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Kadambari was the wife of the elder brother of Rabindranath Tagore. She played a prominent role in the life of the poet – looked after his needs during his growing up years, providing him companionship and above all giving him encouragement in his writing pursuit. Speculation has been rife about the exact nature of the relationship between the two, but as most biographers of Tagore opines that there hardly existed any concrete evidence of their relationship being romantic in its nature. Parambrata Chattopadhyay as Robi and Konkana Sen Sharma in the titular role act credibly.The supporting cast of Srikanta Acharya, Kunal Sen and others does well too.

The film is based on the story PROTHOM ALO by Sunil Gangopadhyay. The director Suman Ghosh (Nobel Chor, Poddokep) does hint of intimacy in the Kadambari- Robi relationship but virtually clears Robi in her suicidal act putting the blame largely on her philandering husband Jyotindronath (Kunal Sen). The film is quite watchable with many wonderful Rabindrasangeet (Tomare koriya chi jiboner o dhruba tara...) and is extremely well-shot.

Writing in the Statesman, the noted film critic Swapan Mullick writes thus about the film: Suman Ghosh’s Kadambari revives the tragic story of Tagore’s sister-in-law with whom the young poet shared a tender relationship that ended in her suicide at the age of 25. The basic facts are known — that she had married Jyotirindranath who had not given her much attention and that she became a source of creative inspiration for the young Rabindranath in his songs and poems till she took her life four months after he married.

The director gives the story a treatment of his own and it must have been an enormous challenge for Konkona Sen Sharma and Parambrata Chatterjee to revive an atmosphere that is wrapped in controversy. The film mixes fact and fiction in the manner the director had done for Nobel Chor without doing harm to the basic content. There, too, a real-life situation with a Tagore connection needed to be fleshed out with a sense of artistic restraint and logic.

Read more at http://www.thestatesman.com/news/supplements/challenging-times-with-tagore/63551.html#tz5uW3OBAG5X12vJ.99

The film has been mired in controversy since it was announced. Initially the actor Locket Chaterjee was approached to play the titular role, and the film was decided to have a novella on Kadambari by Ranjan Bandopadhyay as the main inspiration. However, when the film was finally made, the credit says the work has been based on a story by Sunil Gangopadhyay.

The film created a buzz during the 46th edition of IFFI at Panaji this year.

Rating: 3.5 out of 5

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