Paromitar Ek Din was written and directed by Aparna Sen. The film had a successful run in the theatres when it was released. The strength of the film is the wonderful perfomances by all its actors, the novelty in the story-telling style and a good plot.

The gist: The film opens with a sequence of Paromita ( Rituparna Sengupta ) at the shrad ceremony of Sanoka ( Aparna Sen). The story unfolds using a flashback technique. Paromita gets married to Sanoka’s son Bhiru. Bhiru is a foul-mouthed, hard-drinking man. Besides them, Sanoka’s family consists of a mentally retarded daughter Khuku ( Sohini Halder ), her hubby ( Dulal Lahiri ), a couple of daughters and their family. Paromita adjusts to her new family quite well, but things take a turn for the worse when Paromita gives birth to a handicapped child Bablu. Her husband began pointing fingers of accusation towards her.

The film oscillates frequently between the past and the present mainly through the recollections of Paromita. Paromita soons endears herself to her family members. Mother-in-law Sanoka ( Aparna Sen ) also develops a particular liking for Paromita as does Khuku. The director beautifully brings out the hardships and the idiosyncracies of the handicapped through the characters of Khuku and Bablu and deserves kudos for her realistic, insightful depiction of such retarded characters. The fissures that such abnormal people can cause in an otherwise apparently normal family has been highlighted. Veteran actor Soumitra Chaterji plays the role of Moni Mama, ex-lover of Sanoka who couldn’t marry her because of  his cagey and his tight-lipped nature. Sanoka’s love for Moni-mama was an open secret to all family members. No one, however, raised a hue and cry over it.

Bablu is sent to a spastic school for the handicapped. Paromita falls in love with a filmmaker Raju Srivastav who was making a documentary on the handicapped and also used footage of Bablu in his film. Inspite of Sanoka’s pleadings, Paaromita divorces her first hubby Bhiru. And then she marries Raju Srivastav. Rajiv also successfully turns Paromita into a working woman and she began making use of her acquired degree in Mass Communication from Javadpur University.

For Paromita, her second marriage proved lucky. She also achieved some degree of success in her professional life. Ever after her divorce, Paromita couldn’t sever ties completely with Sanoka. In fact, during her last days Paromita looks after her needs with great affection and dedication.

The film ends as Paromita emerges out of the shrad ceremony of Sanoka where her presence was much ridiculed by gossip mongers in the family and their social circles. A tinge of optimism with a hint of Paromita bearing a normal child again provides the climax.

Aparna Sen, Rituparna Sengupta and Sohini Halder delivers terrific perfomances. A restrained Soumitra Chaterji is also memorable. Sumitra Mukherjee does a cameo. The only thing that jarrs in this otherwise flawless work is the depiction of a mentally retarded Khuku  singing soulful Rabindrasangeet numbers with such clarity on numerous occasions. Even though the director tells us that Khuku slipped into insanity gradually in her teenage years and wasn’t afflicted with the ailment since her birth, so what?

Overall, a great film from the director of 36 Chowringhee Lane.

Rating: 4.4 out of 5


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