Director: Debaditya Bandopadhyay
Producer: Torun Routh
Story,script and dialogue: Padmanava
Music: Tanmoy Ghosh
Cast: Manoj Mitra,Haradhan Bandopadhyay,Tapas Pal,Raghubir Yadav,Anamika
Saha,Rajesh Sharma,Swastika Mukherjee,
Sonali Choudhury,Anusree Das,Samik Sinha
Aatta Aaater Bongaon Local consolidates Debaditya Bandopadhyays directorial abilities,something that his first film failed to do. The script is a collage of small,real-life incidents of humiliation,oppression and insults that common people face in their daily life from anti-social elements with political backing. The story unfolds through the journey of Ananta Das,an ordinary,middle-aged clerk who commutes to work in the Bongaon Local that leaves from Bongaon station at 8:08 am. Like his fellow commuters,he looks the other way when young girls are pawed by anti-socials or even when he witnesses a 16-year-old boy being stabbed to death in the local market for trying to save his sister from being molested.
One day,he hears a sudden click near his spine. The orthopaedist says the X-Ray shows nothing except a small incline. This click functions as the turning point and a metaphor. The timid,escapist clerk Ananta Das straightens up,physically and metaphorically. On his way to work one day,there is a track-block by protestors. Ananta sees the anxiety of a father who has to rush his ailing child to the hospital. In a fit of rage,he beats the protestors and manages to clear the track for the train to resume its journey. This marks the beginning of the common mans revolt against injustice.
Tapas Pal as Ananta Das is brilliant. The cameo characters,who lend him support,are also good but one wishes they were given more screen space. It is Ananta Das who dominates every single frame. The lyrics,penned by Sreejato are excellent and the title song has a beautiful musical score. But the Baul number is loud and misplaced. The opening frames are stunning in their contrast closing in on an X-ray of Anantas spirit,cutting at once into a surrealistic but scary dream that makes Ananta wake up suddenly. The structure keeps to the story made of bits and pieces of newspaper items of similar nature. The dialogues are powerful. Art director Indraneel Ghoshs masterly touch gives the film the raw look it demands without any frills.
But there are too many logical lapses and needless inter-cutting into scenes of a single television news channel that makes no sense because one never gets to know what the other channels are saying. The fatalistic climax writes a defeatist finish to Ananta Dass crusading act.
One star for acting,one for the screenplay and one for art direction.