Archive for the ‘Konkona Sen Sharma’ Category

A Death in the Gunj

Posted: July 1, 2017 in Konkona Sen Sharma

Review in Hindustan Times

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“Kobe hobe sojol borsha
Mone rekhe chi se bhorosa ” – Lalan Fakir
(When’re we getting a wet monsoon,
One’s being optimistic about it …)

An executive (Priyanshu Chaterjee) is assigned a crucial bauxite mining project in the tribal Maoist infested area in Buxar. The adivasis (tribals) of the area resist the takeover of the land for the compensation promised in lieu of the developmental project.
Raka Biswas (Konkana Sen Sharma as a cigarette puffing journo after PAGE 3 ) is reporting on the simmering events in its wake. The ex-Air Hostess wife of Priyanshu is a modern lady capable of controlling tough situations on her own (like taking an accident victim to the hospital and handling cops on her own on behalf of her husband). She also watches English comedy films, gets inebriated and tries to enact life-threatening scenes from Fellini films …
The director does sprinkle hint of an extra martial affair between Priyanshu and Konkana. Priyanshu and Konkana bond over the common project on which they’re working.
Dreamland have become killing fields. The violence and militancy that have gripped the life of Adivasis is woven into the multi-layered narrative which advocates preservation of ecology and tribal heritage and cautions us about calamitous changes should be disregard them. State violence has to stop to quell militant violence. A good Samaritan doctor (Dhiritiman Chatterjee modelled on a Binayak Sen like character) spends his life among tribal sacrificing a lucrative career in urban India doing medical camps as well as teaching kids and adults, gets arrested for treating Maoists (his defense that a doctor’s duty is only to save lives doesn’t find takers).
Priyanshu takes a break from work and goes off on a vacation with his wife to Manali. Gautam Ghose beautifully captures the snowy charm of the tourist town. Priyanshu and his wife stay as a paying guest in the house of an elderly Muslim couple (Soumitro Chatterjee and — ) . Soumitro leads a retired life working on his pet project WAW (War against Weapon) to prevent cyber terrorism. This is the weak link in the film and have possibly been included to present the integrative vision of historical figures (Dara Shikoh, Lalan Fakir and Rabindranath Tagore who have influenced the director considerably) in nation building.
The elderly couple have had a tragedy in their lives. The couple had a son (a BBC correspondent) believed to be killed by security forces in Kashmir. That’s why the lady harbors a concealed hatred towards Hindus (which explodes on occasions – She labels Hindus as ‘kafirs’ and the Hindu gods propagating unhealthy habits like smoking, while Islam teaches her to be disciplined, pray five times and keep ‘Roja.’) However, towards the denouement, she invites the Hindu couple again to visit her.
After Mrinal Sen, Goutam Ghose has emerged to be the most socially conscious among the parallel filmmakers from Bengal. Rabindrasangeet have been used in tune with the breathtaking scenery of Manali – “Hriday amaar naache re, mayur er moto naache re.”
The film ends on an ambiguous note. Overall, the film suffers from inclusion of too many weighty issues into the narrative. Priyanshu Chatterjee acts brilliantly. Konkana is competent. The film is directed by Goutam Ghose.
Rating: 3.8 out of 5

DOSAR (The Companion) directed by Rituparno Ghosh was based on a story by Shirshendu Mukhopadhyay. The film was shot in b & w, and the frames are hauntingly beautiful. Like his ABOHOMAN this film too dwells on the premise of illegitimate relationships – this time around of an executive (Prasenjit) who has a dalliance with his secretary Mita (Chandreye Ghosh) during weekend in some hill station. In one of their return trip, they meet with an accident in which Mita dies. The film traces the trauma and inner turmoil of the wife (Konkana Sen Sharma) to come to terms with the fact of a philandering husband who is hospitalised and need to be nursed back to good health.

The film is marred by too many illegitimate relationships making us wonder whether fidelity has become passe nowadays. Others in the cast include Parambrata Chattopadhyay, Pallavi Chaterjee and Sankar Chakraborty.

Rating: 3.5 out of 5

 

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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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Ek Je Chilo Kanya heralded a new wave in Bengali cinema – a kind of cinema that is contemprorary and handles an urban vexed issue with great finesse. What is remarkable in the film is a great performance from debutant Konkana Sen Sharma as a psychotic temptress who becomes a nightmare for a tenant (Sabyasachi Chakraborty) and his lover (Debasree Roy) who work in an advertising agency. Sabyasachi and Debasree also perform credibly.

Without revealing the storyline, I would recommended the film for viewing. On a sad note, the director Subrata Sen who showed such great promise with this film didn’t quite live up to the expectation with his subsequent works (Swapner Feriwala, Nir Nirjane) and seems to have disappeared from the film-making scene.

Rating: 3.8 out of 5