MONSUR MIYAR GHODA (2001)

Posted: July 24, 2012 in 100 remarkable Bengali films, 100 remarkable Indian films, Bengali films

Monsur Miyar Ghoda (The Last Ride) is directed by Nabyendu Chaterji. Nabyendu has already made his mark with such acclaimed films like Aditwiya, Atmaja, Sori Srip, Chopper, Shilpi and others and it comes as no surprise that his latest film Monsur Miyar Ghoda should add another feather to his cap. Nabyendu Chaterji started his career in a Ritwik Ghatak film, and this film is a sort of homage to the pioneering filmmaker and, at some level, seems to be inspired by Ritwik’s Ajantrik.

Monsur Miya is an old mussalman who drives a landau (horse drawn carriage) in Kolkata. He is deeply attached to his horse ‘fakir’ and the landau which it pulls thereby earning a few rupees by taking passengers from one place to another. Very few passengers actually take a landau ride these days, and Monsur Miya can barely feed his horse fakir with his earnings. His son ( Asaad ) is the breadwinner of the family. He works as a chauffuer for a wealthy man.
monsur miyan ghora

Asaad wants to drive his own vehicle some day. He applies for a taxi loan from a bank which he would drive himself. The bank needed some genuine assurances and proof that Asaad was capable of repaying the loan. Asaad needs some money to clinch the loan offered by the bank.He asks his father, Monsur Miya, to sell off his landau.Monsur Miya is adamant. He wouldn’t sell his landau. He wouldn’t sell his fakir for whom he has spent many nights out in the rains battling the fury of the torrential downpour to provide a shelter for the animal for just a few hundred rupees.Moreover, this landau has been the breadwinner for three generations for the family.

Later, however, he was forced to change his decision. One day when Monsur Miya receives an invitation for his landau to be used in a marriage ceremony, he goes there fully decked up with his carriage. However, the newly-weds didn’t use his landau and preferred the comfort of a modern car for the occasion. Monsur Miya returns home shocked and disappointed. He informs his son about his resolve to sell off the landau.

Soon, Monsur Miya’s health deteriorates. In some sequences that uses Magic Realism, Nabyendu depicts Monsur Miya having a conversation with his departed parents and his second son who died in an accident. The director has filmed some of the rain sequences brilliantly. In another sequence that use Magic Realism, Monsur Miya dreams his son at an auction selling off his landau for a princely sum. Inspite of failing health, Monsur Miya resolves he won’t call it quits. The film ends on an optimistic note, though the mood of the film is sombre throughout.

One of the rare films made in Tollywood that depicts a struggle to survive of the downtrodden in the survival race with sensitivity and finesse.  Jnanesh Mukherjee does a cameo as the landlord of Monsur Miya. Arun Mukhopadhyay in the titular role acts with great finesse. The film was based on a story by Amarendra Sanyal.

Rating: 4.2 out of 5

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