Charulata

Charulata 2011 is a reconstructed relocation of Satyajit Ray’s Charulata in a completely modernised ambience in...

Written by Shoma A. Chatterji | Published:March 16, 2012 4:41 pm

A must watch

Direction: Agnidev Chatterjee

Music: Indradeep Dasgupta

Cast: Rituparna Sengupta,Arjun Chakraborty,Dolon Roy,Koushik Sen, Sudharshan Chakraborty,Rii,and others

Charulata 2011 is a reconstructed relocation of Satyajit Ray’s Charulata in a completely modernised ambience in terms of characterisations,in terms of values,in terms of the use of communication technology,costume,looks and last but not the least,relationships. The film runs on two levels — one has to do with the main story of Choiti (Rituparna Sengupta) and her husband Bikram (Arjun Chakraborty) and the other involves a kind of surrealistic relationship Choiti begins with a chat-friend and names him ‘Amal” while she rechristens herself ‘Charu’.

This sets off a strange telepathic relationship between ‘Charu’ and ‘Amal’ without the one having set eyes on the other ever because ‘Amal’ is in London while ‘Charu’ lives in Kolkata. What happens when they finally meet each other? In 2011,no one expects a one-sided,emotional attraction like Charu in Ray’s Charulata experienced in 1879,the time referred to in Tagore’s original story in Nastaneer (1901) or even in 1964,when Ray made the film. In Charulata 2011,the two meet at the airport in a Western imposition of the Cinderella story — ‘Charu’ stumbles on her high-heeled shoe and is pulled up by her ‘Amal’ (Dibyendu) who recognises her instantly.

For almost the first half of the film,the two lovers remain ‘visible’ only through their ‘chats’ that forms their ‘voice.’ When they meet,they make love when the suddenly disillusioned Choiti expresses her desire to cut off the relationship. But they meet again and the two strands of the narrative are now merged,setting off different vibes between and among the four main characters in the film.

Rituparna Sengupta looks beautiful and sensuous as Charu and expresses the multiple shades of her complex character brilliantly. Dibyendu makes a powerful debut while Arjun and Koushik offer good support. Indradeep Dasgupta’s music is really lyrical and Dibyendu’s Tagore songs delivered only with his guitar for accompaniment are wonderful superimpositions on the film’s texture. Shirsa Ray’s camera is masterful in its control of lighting as it moves from different,half-lit corners of Choiti’s apartment to a cafeteria or the terrace of the building to close in on the shadowy love-making in the darkness of a hotel room. It needs guts to make a stylish interpretation of a film inspired by a Tagore story and a Ray film and then allow it to move freely within an ambience of modern times. RATINGS : Three stars for music,camera and acting.

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