Archive for the ‘Sunil Gangopadhyay’ Category

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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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Based on a story by the late Sunil Gangopadhyay the film narrates the tale of a pair of unhappy Bengali couple in the US who are supposedly successful in their lives. A melancholic tone pervades the entire movie.

Pradeep (Prasenjit Chatterjee) and his wife Kuhu (Padmapriya Janakiraman) who has a sharp tongue falls apart. Their good friends, a couple Ranojoy (Chandan Roy Sanyal) and Ursashi (Kamalinee   Mukherjee)  also leaves the town and moves to San Jose after Ursashi was tremendously hurt by the criticism of Kuhu about her cooking at a dinner she had hosted in honor of Bengali acting legend Soumitro Chattopadhyay at her house.

On business assignments, Pradeep has to visit different cities in the US. On one such occasion, she visits San Jose, and a covert relationship develops between him and Ursashi. In the meanwhile, Kuhu meets her former Bangladeshi lover Usuf(Indraneil Sengupta) after a long time. Inspite of her initial resistance, she can’t hold him back for long. You get the drift … some characters I feel have no relevance to the plot. An uncle of Kuhu living in the US hallucinates and goes running out on the roads in a bid to reach a railway station in Kolkata, apparently a flashback to an incident 30 years back in his life. The director (Aniruddha Bhattacharyya) pays scant attention to the child characters – son and daughter of Pradeep and Kuhu. An illness brings Pradeep and Kuhu together, but will they live happily ever after?

To find out watch this film whose redeeming features are the beautiful US locales (Ranjan Palit’s camerawork is splendid) where it has been mostly shot, some poetic sequences especially towards the denouement as well as some credible acting by the lead characters. The director pays a sort of homage to Scorcese’s TAXI DRIVER where Pradeep (like Travis Bickle) is seen in a particular sequence moonlighting in the street .. Tanusree Sankar acts in a supporting role.

Rating: 3 out of 5 

In Dekha (2001), Gautam Ghose makes a veiled attack against the winds of change sweeping our society.  Based on a story by Sunil Gangopadhyay, all the characters in the film are caught in the web of life, sometimes owing to their flaws, or that of their spouse.  Through the character of a Milton-like blind poet, played by veteran Soumitra Chattopadhyay, who lives singly in a feudal property in Central Kolkata and the many supporting characters, the societal concern of the director gets entwined into the plot, with all the characters exhibiting shades of grey, rather than black and white.

When the repentant artist (Anjan Dutt) wants to return to the family fold with his estranged wife (Debasree Roy) who lives as a tenant in the house of the poet, the reluctance of the wife is indicative of resolve and strength. However, when she develops a soft corner for a blind refugee Bangladeshi singer quite suddenly, we witness her vulnerability. This is also one of the weak links in the film.

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Marital discord, Partition of the Nation, Communalism, Heritage Preservation (old printing press becoming redundant in the age of computers & laser printers), Environmental concerns of rapid urbanization& declining habitat for the birds and the marginalized of the society, a longing for Nature, Music and Poetry shines through smoothly in the narrative with the final symbolic shot showing fluttering papers around the empty chair where the poet sat (signifying his death) is a directorial signature exposing declining value being accorded increasingly to the works of good poets and writers.

As in all GG films this is beautifully shot as well. The dimming vision of the poet afflicted with glaucoma is beautifully depicted symbolically through blurring & bubbles (just like it happens when we take photographs in improper lighting, focus or atmospheric condition) when seen through the eyes of the protagonist which the camera captures inventively during the nightly sexual escapades of the bard.

In some sequences, Ghose appears to be paying his homage to Ghatak in his invocation of the pangs of partition, as also in the sequence showing the small boy enamored with the interplay of light and shadow on the walls in the house of the poet.  Through the gradual losing of sight of his main character the director seems to be highlighting the darkness that is progressively engulfing us. GG doesn’t present anything that would seem to suggest that there is light at the end of the tunnel. This is as layered as it can get in the cinemas.

Gautam Ghose is an actor’s director. Soumitro Chattopadhyay delivers a brilliant performance in this film. Whether it was Shatrughan Sinha in ANTARJALI YATRA or Prasenjit in MONER MANUSH or Naseeruddin Shah and Shabana Azmi in PAAR, his actors have always had an opportunity to showcase their prowess in his films.

The supporting cast includes Rupa Ganguly, Indrani Halder, Haradhan Bandopadhyay & Paran Bandopadhyay.

Rating: 4.1 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