bdas1Buddhadeb Dasgupta’s  CHARACHAR is based on a story by Prafulla Roy. The film deals with the life of a bird-catcher Lokha played by Rajat Kapur.  The film is an exploration of existence caught between ‘reality and a dream.’ The bird catcher’s wife Sari (Laboni Sarkar) leaves him for another man Natobor (Sankar Chakraborty) when his love for birds became overpowering, fuelled by the sensitivity with which his dead son cared for them when he was alive. He gradually detachs himself from the ‘reality’ of modern existence and eventually merges himself at one with his ‘dream’ – becomes exactly like a bird without any worries of the world.

charachar

Bhusan Kaka ( Sadhu Meher ), a fellow bird catcher and his daughter Gauri ( Indrani Halder ) attempts to provide some comfort in his tumultous existence. Disenchanted with the way people became rich in his trade Lokha resolved that henceforth he would put a full stop to all of his bird catching activeties. He says optimistically that the jungle would be able to provide sufficient food for his needs. The director recurringly makes use of dream sequences and this film, more than any of his other works, have a poetical quality in the treatment. Apart from the thematic novelty, a genre hitherto unexplored by serious Indian filmmakers even though we have had such wonderful films like  ‘Born Free’ and ‘Hatari’ made in the West aeons ago, the film effectively captures the agony of a man caught in the wrong profession. The film soars above the standards set by most Indian filmmakers and highlights the distinctiveness of Dasgupta as a filmmaker. Succintly the film is an essay of possibly a dream that the director cherishes and not a hard-hitting statement about the ground reality facing a bird catcher’s life. The ending sequence has a dream like quality about it. Embellished by strong perfomances from the entire cast the film is shot beautifully adding to its strength. Memorable stuff.

Rating: 4.5 out of 5

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