Posted: February 20, 2014 in Bengali films, Prasenjit, Rabindranath Tagore, Rituparno Ghosh

Director Rituparno Ghosh’s NAUKADUBI is inspired from a story by Rabindranath Tagore. There has been an earlier film version of this story made by Ajay Kar in the 70s (or 80s) featuring Soumitro Chaterjee, Sumitra Mukherjee, Uttam Kumar and others. This version by RG features Jishu Sengupta, Raima Sen, Riya Sen, Prosenjit, Dhritiman Chaterjee, Laboni Sarkar and others.

The film convincingly evokes the Tagorean era and its mood and is a visual delight. Essential a tale of love between Ramesh (Jishu), a doctor and Hem (Raima Sen), an aristocratic girl, the film weaves in sub-text of Ramesh marrying Sushila against his wishes (Reema Sen) on the insistence of his father (Sumanto Mukhopadhyay). One couldn’t follow a few happenings in the film though. What was contained in that letter “Biggopti” (Notice)? The director left the ending open-ended, possibly a departure from the Tagore novel.

The novel Nauka-dubi (The Wreck, 1906) translated into English as ‘The Wreck’ and also into several other languages is one of Tagore’s popular works. It is a readable but trivial story of mistaken identities about a boat wreck on the river. Writing in his book “Rabindranath Tagore:an Interpretation” (Penguin India) the writer Sabyasachi Bhattacharya says about Nauka-dubi: “One wonders why Tagore wrote such a story.Perhaps it was written to fill up the pages of the journal he edited.”

Rating: 3.9 out of 5


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