The inspiration behind the film ABHIMAN could have been any of the following (i) The singer-actor duo Kishore Kumar & Ruma Guha Thakurta and their lives

(ii) The actors Amitabh Bachchan & Jaya Bhaduri (many opined that Jaya was a superior actor than Amitabh in those days) and their lives

(iii) The Hollywood film A STAR IS BORN

Whatever may have been the inspiration, this is a beautiful film laden with wonderful songs unfolding a tale of a singer couple (Amitabh & Jaya) , their quick romance and marriage and thereafter making music together. When the wife starts getting more recognition, male ego gets hurt and husband starts sulking endlessly taking recourse to booze and ex-flame (Bindu). Kudos to Hrishikesh Mukherjee for offering the role to Bindu as a sensitive friend, as it shows her in a different light  and a far cry from her usual vampish roles. The directorial style is muted; to convey the deep agony of Usha (Jaya) upon losing her son at childbirth, the director uses a long shot, and the distance between Usha and her father (A. K. Hangal) in the same frame highlights the gulf that exists between them (signifying the loneliness of Usha) , even though Usha respected and cared for her father immensely.

The acting is first-rate; Jaya and Amitabh are outstanding. David, Asrani, Durga Khote and A.K.Hangal are also memorable in the portrayal of their respective characters. The unspoiled village with its purity and keeper of the classical music tradition alive is contrasted with a materialistic music driven industry in its urban setting.

Rating : 4.1 out of 5

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Papers taught in Mass Communication

  • DOCUMENTARY FILMMAKING
  • NON LINEAR EDITING
  • RADIO PROGRAM PRODUCTION
  • SCRIPT WRITING AND STORY BOARDING
  • BASICS OF LIGHT AND CAMERA
  • INTRODUCTION TO MULTIMEDIA
  • VIDEO PRODUCTION TECHNOLOGIES
  • ADVANCED PHOTOGRAPHY

 

I recently saw Hindi Medium (2017), a much feted Bollywood film featuring one of my all-time fave actor, Irrfan Khan. I wanted to watch this one particularly after allegations surfaced that the film has borrowed from the Bengali sleeper hit RAMDHANU (2014), a film that I have quite enjoyed – something that the makers of HINDI MEDIUM has vehemently denied.

HINDI MEDIUM started off on a promising note. I was enjoying the lead couple’s brilliant put-ons & Punjabi flashiness (they enact a  Chandni Chowk trader from Punjab). But after a while, HM loses steam. The affluent business couple suddenly hits upon an idea to present themselves as one from the poorer strata of society in order to secure admission for their daughter in a private school. I felt this portion was rather far-fetched and the weak link of the film. Hereafter, HM became preachy and illogical and meandered towards a predictable end.

The basic theme of Hindi Medium matches with the Bengali film – the hardships parent endure to secure school admission for their child. The protagonists in both the films are deficient and try to hone their English speaking ability providing some funny moments. The central similarity is too glaring to be dismissed. Apart from the basic theme, HM differs vastly from RAMDHANU and the sub-plots doesn’t bear any kind of sameness.

I don’t know why the makers of HINDI MEDIUM are refusing to acknowledge their inspiration. Even in the past we have had several instances of successful Bengali films remade in Hindi which proved to be hits in Bollywood. Films like MERE APNE (Apanjan), CHUPKE CHUPKE (Chhodobesi), MANZIL (Akash Kusum), BEMISAL (Ami se o sakha), KORA KAGAZ (Saat Pake Badha), BAWARCHI (Golpo Holeo Satti) and many others which were successful in the original language and later remade successfully in Hindi. I think the earlier directors of such remakes have acknowledged the original work.

 

 

Filmy Comments

Posted: October 12, 2017 in Tidbits

Humor is necessary in life for everybody to get through – Ben Stiller, Actor (HT 10/10/17)

I often think my film are comedies and then I’m surprised when people don’t laugh – Sally Potter, Director (HT 10/10/17)

 

 

Yeti Obijan (2017)

Posted: October 12, 2017 in Bangla 2010-2020, Tidbits

The Srijit Mukherjee directed film YETI OBHIJAN has been shot in a record 23 days in four outdoor locations – eight day in Switzerland, about six days each in Sikkim and Andhra Pradesh and the remaining part has been shot in Kolkata. The film features Prasenjit, Jishu Sengupta, Amrita Gangopadhyay, Dolon Roy and others.

Of late, Bengal seems to be making films that capture a motley group of characters trying to deal with emerging social issues in an urban setting. Films like RUPKATHA NOY & MAACH, MISTI & MORE and this one bear more than a striking similarity with one another. These films are crisp, well acted and photographed and keeps afloat the promise that all is not lost for meaningful cinema in the age of ‘100 crore club’ films.

Family Album Poster

 

I particularly liked the ending sequence of FAMILY ALBUM. The film ended on quite an unexpected note. The cast includes Paoli Dam, Swastika Mukherjee, Reema Sen, Kaushik Sen, Santu Mukherjee and others. The film is directed by Mainak Bhaumik.

 

Teacher on celluloid …

Posted: September 5, 2017 in Mrinal Sen, Satyajit Ray, Tidbits

Art imitates life. Today I am reminded of the supporting character of the father of one of the lead pair viz., Anil Chaterji in Satyajit Ray’s MAHANAGAR (1964) – an aged retired teacher with traditional beliefs unable to comprehend changing times. When he tries to reach out to his past successful students during his hard times, their insensitivity towards him is a reflection of how we treat our teachers in modern society. In Mrinal Sen’s EK DIN ACHANAK an academically bent Professor leaves his family for an unknown destination when his family and society doesn’t accord him the respect he felt due to him….