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!

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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… 🙂