Posted: July 28, 2009 in 100 remarkable Bengali films, 1980-1990, Bengali films, Buddhadeb Dasgupta

Skilful direction was provided by Buddhadeb Dasgupta in this Costa Gavra ( Z, Missing, Betrayal ) inspired filmmaking venture in the early eighties. GRIHAJUDDHA ( Crossroads ) is based on a short story Mach by Dibyendu Palit. In an interview the writer admitted that the film version was superior in many respects than his novel.

Mamata Shankar

The gist: Mr Ghosh is an employee in a certain big firm in Behrampur. An idealist minded person, he uncovers gross irregularities in several transactions made by the company he serves. He approaches and apprises the Ministry of these nefarious dealings. He also tenders resignation from the company. A few days later, Mr Ghosh is found murdered.

a still from the film GRIHAJUDDHA

Prabir Dutta is a trade union leader in the same company. Mr Ghosh was quite close to Prabir. Before tendering his resignation, Mr Ghosh provided Prabir some vital information about the company. Prabir threatens he would leak these vital information in the next meeting, which would expose the company’s involvement in murdering Mr Ghosh. Prabir Dutta’s right-hand man is Bijon Nandi ( Anjan Dutt ), who loves to play the harmonica. He is also romantically involved with Probir Dutta’s sister ( Mamata Shankar ).

An upright, honest reporter Subimol Ray ( Gautam Ghosh ) enters the scene, who was drafted into this assignment to probe Mr Ghosh’s murder by the newspaper’s editor ( Manoj Mitra as a lecherous character who is shown reading a pornographic magazine STRIPTEASE sitting in his chair during office hours.) Subimol meets Probir Dutta, who claimed he could provide crucial leads in Mr Ghosh’s murder case.

One day when Prabir and Bijon Nandi was returning from their office, they’re attacked by hoodlums and Prabir is murdered. Bijon runs towards Prabir’s house to convey to his parents the sad news. Prabir’s family consisting of his parents, two sisters and a brother also faces the wrath of these hoodlums, who arrives soon after and began breaking everything in the house. Bijon Nandi goes into hiding. Prabir’s family moves to Calcutta. Even here there’s hardly any respite. The police arrives to find out information about Bijon’s hideout. Prabir’s father finds a job. Soon, Prabir’s sister receives an offer from the company of his brother. Being jobless, she joins the company.

Subimol leaves no stone unturned to crack the case. He meets Mr Ghosh’s wife, who provides him with a threat letter issued to Mr Ghosh a few days before his death. Thereafter, he meets Prabir Dutta’s father, who was confused and couldn’t provide much help. Subimol also meets the management head ( Subrata Sen Sharma ) of the controversy ridden company, who claims there ain’t any corruption in the upper management level. Subimol also meets Prabir’s sister in this company, and gradually a good friendship builds up between them. Subimol’s earnest attempts to uncover the real facts impresses Prabir’s sister.

Years pass by. Bijon Nandi returns to Calcutta a very changed person. His ideals of yesteryears have vapourised. Now he hankers for materialistic gains. He has set up a flourishing business somewhere in Nasik. But his love for Prabir’s sister remained unchanged. Both plans to get married. Meanwhile, Prabir Dutta’s younger brother provides a vital clue. He could recognise Sital Das ( Sunil Mukherjee ), a goalkeeper of a football club, as one of the hoodlums who attacked their house just after Prabir’s death. Subimol meets Sital Das as an interviewer. While doing so, he tricks him into writing in his own handwriting in a paper. Sital Das’s handwriting matches the handwriting on the threat paper issued to Mr Ghosh. Sital Das is checkmated. He becomes panicky, and threatens Subimol. Everything builds up to a gripping and chilling climax.

GRIHAJUDDHA is a rivetting film from Buddhadeb Dasgupta, whose Bagh Bahadur, Charachar, Lal Darja and Uttara has won International acclaim.

Rating: 4.2 out of 5


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