It feels great when you see a bengali film running to a full house on a Sunday afternoon. Such is the gravity of Kaushik Ganguly and the trust on his body of work. The bengali cine-lover expects the best of cinema from him.
But it is rather disappointing when that trust gets heavily defeated in the filmmaker’s lure to go more commercial, execute a casting coup with Prosenjit Chatterjee and Rituparna Sengupta and make his weakest film of last few years with Drishtikone.
Typically, the screenplay and dialogs are the strongest elements of KG films, with Drishtikone they come out as most compromised. The layers of this relationship saga stay shallow, and the perspective (or ‘drishtikone’) and subtexts that the director wants us to gradually unearth is apparent from the word go. You can exactly see from a distance the motivation behind the relationships, the garb that the characters are using to attract compassion or divert attention, and hence the overall depth of the relationships, their pain, their conflicts, everything remains very superficial. And the way they interact with each other or deliver the scripted dialogs feels so forced and dramatic, that you almost wonder if this is indeed a KG film. And it doesn’t help at all that the two leads who are supposed to create magic on screen actually are the weakest links of the film. Rituparna especially is extremely one note, and just doesn’t add any depth to Sreemati. And it almost appears that with her around, Prosenjit also has to come down and limit himself to match up to her talent. We have seen that earlier with Prakton and we see it here again. Jiyan could have been so much more, but remains heavily underexplored.
The biggest strength of the film is Churni Ganguly though – she is brilliantly poignant and graceful, and shows what a good actor she is even when the script limits her like everyone else. Her Rumki belonged to a better film though. In another important role that Koushik keeps with himself, he is good as usual, but somehow feels too detached from the rest of the film.
Its painful to think that with Bastushaap, Chhaya o Chhobi and now Drishtikone, Koushik Ganguly is starting to lose his charisma. We need him to go back to the world of Apur Panchali, Shabdo or Arekti Premer Galpo which is distinctive to his signature style. We need him to stick to a Khaad or Bisorjon if he has to explore middle of the path commercial cinema. And we want him to make a full length feature with Churni at the center stage – that would be a real comeback with a bang.
We will wait.. In hope…