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.

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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.

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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!

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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.

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…

Hawa Badol – Expecting blooming friendship…

After a long while it feels great to occupy a cozy chair at one of those theaters in Kolkata and watch a Bengali feature film that will surely offer some food for thought. Oh! I forgot to mention that the second directorial venture of one of the most sensible cinematic professionals of Tollywood (Kolkata’s film industry popularly called As.), Parambrata Chatterjee’s “Hawa Badol” is set to hit the screens today (22nd March, 2013).

A story primarily speaking about bonds of friendship and childhood companionship have already been narrated so many times by so many film makers. However, this flick from ParamBrata is surely going to touch the hearts of care –free residents of this metropolitan city. The city bound hectic activities of a so called established expert and some unrecognized efforts of a creative guy super impose their truths and philosophies of life. They battle their differences and embrace their equalities to fabricate something that they longed for. What came in between then?

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Hawa Badol, starring Rudranil Ghosh, Raima Sen, Neha Panda and the Director himself along with cameos from established actors from the industry will surely tickle your humor bones along with depicting some renewed crisis that the present generation faces every day. The bread and butter of this career centric generation do lack the time to stand and stare if I have to quote W.H.Davies, and apparently that differentiates success and happiness in the real world. The trailer of the movie along with the music tracks truly reminds me about some happier times and I hope the story does the same thing.

As far as the success of the Hawa Badol, the movie is concerned, I am personally very hopeful about the outcome of the movie. The best films produced last year had nothing in common apart from the fact that they had something innovative in them. Some stories that were never told or some known stories told in a way, like never before.

As I head towards the premier of the movie, I would like the audience to decipher this candid movie from the bottom of their heart that genuinely is a new generation flick celebrating friendship in an era of i-phones!

Signing off from the desk of mymotionpicture till I come back and rest a while after the intense Hawa Badol…

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… 🙂

 

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