This post comes quite a bit late. Every year, Hyderabad witnesses Bengali Film Fest thanks to the very active Bengalis in Hyderabad community. They curate a good number of award winning and popular movies that satiate our eyes that do not have the pleasure of watching Bengali films gbat often in this city. This year, my wife and I viewed Tope and Bibaho Diaries as part of this film festival. Here are my reviews of those movies.
There are many baits. Many trappings. Aren’t our desires a kind of trap? Are not they the idiomatic “carrot at the end of the stick”? There is this woman who dreams to meet her dream man, who could be a demigod rising from the depth of the village pond. She desires to be that careless lass who once swam the pond with unbridled vivacity. Then, there are these trapiz artist family which survives on their daughters skills and hopes they will find someone to fill her shoes when she is married; afterall, they need financial security when old. Their daughter dreams of a better future where she would have a husband and kids, and where she will not have to risk her life and tolerate obscene gestures to perform on a rope. The documemtary film maker wants to shoot the adventurous narrative of a tiger hunt. And finally, the king wants to grab on to the bait of older era by hunting the tiger. And beyond all these, there is Goja, who shuns all trappings and mocks every so called necessities and mingles easily with nature. Like all Buddhadeb Dasgupta movie, this one too has oodles of imageries created through images and sounds. Though the movie does not catch a chord all the time with me, and though I have ended the movie a few secs earlier than where it originally ends, I liked the interwoven human lives as they run after their own baits. I liked the perspective how one person’s desires work against him or her when someone else baits him/ her using those. Paoli was excellent in her acting so was the actor in the role of the king.
Marital strifes, love, usual saas-bahu saga, and friendship interwoven with sharp, witty, and well punned dialogues – that’s what Bibaho Diaries showcases.
Many moments are cliched. But look around, aren’t we living in a society of cliches? What makes Mainak’s Bibaho Diaries so entertaining and exhilarating is his ability to find comic elements in all those mundane moments – be it a mom-in-law’s complain about her daughter-in-law’s inability to cook well or a father-in-law’s irritation about his son-in-laws inability to land a job. The clash between materialistic high salaried class and the idealistic, creative, and politically inclined group theatre members, in fact our protagonist is a member of the latter group.
The movie also shows how GenY handles marriage, family, and other complications. What happens to friendship and other relationships post marriage? The movie focuses on all that, subtly.
Ritwick as the male lead is awesome. He gets the chunk of the script and molds it with his own creative brilliance and presents to us a smart, creative, emotional, and charming character. Sohini is good overall and exceptional in the court argument scene (watch it). The not-so-surprising package is Vishwanath, who has long since proven his comic acting prowess. They are well supported by Dulal Lahiri, Mithu Chkraborty, Alakananda Roy, and Vishwajit Chakraborty.