sen
Anjan Dutt
Anasuya Majumdar
Dipankar De
Koushik Bandyopadhyay