Archive for the ‘Paoli Dam’ Category

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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

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Gautam Ghose should be commended for making a film like ‘Moner Manush.’ The film is based on a story by Sunil Gangopadhyay. It revolves around the life of a singing Baul minstrel. Bauls are folksy singers from Bengal and the experience of listening to ’em is usually a sublime one.

The protagonist Lalan Fakir belonged to a Hindu family and once was abandoned after mistakenly presumed to have died after a boat capsize. He was rescued and nursed back to life by a Muslim family. The film also explores the deep animosity that exists in the rural villages between Hindus and Muslims. In one touching scene, when the protagonist returns to his village and family after having regained his power of recalling the past, which he had lost when he was abandoned, the villagers don’t trust his claim of being one of them, and even his mother and wife who were convinced of his identity refused to go with him, because they considered him to have lost his ‘purity’ after living with the Muslim family.

The film also depicts the way of living of the simple singing clan and the deep philosophical thought that pervades their existence in spite of being illiterate from the perspective of a modern man. In this respect, Lalan is much similar with Sree Ramakrishna, the divine saint of Hinduism.

moner2The protagonists lives in a commune of their own creation. Their ignorance of the complexities of modern life (revealed by their admission of being ignorant of the owners of the land on which they have settled), the unifying religious vision and their progressive thinking is shown when they rescue a bride from burning (Sati) and help her rehabilitate herself in their commune. The narrative style of simultaneous progression of flashback of the protagonist at his old age and his story from his youth is handled deftly. Prasenjit gives an outstanding performance in the central role. Others in the cast includes Indraneil Sengupta, Paoli Dam and others. The cinematography is spectacular and captures the rural backdrop with much finesse.

Rating: 4.5 out of 5