This classic Byomkesh thriller was directed by Late Smt. Manju Dey in early 70s. I did not get the opportunity to see that film but I have read the story several times. The director tried to fit in the present time with the thriller story that was written in 70s . However in doing so it was not clear to me as to why it was necessary to invoke "sleep-walking" habit for the killer to commit most of the crimes in a systematic way which do not happen at all. The sleep-walking killings almost all the time occur at random. Also investigation procedure shown in the film lacks logical steps that an investigator will take as described and developed nicely in the original story. The director failed to connect the dots to make it a successful thriller. Shri Dhritiman Chatterjee as Byomkesh did well as what he supposed to do while Ajit's role as the assistant was just satisfactory. The central character Dipa ( Smt.Kankana Sen) should have been crafted more carefully which the weak script and direction did not permit to do so. Overall the movie failed the expectation of "Byomlesh" standard.
Satyanweshi (2013)Twisted Byomkesh
29 December 2013
Byomkesh Bakshi is a popular private investigator character in Bengali Thrillers and created by late Sri Sharadendu Banerjee. In recent years Byomkes Bakshi has been revitalized in Bengali cinema after a long gap in late 60s when Shri Satyajit Ray made "Chiriyakhana" which is the first Byomkesh movie. This Byomkesh cinema is based on the story named as "chorabali" which Shri Ghosh renamed as "Satyenshi". The original story was modified and extended in order to make a full length feature film. However in doing so the flavor of the thriller is completely lost .Instead of focusing on the detail of the investigation Shri Ghosh brought in personal relationship issues with Byomkesh set aside. Anyone will say that the three name game is a poor investigative strategy. The script is very weak and the whole pace of the movie is extremely slow. In the last scene it was not clear why Himangshu was bilnd-folded although it was a night of new moon and it would be more natural in the dark that Himangshu can show his sound detection hit capability ( shabdovedi). It appears to me that Shri Ghosh just trying to use the Byomkesh brand name in making the movie but on the core he put his own agenda which has no connection with the thriller.
Hazaar Chaurasi Ki Maa (1998)Missed opportunity for a classic movie
25 June 2013
The story is a powerful soliloquy of a grieving mother who lost her child during the "uncertain" period of 70s in bengal. When she tried to find out the for her child's sacrifice she rediscover her son in the light of simple humanity which in broader sense becomes idealism. No doubt it is probably one of the best documentation of conflict between acceptance of existing social norms with inherent maternal affection. In my opinion a classic movie could have been made out of this story and only a seasoned filmmaker who can understand bengali psyche particularly at that period of time in-depth and with a perspective of humanity can have the ability to do so. Shri Nihalni is a renowned Director in Indian cinema but it seems he did not do the necessary homework which was definitely needed to make this movie. The script did not carry the message at all and for Shrimati Jaya Bhaduri who portrayed the role of mother there was not much to act for this weak script. Given the right script and thoughtfulness there is no doubt that Shrimati Bhaduri may bring out the grieving mother as portrayed in the book or somewhat better. In this context a clear example is present in Indian cinema where the character "Charu" in the Tagore's story of "nastonir" get a classic cinematic rebirth in the hand of the respected Director Shri Satyajit Ray. The photography is the best part for this movie which is expected from Shri Nihalni who himself is a well-known film photographer. Other characters in the movie seems to be a misfit to overall theme of the movie. A sensible remake for "Hazar Churaisr maa" is needed as the story is still a classic and highly recommended for anyone specially Bengalis.
Shunyo Awnko: Act Zero (2013)An attempt to build a fimic collage using scattered acts
13 June 2013
Experimentation with tethering scattered events in movies was popular among movie makers in early 60s in French and other European movies which subsequently influenced bengali film makers notably Shri Mirinal Sen where in the movie kolkata 71 he tried to portray the political and social uncertainty of that time using scattered yet related events. In Sunya anka the director did a good job of making individual pieces but when it comes to tether them into a form of art or collage it did not meet the expectation because there is lack of imagination and execution. The confusion inside the mind of the central character (business executive)is crafted nicely initially but as the movie progresses everything seems to be predicted and events become monotonous. The script was below expectation and although the photography and mood was good I think it could have been used more sensibly. I hope Shri Ghose will focus more in his attempt to make such a movie without compromising with what the "market" demands. After all Art is and will be for Art's sake always.
The Namesake (2006)Below standard as expected from Mira Nair
11 March 2013
I have a request to Mira Nair.. please study Bengali psyche before you attempt to make such a movie. this movie is nothing but a masala mix of incidents with no concrete framework. Just by mixing scenes from Kolkata and USA does not give any impact to educated audience or global value. The editing is horrible. I am surprised by this kind of sloppy work from her specially after watching salam bombay and mississippi masala where she could prove that she knows how to make a movie. Sad to say this is a complete waste of money talent and time. The whole namesake theme was so cheap that it will wonder anyone with maturity that why the heck she went to make a movie about this.
Grihajuddha (1982)A bengali classic from 80's
23 June 2012
This film is one of the best example of conflict of humanity and ideology with reality. The script is excellent with all elements complementing the need for a good film where personal relation and political situation get mixed up.Equally good is the performance of all actors notably Mamata Shankar. Her portrayal of a person where values are more important than compromise is so genuine. Equally good in Anjan dutta for his escaping and compromising character. Gotam Ghosh performed well for his role as a reporter searching for the truth. The photography is also worth mentioning reflecting the true mood of every situation. This film is worth to watch even 30 years from the time when the film was made.
Baishey Shravana (1960)Another Classic in Bengali Cinema
24 May 2012
The film was made during "golden era" of modern bengali cinema when directors were experimenting with "realism" from western films using scenarios from typical bengali lives at that time. The film was based upon a life of a suburban ordinary salesman which has all its elements of ups and downs and the sufferings in daily life that occurred during second world war. The script was itself a classic in the sense that it cinematicallty reflects all elements of natural emotions and Shri Sen was successful to translate that script into an excellent film. The editing was equally good which keep the pace and normal flow of the storyline. Shri Gyanesh Mukherjee's performance as the salesman was brilliant. Equally good was Shrimati Madhabi Mukherjee as the salesman's wife with all her natural acting with a touch of brilliance. The photography and art direction provided necessary elements to make the film more realistic. This film is a true Bengali film classic.
Kaalbela (2009)A film worth to watch
15 April 2012
This film focused on kolkata during late 60s and early 70s when political uncertainty in west bengal combined with uprising in student based movements created confusion and chaos which claimed lives of many common and some talented youths. No doubt it is a sensitive and difficult topic to deal with although the great trio of Bengali film ( Satyajit-Ritwick-Mrinal)made films almost coinciding with those events so Gotam had some examples in front of him and most likely experienced that time-period by himself. The book based on which the film is made addressed humanitarian issues in conflict with the political ones inside a naive student. The film too addressed that conflict, however there is lack of details and artifacts in costume design. Why Animesh and Lata are well-dressed all the time? I cannot see a determined yet calm Animesh in the film which I can see in Siddartha in Satyajit's Pratidwandi. Parambrata tried his best to portray Animesh but somehow that "fire inside" is missing. The portrayal of the role for Madhurilata demands expression of genuine feelings yet with utter simplicity and keeping in mind the contemporary situation. This is a delicate role where a new-comer must learn and or study the role before being put on the screen. Paoli may have tried her best but again that genuine expression is missing. This is where I must say role of the director is paramount. Satyajit Ray could bring out the frustration and anger within Siddhartha from Dhritiman mainly because he knew the time, studied the youth psyche and ":moulded" Dhirtiman in that way. I had similar expectation from Shri Ghose but in my opinion he probably either tried and failed or did not want to go deep into that which involves commitment of lot of extra hours. I must thank the director for his good work in photography and thoughts behind set-design. The poetic roommate of Animesh (Rudranil) over-acted in some shots. It would have been nice to put the Bengali display of "se boro sukher somoi noi ..phootpath bodol hoi modhoyoratre" in the opening scene with recital from Soumitra who had nothing much to work on. Same goes to Ani's father too. Overall Kalbela is a move worth to watch and I think it is still relevant as of today so that present student and youth community can go back to that time and think as to why it happened and what went wrong.
Piyalir Password (2009)Dollars down the drain
29 November 2009
The plot is interesting however the quality of the movie is below average standard. The "script" is horrible and reflects the lack of expertise of any type of film-script writing ability. Editing is equally bad in the sense there is a lack of coherence between individual scenes. When watching this film anyone can notice the lack of thinking behind designing scenarios which include photography and sound-recording. The director failed to focus on the main theme of scientific misconduct and how it translates to corporate profit. Instead he tried to spice it up with twisting and surprising facts which makes it even worse. In spite of having access to professional actors and actresses, there is hardly any use of their real acting potential. This film is a total waste of money and time and further downgraded the standard of quality bengali films.