If the theme is unconventional, a film maker should try unconventional means to retain the attention of the viewers. This film was highly tangential and I wonder who the actual target audience were. This film was too much of Rituparna Ghosh, and very less of anything else.
I am perhaps one of the self proclaimed biggest fans of Rituparna Ghosh’s film. I have watched all the films that he has made so far. The audience who go to watch this film should remember this is essentially not a Rituparna Ghosh directed film. Its Koushik Ganguly’s. I didnt love the direction of the film all together. And I refuse to believe Rituparna Ghosh was even remotely associated with its direction (He is one of the creative directors of the film). I didnot like the direction of photography and I hated the cinematography.
This film was a desperate attempt to make it look intellectual, aritistic and full of emotions. This is a very conventional art film and is way outside the definition of parallel cinema existing in Bengali film industry today.
The good thing in the film to look out for is the acting. Rituparna Ghosh was effortlessly elegant with his acting, Raima sen, Chapal Bhaduri, Indraneel, Jishu Sengupta, Churni Ganguly was extremely good at their work. I loved the inclusion of Rabindrasangeet in the film, although might spark rave criticism, I loved the sensitiveness of the inclusion. The lyrics of the song involving Radha was intoxicating, provoking and very introspective. I wouldnot label this film as “gay” film, because of its relevance in straight relationships also. It protrays and revolves around a gay director Abhiroop (acted by Rituparna Ghosh) and bisexual photographer Basudev. This story was placed in corelation with that of Chapal Bhaduri and Kumar. From protraying the veteran theatre artists work to captivising an insight to his life, the role of the media and the “independant” society’s response to it..of love and the feel of it is very nicely shown in the film. Not essentially a gay film, it touches various aspects of homosexual love which is not merely carnal in its kind, but that of just another person towards his friend who is closer than he is supposed to be!
One might wonder who Chapal Bhaduri is and how he is related to the film. Abhiroop and Basudev came to make a documentary based on the life of Chapal Bhaduri who used to act as women in bengali “Jatra” (theatre) and was in his personal preference, a homosexual. But he wasnt able to express it, given the kind of social background he belonged to.
Regarding the theme of the film – emotions, love and homosexuality, its a break from the comedies that were earlier made of the homosexuals and is presented in a dignified and not so discreet manner that makes this film special. With the exclusion of section 377 from IPC, this film is an attempt to dive into the matter not making fun of it and is highly commendable.
This film is a fantastic film, if you manage to sit through the entire film. This film would have been much better, could have been very crisply presented with I feel a better director, may be Rituparna Ghosh himself.