Archive for the ‘Bangla 2010-2020’ Category

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BYOMKESH PORBO is a suspenseful thriller based on a Byomkesh Bakshi (BB) story by Saradindu Bandopadhyay. The truth-finder BB (‘Satyeneshi ‘ in Bengali) is requested by the State to investigate a case of concealment of arms in a remote town in North Bengal. A rice mill owner, a timber merchant and a couple of other businessman are the prime suspects.

BB (Abir Chaterjee) is assisted by Ajit (Ritwik Chakraborty) while solving the case. Satyabati (Sohini Sarkar) is the wife of BB. The mystery unfolds slowly, and keeps us engaged throughout. The director Arindam Sil (Aborto) packs in a song or two amidst the suspenseful unfolding of the storyline.

Rajatava Dutta, Kaushik Sen, June Maliya, Sumanta Mukherjee and Arindam Sil plays supporting characters in this intriguing tale of the famed truth-seeker.

Rating: 3.9 out of 5

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KAGAZER NOUKA is a topical film that portrays the contemporary reality of a corruption ridden society. Through the character of a freedom fighter (Victor Bannerjee), a Gandhian with strong idealistic values the film mirrors the decadence and frustration facing the elderly who had sacrificed everything to liberate the Nation. In that respect, the film echoes Buddhadeb Dasgupta’s TAHADER KATHA. Otherwise, it is a very different film from TK and revolves around the nefarious chit-fund business that rocked West Bengal and brought about its disrepute.

The versatile Soumitro Chattopadhyay in the role of an evil businessman controlling the chit-fund empire & a childhood buddy of the protagonist freedom fighter is competent as usual. The others in the cast includes Bidita Bag, Anusya Mazumdar, Rajesh Sharma and others. Victor B reprises the role of an Angry old man again after LATHI and act with aplomb. The film is directed by Partha Pratim Joardar.

The film was severely criticized by some critics, but somehow I liked the subject matter and the unfolding of events and don’t attest the critics viewpoint who gave it a rating of 1, or 1.5 out of 5 to this film.

Rating; 3.5 out of 5

Bengali cinema surprises us with gems once in a while. PHORING is one such film.

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PHORING (which is Bengali for Grasshopper) is an imaginative boy who lives in a village in North Bengal near Maynaguri. He flunks his exams and incurs the wrath of his alcoholic father who beats him mercilessly.

A pretty young female teacher (Sohini Sarkar) joins the school of the boy, and starts taking an interest in the boy and his studies. The bond between the boy and the teacher grows stronger. She calls the boy to her residence, celebrates his birthday and gifts him a smart-phone. This leads to suspicion and questioning of her code of conduct.

The present situation of unrest in North Bengal have been effectively captured on screen. The film touches issues of education, childhood obsession, involvement of promising youths in terrorism, and ruthless parenting.

The filming qualities are superlative, and the natural beauty of North Bengal have been lovingly captured by the cameraman Indranil Mukherjee. The film is directed by Indranil RoyChoudhury. The supporting actors are Ritwik Chakraborty and others.

Rating: 4 out of 5

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A couple falls in love, gets married and thereafter separates. They meet quite unexpectedly fifteen years later on a train journey where the man (Prasenjit)’s second wife (Aparajita Auddy) befriends the former spouse (Rituparna Sengupta). A group of singers (Anindyo Chattopadhyay, Surojit, Anupam Roy), an elderly couple (Soumitro Chattopadhyay, Sabitri Chattopadhyay) & a newlywed couple on their honeymoon are also on this train bound for Kolkata from Mumbai.
The situation look somewhat implausible though the film remains immensely watchable. A highlight would certainly be that of Soumitro Chattopadhyay reciting Tagore’s poem HATATH DEKHA. A hilarious sequence is Sabitri Chattopadhyay’s attempt at speaking Hindi laced in heavy Bengali. In a TV show on Zee Bangla the Bengali director Prabhat Roy said “The technical qualities of PRAKTHAN is of a very high standard.” In the same TV show the actors who acted in the film revealed that the renowned art director Nitish Roy created such an authentic set that it looked like exactly like a real train.
The production work of the film was done entirely in Kolkata and use of drones were made of for the first time in Bengali cinema for high angle shots of landmarks of Kolkata. The supporting cast includes Manali De and others.

The film has been directed by the duo Siboprasad Mukhopadhyay – Nandita Roy.
Rating: 3.5 out f 5

Maya Mridango (2016)

Posted: February 14, 2017 in Bangla 2010-2020, Tidbits

The director Raja Sen has based his new film MAYA MRIDANGO (2016) on a 1950 novel written by Syed Mustafa Siraj. When an interviewer asked the director as to why he had based his film on such an old novel, the director replied “the cravings of an artist to gain recognition remains the same, whether it is the 1950s or the present times.” This explains why Tagore and Sarat Chatterjee are still popular among filmmakers.

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A successful middle aged businessman is endowed with a special charm that is irresistible to women. Obviously, they’re a dime a dozen in this intriguing tale of detective Shabor Dasgupta (Saswata Chattopadhyay in the role of the private eye) penned by Shirsendu Mukhopadhyay. There’s the wife Shivangi (Maya Ahson), her friend Nandita (Payel Sarkar) who gets murdered, the wife’s sister who lands down from Singapore and her servant Janvi…
There is suspense, consequences of child abuse, conflict of good and evil, of the duality arising from the distinction between the conscious and the sub-conscious …
The unfolding of the narrative is gripping. The actors perform superbly. June Mallya acts as a psychiatrist in a supporting role. The film is directed by Arindam Sil.
Rating: 3.8 out of 5