Hasi Kannar Iti Katha (Bengali) / Cheating the audience

The story had lots of possibilities for development that are ignored completely

Mumbai | Published: July 11, 2014 1:00 am
Rahul and Anushka in Hasi Kannar Iti Katha Rahul and Anushka in Hasi Kannar Iti Katha

Producers:Divine Grover

Writer-Director:Partho Ghosh

DOP:Damodar Naidu

Music:Onkar Minhas and Debjit Roy

Cast: Rahul, Anushka, Aman Varma and others

By Shoma A. Chatterji

Orphan Mitali (Anushka) is brought up with love and care by her wealthy uncle (Aman Varma). Raj (Rahul) is an excellent boxer but his mother is paranoid as his father died during a boxing bout. He still takes part in professional boxing bouts as he needs money for his mother’s surgery. His mother watches it on television and collapses. Mitali’s uncle manipulates Raj to marry her but she fakes about suffering from cancer as she doesn’t like him. Later when Raj is diagnosed of cancer, a sudden change of heart has Mitali falling in love with Raj.
The story had lots of possibilities for development that are ignored completely. Besides being filled with snags and errors of logic, narration and content, one wonders why it is released as a Bengali film. The new pair of Rahul and Anushka are not only non-Bengalis who cannot understand a word much less speak it. Their performance leaves much room for improvement and both must work on their screen looks. The entire cast is from Mumbai, mostly from television and the film has been dubbed by Bengali actors. One wonders why Raj and his mother need money as they live in a palatial mansion. There are no foreign locales. The cinematography is flat.
The title of the film roughly translates as ‘The tale of laughter and tears’ which is apt considering that after having watched the film one does not know whether to laugh or to cry and that becomes the “tale.” One wonders why a film shot in Mumbai and not in Kolkata or West Bengal with hardly known, non-Bengali actors from Mumbai or small-time TV actors like Aman Varma feature in a film with an entirely ‘outside’ technical team and the dialogues dubbed in Bengali can be called a Bengali film. Is this not cheating the audience?
It is both difficult to believe and sad to acknowledge that a talented film-maker like Partho Ghosh who gave us films like 100 Days, Agnisakshi, Yug Purush and Ghulam-e-Mustafa along with the producers could come down to cheat the audience hollow. As the film unfolds, one gets the distinct impression that either the director handed over his directorial chair to an inefficient ‘proxy’ director or left his entire team to do everything by themselves. I decided to pick this film to be reviewed just to show that these days, the linguistic and regional identity of a film is also being faked by the film-makers themselves. Was this necessary?

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