Archive for the ‘Bappaditya Bandopadhyay’ Category


Bengali cinema is unlucky to have lost some of its most prodigious talent before they could reach anywhere near the end of their career – Ritwik Ghatak, Rituparna Ghosh, Bappaditya Bandopadhyay, Nabyendu Chaterjee and … Anjan Das. The last named is the director of SANJHBATIR ROOPKATHARA.

This film starts on a predictable note. One was beginning to feel that it was just another ‘exploitation of women’ kind of film about the protagonist daughter Saajhbati (Indrani Halder) of a well-known painter (Soumitro Chattopadhyay). Midway through the movie, the film unfolds an unexpected development and thereafter the film becomes a powerful exploration of the perils of fame, the father-daughter relationship, love and betrayal, lust and insanity, hope and longings, setbacks and comebacks.

The performances are praiseworthy. Indrani Halder in the titular role is convincing. After Pramathesh Barua’s MUKTI in the 1930s, we have the painter as a major character in Bengali films like SWET PATHARER THALA & this one. The supporting cast includes Paran Bandopadhyay, Ketaki Dutta, Firdaus and others.

I discovered that the film was based on a story by eminent poet Joy Goswami which is why the film appears lyrical in several parts…

Rating: 4.1 out of 5



HOUSEFUL has autobiographical elements and depict an arty filmmaker’s difficulties to cope with changing times. The director Bappaditya Bandopadhyay peppers his film with allusion to Kieslowski (Camera Buff), Ritwik Ghatak and Raj Kapoor and has thematic similarities with Guru Dutt’s KAAGAZ KE PHOOL. While the filmmaker’s previous work have all been rejected for critical acclaim and by the box-office as well leading to bankruptcy and his wife and son moving out, the present film would be financed mortgaging his ancestral house until strangers with terms and conditions crop up to provide the moolah. The last ditch effort of the director Nikhil (Prasenjit Chattopadhyay in a splendid performance) not to compromise with his artistic temperament also lead to a failure & the concluding sequence show his willingness to remake commercial potboilers from the south for his future project to cater to the demand of the masses..a pessimistic ending in lines with Godard’s “Cinema is dead”?

The supporting cast includes Sreelekha Mitra, Rita Dutta Chakraborty, Rimjhim Gupta and others.
Rating: 3.5 out of 5

ELAR CHAR ADHYAY is a romantic cum political tale set in the pre Independence British era. This is based on the Rabindranath Tagore story CHAR ADHYAY and directed by Bappaditya Bandopadhyay. There was an earlier version of CHAR ADHYAY in Hindi in the ninetees directed by Kumar Shahani.

For her times, sometime in the 1930s, Ela (Paoli Dam) is a modern woman. Her progressive father (Dipankar Dey) says thusly in a dialogue with her “More a woman is obedient, more is her social value” to highlight that independent thinking in woman weren’t encouraged in those times. But she comes under the influence of Indranath (Indraneil Sengupta) a young revolutionary. She joins the nationalistic cause after promises to Indranath that she would remain a spinster. However, soon after she falls in love with a fellow revolutionary Atin(Vikram).
The story touches upon the different strands in patriotic fervour and rebels who come across as weaklings are purged by marrying ’em off. Marriage is a dustbin to rid off such unpromising revolutionary. The film uses lines from Tagore songs intermittently throughout. The camerawork by Rana Dasgupta is exquisite brilliantly capturing the bygone era and the languid pace of storytelling is apt for character development of such a powerful layered tragic story.
Tagore’s political novels have depicted the silent yet significant contribution by women in freedom struggle(Char Adhyay, Ghare Baire) . These two novels have a romantic story at its core and while unfolding of the narrative the writer weaves in his political beliefs and reservation about aggressive strategies to ward off the Britishers from our land. In novels like Char Adhyay & Ghare Baire, Tagore have raised questions about the deviousness in the ways of many freedom fighters significantly through the characters of Sandip (Ghare Baire) & Botu (Char Adhyay).
The supporting cast of Rudranil Ghosh, Barun Chanda, Arunima Ghosh and others perform competently.
Rating: 4.2 out of 5


Shilpantar is directed  by Bappaditya Bandopadhyay (‘Kaantataar’, ‘Housefull’). It follows the life of a small town village artist (Subhashis Mukhopadhyay) & his relationship with a circus artist (Debasree Roy). The film is based on a story by Shirsendu Mukhopadhyay.

The Bengali directors have been fascinated with performing artists and several films from Sandip Ray’s PHATIKCHAND to Buddhadeb Dasgupta’s BAGH BAHADUR have realistically depicted their lives. This one too is quite a commendable effort and weaves in village life in its variegated color into the narrative. The supporting cast includes Mrinal Mukherjee, Nemai Ghosh and others.

Rating: 3.5 out of 5