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.

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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.

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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.

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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!

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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.

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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.

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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!

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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…

A tribute to Ray…

An effort to materialize a vision, a dream and an imagination is reciprocated by one and all if and only if you have the courage to define the form of art that you want to profess, preach and practice. Cinema is a huge subject which tends to have its direct effects on my imagination and vision towards life. As an Indian citizen, I feel immense pride and pleasure to announce that a master of this art form was born in our country. He made his countrymen feel the pompous and gave them the opportunity to taste victory over their international counterparts in the field of cinema. India was marked in the map of International film industry after Satyajit Ray came into the picture.

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The period was 1955; exactly 57 years ago the release of “Pather Panchali” marked the beginning of an era of “Neo-Realism” in Indian cinema. Satyajit Ray, son of the famous poet Sukumar Ray came to the fore front representing India and managed to earn a fair bit of respect in the World of cinema. Over the next four decades his work was praised and acknowledged by film critiques and general mass all over the world. He is rightly regarded as one of the finest film-makers this world ever experienced. Even today, he continues to be an inspiration for all the upcoming film makers of this country. He still holds the most respected position as an Indian film maker in the international film circuit. He was truly the master of this art.

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Ray was one of the prolific writers that Bengal and India had. Apart from his achievements in the world of cinema, he wrote many novels. Short stores, essays on cinema and his views about Indian and foreign films. His articles were a treat for the readers and his work for children remain etched on your mind. He worked his way out in between immense constraints and defeated physical and material causes which were hindrances to his creative work. His dedication towards work and his urge to excel helped him to overcome every odd situation that came through his way.

In this post, I hardly have the opportunity to speak something which will really imply and describe his enormous popularity and his huge credibility in the field of art and culture. However, I would like to dedicate my blog, my wishes and my dreams to this man and expect to be a part of his vision which actually gave him the courage to stand out from the crowd and leave an autograph on the minds of every Indian film lover. I would like to demonstrate life with pictures which have motion and my-motion-picture depicts every bit of his struggle towards excellence, failures that taught him lessons, success that made him urge for more and accolades that made him an institution in the field of cinema.