Zameen

The 35-year span of Zameen,through a narrative threaded with ordinary characters leading mundane lives,

Written by Shoma A. Chatterji | Mumbai | Published:March 16, 2012 4:36 pm

Touching tale

Direction: Sourav Mukhopadhyay

Written : Sangeeta Misra

Cast: Dulal Lahiri,Supriya Debi,

Dolon Roy,Sunil Mukherjee,

Aindrilla Chakraborty,

Sambhu Chakraborty and others

The 35-year span of Zameen,through a narrative threaded with ordinary characters leading mundane lives,subtly underscores how values have eroded over time where greed for money overshadows emotional attachments and how real estate and construction promoters bank on the greed of the younger generation to grease their land away from them.

The story revolves around Basanti (Dolon Roy),a young housewife who lives with her husband Shiben,little son Amar and mother-in-law (Supriya Devi) in their ancestral home. Shiben runs a grocery shop in one part of the spacious home. When he dies in an accident,the entire responsibility of running the shop and the family falls on Basanti’s shoulders. She works hard. Her son grows up to be a successful young man married to a working wife.

A local promoter chases Basanti to give away the land and the house for a multi-storied complex in exchange for two flats,a garage and some money. Amar and his wife are willing but Basanti refuses to surrender to the temptation. Does she win in her fight to stick to her ancestral home representing her emotional attachment to the family she was married into? Rich Tagore compositions are the hallmark of this rather low-key film without big names in the cast and credits. The songs are placed on the soundtrack and jell into the situational needs of the script. Dolon Roy gives a stellar performance as Basanti changing her body language,her gait,her manner of speech as she slowly moves from youth to old age. She is one of the most under-utilised actresses in Bengali cinema and Zameen offers her a good platform to showcase her talent. Supriya Devi performs her role of mother-in-law well. Dulal Lahiri as the promoter is brilliant. He is not a stereotypical villain and is just another cog in the huge giant wheel of people who surrender to changing values for both survival and profit.

The production values reveal the shoe-string budget. But director Saurav Mukhopadhyay proves that one does not need lavish mounting because some stories simply tell themselves out.

RATING : One star for the wonderfully chosen song numbers,one for acting and one for the storyline.

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