DEVIPAKSHA (2001)

Posted: April 23, 2013 in Bengali films, Rituparna Sengupta

It is based on a story by Indrashish Halder. It basically depicts how the goons are able to terrorise and exploit the common villagers. Revolving around the village priest (Soumitro Chaterjee), his wife (Sandhya Roy) & their three daughters (Shatabdi Roy, Rituparna Sengupta and Koel Mullick) & their adversities, this Raja Sen directed film unfolds in the style of a thriller, but is actually a work in social documentation.

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Six years after she was raped by Ratan Samanta (Biplab Chattopadhyay), Rituparna Sengupta the second daughter returns to the village to seek revenge and bring Ratan to book. The unfolding of the narrative is able to sustain interest throughout and leads towards a chilling climax. The languid pace of the film and the probing interactions between the central characters as well as the sequences between the three sisters is laced with both charm and heartache – the elder daughter Shatabdi has turned slightly insane after the death of her husband and the subsequent ouster from the home of her husband thereafter, and the youngest Koel Mullick is the only remaining daughter with the possibility of a proper married life.

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The only weakness in the film, in my view, is that of the character of Rituparna Sengupta, who was rescued by a social worker after her traumatic experiences & started working for a living, returns as very influential (with lots of cash for example while apparently not working in anything that is dishonest) in just six years (two of which she had spent with her lecherous uncle Deepankar De). Soumitra Chatterjee & Rituparna Sengupta act brilliantly, while Shatabdi Roy and Koel Mullick give good support. Others in the cast include Rituparno’s ex-lover (Kaushik Sen) who has turned into a drug addict.

Rating: 3.8 out of 5

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