Thursday, 13 January 2011

Just Another Love Story???

This post is about this movie I saw yesterday... "Arekti Premer Golpo" (Another Love Story)... First of all let me make it very clear that this is the first time I m trying to write a film review of sorts... come to it... its not even a review... this is just how I felt after seeing this particular movie.
To begin with this is the first time acclaimed Bengali director Rituporno Ghosh has tried his hand at acting and he has done a tremendous job of it. The film deals with a very sensitive issue and raises certain uncomfortable questions about our perception of what's "accepted" and what's "normal"... there aren't too many comic timings in the movie, so for those looking for the "fun" element, u can give this film a miss...
I think this is the first time something like this has been tried in Bengali cinema... nay, I would say In Indian Cinema.
The basic story line is very simple... A director and his crew comes from Delhi to make a documentory on a "jatra" artist ("jatra" is a rudimentary theater form of Bengal), Chapal Bhaduri. Now the catch is when Chapal Bhaduri acted on stage, no women were allowed to act, so men used to dress up like women and play their parts. This could also be seen in the 16th century Shakespearean plays where women could not act on stage.
So Chapal Bhaduri, our protagonist, thinks of himself as a woman in a man's body, mind u this Chapal Bhaduri character is real, now our director played by Rituporno Ghosh aka Abhiroop (in the film) likes to term himself as the "third sex" he isn't ashamed of his feminity or his love for his co director played by Indraenil Sengupta aka Basu. Abhiroop is sensitive, cranky, arrogant, and incredibly intelligent. Mind u he's also sensitive towards Basu's needs because Basu is married and is keeping his love for Abhiroop a secret from his wife.
The film progresses showcasing Chapal Bhaduri's life and particularly his intense passion for his lover and simultaneously superimposes it on Abhiroop's life which is quite similar to Bhaduri's except that the later belongs to a past decade when homosexuality was a curse.
The film though tries to showcase the fact the Indian society had tremendously progressed and almost all the characters accept Abhiroop's dalliances with Basu, but the question remains has Indian society progressed far enough, have we really become that broad minded and open in our acceptance?
The music is incredible and the cinematography brilliant. Some of the characters, I felt could have been worked upon such as that of Jishu Sengupta's and Raima Sen's. Jishu plays an important chracter in the movie though his character remains a bit of mystery, Basu's wife is another mysterious character (played exceptionally by Churni Ganguly), which had chances of being portrayed in a different light. The conclusion is somewhat predictable and cliched.
It is an intense film and the purpose of the makers isn't merely entertainment. They have a very serious message that they are trying to send out... but as I pondered earlier have we become flexible enough to accept that message?
I would like to advise a thing or two to the "would be viewers" if u want to watch the movie, please leave your inhibitions behind. There are certain scenes that could make u queasy or make u squirm in ur seat. But if u want to watch a movie for the movie's sake, please do so. It's a beautifully crafted film and forces u to stop and think for a while. If u miss this movie you could be missing something really exceptional.

Sunday, 2 January 2011

The Silent Scream...

The Silent Scream....

The wall on which the prophets wrote,
Is cracking at the seams,
Upon the instruments of death,
The sunlight brightly gleams.
When every man is torn apart...
With nightmares and dreams,
Will no one lay the laurel wreath,
When silence drowns the scream...


He was staring at me, lecherous and creepy...
His beady eyes,
fixed upon my thights
Not for me, I thought,
Not for me, this sort.
I found I was wrong,
My bridegroom to be
Arranged by my loved ones
The "done thing", you see;
My life decided, my future mapped out
The hidden stars,
In the constellation above,
What about love, I asked in distress,
Fearful and broken
Rooted in stress.
The answer was brisk
It will come with time
And money rules, dear girl
And so we've obliged.
The haggling for the dowry
Continued well into the night
With my loved ones enumerating
My many good points
I could cook well,
Sew well,
Wash and clean
Other wifely duties
Would come with
The change in scene
So I was sold
So I was bought
Money exchanged hands,
I was truly caught...

Kusum Lata Sawhney