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Director: Soumik Chatterjee
Music: Jeet Gannguli
Cast: Arjun Chakrabarty, Urmila Mohanta, Shantilal Mukherjee, Soma Chakraborty, Kharaj Mukherjee, Riddhi Sen, Bihu Mukherjee, Ena Saha, Sumit Samaddar, Manasi Sinha, Nandini Chatterjee
By Shoma A. Chatterji
Chirodini Tumi Je Amar 2 is not a sequel of the original hit Chirodini Tumi Je Amar that catapulted its director Raj Chakraborty and the lead pair Rahul and Priyanka into stardom overnight. The current film is a copyrighted Bengali version of a Tamil blockbuster Vazhakku Enn 18/9 that director Soumik Chatterjee has ‘Bengalised’ effectively to appeal to the rural-urban audience.
It is an one-sided love story of a migrant young Bhola (Arjun Chakraborty) who is forced to come to Kolkata in search of work because his father is burdened by debts with pressures from local goons to give away his land. He leaves his job at a food manufacturing unit and shifts to a road-side fast-food stall. He befriends a younger, but worldly-wise guy (Riddhi Sen) who tells him to confess his love to Jyoti (Urmila) who works as a domestic maid in a nearby housing complex. All his attempts are thwarted by Jyoti’s ferocious mother.
Post interval, the spoilt neighbour Raj (Bihu Mukherjee) of the pretty young schoolgirl Shreya (Ena Saha) where Jyoti works, secretly clicks indecent visuals of Ena, and circulates it among his school friends. In a tragic case of mistaken identity, the vindictive Raj throws acid on Jyoti instead of Shreya. Bhola, despite claiming innocence, is placed behind bars. The narrative comes across in flashbacks through Bhola’s narration to the police officer (Kharaj Mukherjee) whose cleverly manipulated treachery forces him to confess to a crime he did not commit. Shreya spills the beans and the avenging Jyoti is imprisoned for throwing acid on the police officer while Bhola is released. He promises to wait for the scarred Jyoti till she is released from prison.
The love story is almost completely overshadowed by the dominance of issues and agendas. Jeet Ganguly’s music is good but the film could have dispensed with songs altogether because the mood is different. The cinematography effectively captures the mood the film demands and the art direction is not upto the mark.
The film’s footage of 144 minutes needs some sharper clipping by Rabi Ranjan Maitra. Soumik Chatterjee has done a better job in this film, than in Phande Podiya Boga Kande Re. He handles the story well and pays equal attention to the cameos and the main leads. Arjun infuses Bhola with the freshness and innocence the character demands, while Urmila matches him very well with her eloquent silence. Each character excels in his or her role even if it is a five-minute appearance of Shantilal as the inhuman food unit owner.
Bharate (The Tenant) (Bengali)/ Muddled mess
Director: Anindya Ghosh
Story idea : Sujoy Ghosh
Cast: Rituparna Sengupta, Arunima Ghosh, Rajdeep and others
Bharate (The Tenant) has no links with Roman Polanski’s psychological
thriller The Tenant (1976) starring Polanksy along with Isabella Adjani,
Melvyn Douglas and Shelley Winters. Some years ago, the story of Bharate was seen as a scary telefilm on a Bengali satellite channel where Debolina Dutta portrayed the role Rituparna Sengupta plays in this film. But as this is a feature film made for the large screen, it demanded a big star like Rituparna Sengupta to essay the role of Tiasha.
The story concentrates on the three characters with little history to back their credentials and after a point, the sequences get repetitive and boring. A young couple Rimi (Arunima) and Vikram (Rajdeep) have plenty of time to coochie-coo and snuggle up to each other for an unending honeymoon that one wonders how they also manage their high-end corporate jobs and the maintenance of the huge mansion Rimi has inherited. Not a single household staff is visible throughout the film. Failing to find a suitable tenant to back the high maintenance costs of the mansion, they accept the beautiful Tiasha who claims to have been transferred to Kolkata by the NGO she is employed with. However, we see her teaching poor kids in just one brief scene. We also wonder what makes the very-much-in-love couple suddenly warm up to her, not suspecting her motives for a minute. Besides, given the rising crime rate in every metro city, no landlord will rent his/her flat to anyone without verifying the tenant’s credentials.
The film is neither scary, nor evokes either fear or spine-chilling suspense. It is only in the end one discovers what makes Tiasha behave the way she does. Though the police pounce on her when she is actually trying to suffocate Rimi with a pillow, no one knows how she escapes imprisonment and presses the bell of another landlord’s door a few months later.
Bengali film-makers desperate to prove their worth in thrillers ought to watch the extraordinary crime serials like Law and Order and The Criminal Mind to try and understand why establishing a rationale behind the workings of a criminal mind is absolutely necessary for minimum credibility for an intelligent audience. The music is very good and so are the songs, though they are too lengthy.
One truly wishes that a versatile actress like Arunima tried out a negative role because the sweet and syrupy stuff she is burdened with does not do justice to her talent. Rajdeep is trying to shape his acting skill, but needs to do away with the huge tattoo in every film because it stops him from identifying with his character. Rituparna tries her best to inject life into Tiasha, but the script does not help her at all. The cinematography is fine, but the editing is confusing as is the film which ends up unintentionally, into a mess of sorts.