Posted: May 15, 2012 in Bengali films, Manoj Mitra, Soumitro Chattopadhyay, Tapan Sinha

Tapan Sinha is concerned with human lives and their struggles with adversity (Nirjan Saikate, Wheel Chair, Atanka, Khoniker Athithe, Antardhaan). ‘Wheel Chair’ is the fourth in a quartet of films on doctors by Tapan Sinha after ‘Arohi’,  ‘Khoniker Athithe’ and ‘Ek Doctor Ki Maut,’ if we exclude ‘Admi aur Aurat’ that highlighted the lack of medical facilities in rural Bengal/india. The central protagonist is an America returned wheel-chair ridden doctor (Soumitra Chaterjee) who runs a medical care facilities for destitute and poor of the society.  Several sub-texts knitted skillfully into the central theme manages to weave into a cohesive narrative. The situations, at times, appears a tad contrived and used to add to the empathy of the viewer. Sinha uses some dream sequences too, probably for the first time in his four decade long filmmaking career.


An injured victim of a rape (Laboni Sarkar) develops affection for the physiotherapist (Arjun Chakraborty) , a wealthy elderly man (Manoj Mitra) donates money for the healthcare centre and not to his young adulterous wife before dying, an abandoned spastic (Kaushik Sen) residing for three years in the centre showing improvement in his condition are some of the inmates featured prominently. The greedy board of Governers especially Haren Ghosh (Arijit Guha) wants to build a Nursing Home on that same plot.  How the doctor manages to keep alive his mission of providing healthcare to the needy of society form the centrality of the film. The last frame reveals that it is based on the life of a real doctor serving selflessly in a Kolkata hospital.

Certain scenes seemed incongruent in the film. When the neurological centre was so starved of funds, how could the inmates be shown celebrating Diwali on such a grand scale?

Rating:     3.75 out of 5


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