Papers taught in Mass Communication



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….

To celebrate India’s 70 years of Independence, my pick of seventy films from my viewing list ….

  1. AGNISNAAN (Bhabendranath Saikia, Assamese, 1985)


Dr. Bhaben Saikia is credited to have introduced the parallel cinema movement in Assam. He made eight National award winning films besides being a prolific writer. I have just seen two of his films viz., SAROTHI & the above mentioned film, both of which left a big imprint on me. Why I like the film? Based on his own story, this is an unusual & powerful revenge saga of a dedicated wife (played by the brilliant Moloya Goswami) when her businessman husband takes in a new young wife in his life. The director however contends that it was her physical need that drove her towards infidelity.

  1. ANAND (Hrishikesh Mukherjee, Hindi, 1971)


Whether the inspiration came from Kurasawa’s IKIRU or modeled on the personality/friendship with Raj Kapoor, Hrishikesh Mukherjee’s ANAND is his finest film. Why I like the film? Great acting by the two leading actors, memorable dialogues & evergreen songs ….

  1. AKALER SANDHANE (Mrinal Sen, Bengali, 1980)


This is a memorable film on the discovery of the actual reality in rural India by a film unit and its director when they try to recreate/make a film on famines. Why I like the film? Films about films tend to be boring apart from exception like Truffaut’s DAY FOR NIGHT. This film by MS succeed in mirroring social realities and raising many relevant questions – in order to portray reality, weren’t the film unit responsible for making life harder for the poor villagers because of soaring prices and other forms of degradation when the urban film crew descend on the rural countryside?…

4. PATHER PANCHALI (Satyajit Ray, Bengali, 1955)


The film that brought International acclaim to Indian cinema. It often figures in the critic’s list of ten best films in World Cinema.

(to be Continued …)