BIJOYA : An aching lump of emotions

‘Palki chale… Hun huna…. Gagon tale… Hun huna…. Aagun jwale… Hun huna…’ – It is a recurring phrase that is repeated time and again at various situations, and beautifully summarizes the crushing cycle of life that Bijoya depicts as a film! It wouldn’t have been an easy decision to make a sequel of Bishorjon – after all it was vintage Kaushik Ganguly whom we had seen after long, and whom we have not seen since then (Bishorjon review here). It was a deeply engaging story of Padma Haldar, Naser Ali, and Ganesh Mondol set across the Indo-Bangladesh cultural fabric, and though it had ended with some open questions, many of us had drawn our closures based on our interpretation of those characters and their motivations. Of course, Ganguly the director had other plans, and some of those interpreted closures fell flat on the ground as we got a sneak peak of Bijoya a few days back. We were not complaining though, because it meant that we could again embark on a voyage with the three central characters, and this time around the journey would become even more engaging with a tighter script and more nuanced storytelling!

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GENERATION AAMI : Wants to Fly but Stumbles

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It is impossible not to notice where ‘Generation Aami’ draws a lot of its narrative inspirations from. It creates a world of Apu living with his doting but controlling mother, with his father living mostly out of station to cater to the family needs, a grandmother who is mostly a silent spectator to things living in her own den, and an elder sister (okay cousin) Durga who is far more ‘danpite‘ and adventurous and practically becomes the lifeline of Apu to help him grow up and find his wings, albeit post a tragic loss!

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EK JE CHHILO RAJA : The King is Reborn

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On the surface, Ek Je Chilo Raja (There lived a King) recreates the infamous Bhawal Sanyasi casehttps://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bhawal_case) – presented as the story of the erstwhile lecherous prince of Bikrampur estate, Raja Mahendra Kumar Chowdhury, who was presumably long ‘dead’ drowned in the repercussions of his own affluence, with his legacy long forgotten by most of his followers; but one who returned to base after twelve long years as the wandering sanyasi and was eventually coaxed to admit his relinquished identity by his well-wishers, and charged as an imposter by his wife and her brother at the same time. What followed was a long drawn legal battle over years across multiple courts of law, that finally settled on the verdict that the sanyasi was indeed the prince. But strangely enough the man at the center of all attention could not live that reclaimed life and died immediately after which was considered as the ultimate divine punishment for the imposter by many.

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BYOMKESH GOWTRO : Doesn’t Go Anywhere!

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In a true reunion of sorts, Anjan Dutt and Arindam Sil unexpectedly come together in the latest Byomkesh outing; and yet Byomkesh Gowtro turns out to be yet another disappointing mess to be added to the already overdone Byomkesh series. That wasn’t much unexpected though.

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SHONAR PAHAR : Innocence is Bliss!

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The cine-lover in me has an absolute reason to celebrate when she watches two beautiful new bengali films back to back within a fortnight. Two weeks back, it was the deliciously flavored Ahare Mon. And today, it was a very satisfying experience watching the beautifully made Shonar Pahar, highly rich in innocence, affection, loneliness, hurt, pain, and unconditional blissful love.

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AHARE MON : Beautiful Collage of Emotions!

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Final Destination?” – Its an often used term in a film that is actually a beautifully crafted journey of love, life, tenderness, thrill and hope, and never really about a defined destination! That in a nutshell is Ahare Mon – beautiful, pure, real and so full of heart!

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UMA : Lacks Soul

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Srijit Mukherji of Jatishwar or Chotushkone is long lost. His last few ventures like the two Kakababu films, or Zulfiqar or Nirbaak have been disasters; and when I had seen the trailer of his latest film, it did sound equally loud and highly melodramatic. Luckily then, Uma turns out to be better than what the wrapper suggested and yet falls short of becoming a real good film.

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GUPTODHANER SANDHANE : Flawed but Entertaining

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You always don’t need to watch a technically brilliant or a flawless film to enjoy it! Sometimes you enjoy films just because of your fascination for riddle based thrillers, and because something like that is at least being attempted in bengali cinema beyond the greatness of ‘muro haye buro gachh‘ and its creator!

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DRISHTIKONE : Art falls to too much lure for commerce

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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.

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Mayurakshi : lost in stagnation

Some very good performances in Mayurakshi get lost in wilderness due to an almost non existent script! Prosenjit shines in all his scenes, Indrani Haldar is a breath of fresh air in an otherwise brooding film; and though Soumitro gets his body language pretty accurate for the old solitary man, his dialog delivery is a struggle these days!

Eventually it all turns to be a pretty forgettable act because of its painfully sluggish pace and flat screenplay. Not the kind of film one would like to close 2017’s movie watching @ theaters with! Sigh!

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