Wednesday, September 30, 2009

FEEDBACK

Making a film is always a team effort...Each member of the unit had put in his or her wholehearted effort.....ANGSHUMANER CHHOBI was born out of it ...and now, when we are getting so much of meaningful feedback from you, its indeed leaving us inspired......Thanks a lot for providing us with the ultimate drive to create films... Here are some of those feedbacks - ATANU GHOSH
EXCERPTS FROM ARTICLES REVIEWING ANGSHUMANER CHHOBI
AT IFFI 2009, GOA

IFFI – 2009 – A REPORT
By Mohan Siroya

ANGSHUMANER CHHOBI ( Bengali — India)

Another good Indian entry in the competition with histrionic performances from the legendary actors Soumitra Chatterjee and Indrani Haldar. After writing and directing many tele-films and documentaries, this is first feature film of the writer director Atanu Ghosh . A creditable job and already appreciated by discerning critics and also a part of this year’s National film awards .

After studying cinema from Italy, young Angshuman ( Indraneil Sengupta)returns India to make his first film, on an unusual script without any compromises. 73 year old thespian Pradyut Da ( Soumitra) is now almost retired from the mainstream films and world too. But Angshu ,after great convincing and efforts, is successful in signing him for the pivotal role of an old Painter suffering from dementia. His Ayah’s role is essayed by the National award winning actress Madhura who is now reduced to playing roles as Jatra artist ( Indrani Haldar) .In between lessons of method acting and human emotions and desires for lonely humans appear.Thrown is a character of Gigalo ,who eventually dies from AIDS, but after explaining his involvement with actress Madhura being confined only at “Emotional Level” because of her loneliness..

Indeeed was a thought provoking film . Both Soumitra Chatterjee and Indrani Haldar have given excellent and moving performances.

http://sachiniti.wordpress.com/2009/12/15/iffi-2009-a-report

40TH IFFI: DEBUTANTS SHINE IN INDIAN PANORAMA
BY UTPAL BORPUJARI

If it gave the perfect start to the Indian Panorama as the opening film of the section, the package shone through several other efforts, significantly, like Shetgaonkar’s, all by first-time directors. Satish Manwar’s Gabhricha Paus (The Damned Rain) in Marathi and Atanu Ghosh’s Angshumaner Chhobi (A Film Made by Angshuman) in Bengali, both India’s entries to the IFFI’s competition section, along with Paresh Mokashi’s Harishchandrachi Factory in Marathi, were definitely the top of the lot in the section where there were works by 11 first-time directors.

Manwar’s film marks the emergence of another powerful voice in the already-shining Marathi film industry, as it uses black humour to tell the story of farmers’ suicides, the biggest tragedy to hit many parts of rural India, and more particularly of Vidarbha region in Maharashtra, in recent years. The film opens with scenes of a farmer committing suicide, followed by how the worried wife and mother of another debt-ridden farmer decides to keep an eye on him, fearing he too might end his life. A powerful portrayal of our times, it also serves up as a strong contrast to the mainstream cinema which has almost forgotten to depict rural India barring stray exceptions, and does that in a way which is neither didactic nor preachy. On the other hand, Ghosh’s film takes one into the complex world of the human mind through the story of a young filmmaker who wants to make a film with a retired actor and a recalcitrant actress despite their reluctance to come on screen. The film succeeds largely to a brilliantly nuanced screenplay and superb acting the thespian Soumitra Chatterjee, Indrani Haldar, Indraneil Sengupta and Tota Roychowdhury.

http://utpalborpujari.wordpress.com/2009/12/14/40th-iffi-debutants-shine-in-indian-panorama

IT MUST BE SOMETHING IN THE WATER
By Bharadwaj Rangan

In Kolkota. Atanu Ghosh’s Angshumaner Chhobi was yet another Bengali film that effortlessly straddled the median between art and commercial cinema — if not in the sense of appealing to vast numbers of audiences, at least in its ability to narrate an engrossing tale that works at the surface-level even as subtext and metaphor lurk mysteriously beneath.

Soumitra Chatterjee plays an eccentric great-actor who’s lured out of retirement by a young filmmaker, and the actress cast opposite him (Indrani Haldar) is a jatra performer. How this twain of East and West meet and mould one another is the crux of this moving film, which even works in a murder mystery. The more interesting mystery, though, is what exactly is in that water.

http://www.expressbuzz.com/edition/story.aspx?Title=A+whisper+is+enough&artid=%7C1VugM4UogM=&SectionID=XVSZ2Fy6Gzo=&MainSectionID=XVSZ2Fy6Gzo=&SectionName=m3GntEw72ik=

ANI & BONNIE: TALKING TOLLY
By Anindo Sen

Hello.... here's a bit of letting in....

for those who have been complaining that there hasn't been much of the friendly banter of late....

get into this candid conversation about films, what else, but actually trying to gain a perspective on the Bangla cinema exclusively.

For the uninitiated: Ani is what my friends call me (short for my first name, Anindo) and Bonnie is a dear friend (well a lot more than that, and that's all that you would get in the name of an intro for Bonnie) and a fellow film-buff, or a film junkie!

Ani: Hey, don't you think that things have been looking up for Bangla films of late? I felt surely lucky to get treated to such diverse yet engaging & watchable films this year as 'Antaheen', 'Jackpot', 'Madly Bangali' and, of course, 'Angshumaaner Chhobi' (the best Bangla film of 2009 according to me)...

Bonnie: I cannot sound so optimistic, dear! Though the year began good with 'Antaheen', 'Jackpot', 'Cross Connection' & 'Madly Bangali', most of the films seen later were duds! Only 'Angshumaaner Chhobi' being the exceptionally good offering later in the year.

http://sakagaze.blogspot.com/2009/12/ani-bonnie-talking-tolly.html

Angshumaner Chhobi ReviewShare

Friday, 28 August 2009 by Rajyeshwari Ghosh


Angshumaner Chhobi brilliantly portrays the unfolding of the characters of Prodyut Mukherjee (Soumitra Chatterjee) - a legendary actor, Madhura Sen (Indrani Halder) - a National-Award Winning actress, Indraneel (Tota Roy Choudhury), a kind-hearted gigolo, and in the making of Angshuman’s movie Anandi, Anandi (Madhura Sen) – an uneducated attendant to the legendary painter, played by Prodyut Mukherjee. The story starts in the cold bleak winter months, where everything seems to be apparently lifeless, including the lives of our protagonists, Prodyut Mukherjee and Madhura Sen.

Atanu Ghosh’s artistic talent is evident in the subtle indication that it is New Year’s Eve, and the glamorous star, Madhura Sen is lonesome; and calls upon a familiar stranger gigolo to fill her isolation. Poignantly embedded within the plot of the story, another story of how the talented Italy-trained Director, Angshuman (Indraneil Sengupta) comes to Kolkata to make his first Bengali big screen movie. We learn that Angshuman is widely recognized and that he is a successful Director of a number of documentary movies. However, Anandi is his first Bengali movie. To make his dream a reality and to honor his teacher’s words, he came from Milan to Kolkata. Angshuman finds a confidante in Sonali (Anjana Basu), his friend’s wife. Reserved but determined, he faces challenges one after the other including the murder of Madhura Sen’s husband. He overcomes these adversities, and ultimately his film, Anandi is a successful project. What cross my mind are the parallel lives of Angshuman with that of Atanu Ghosh. Atanu Ghosh could depict Angshuman’s character so accurately, perhaps because he could identify some of his own struggles as a director in the making of this movie, Angshumaner Chhobi.

The road to Prodyut Mukherjee’s house in the outskirts of Kolkata is one of the most radiant expressions of nature. It has a symbolic value – the beautiful trees along the narrow winding path are massive and magnificent. These trees are old and the roots go deeper into the soil. It is not easy to break them. However in these winter months, the trees are lifeless – without the green leaves and the blossomed flowers. What this picture resonates is what we can expect from this legendary actor, who will be hard to convince. His life is also barren in these winter months. I am sure by the end of the making of Anandi, spring has arrived, and the road to Prodyut Mukherjee’s house must have taken the beautiful colors of spring.

We witness the glimpses of the frustrated and lonely life of the otherwise reputed Madhura Sen. In the stunning backdrop of the old Bengali house in the village, we see her at the terrace looking at the children emerged in their simple joys of playfulness. The old Bengali house is a figurative representation of Madhura’s life. Just as this big house has its haunting past, so does Madhura Sen’s life. Both the fa├žades are magnificent and grand to a virgin eye; however, to a thoughtful individual, her “inner world” is filled with pain, anguish and emotional emptiness.

One of the most intensely emotional climax scenes in the movie is when Madhura is having a profoundly deep conversation with Prodyut Mukherjee. The flickering light from the candle dispels the darkness around. Dressed in a beautiful yellow tasar salwar kameez, Madhura is enlightened and comes in terms with herself.

The character of Indraneel, a voyager in his own life journey, is much more secured with himself. His larger than life persona is evident in his quest of astronomy, staring at the Universe. His passion for rhythm and dance is apparent in his dance steps around the campfire. Though a gigolo by profession, a not an honorable occupation in the society, yet as we get to know him as a human being, he is someone who as if is an anchor to the empty life of the celebrity, Madhura Sen. Anandi’s character is also very similar. Though she is an uneducated attendant to the legendary painter, her so-called insignificant life brings significant transformation in the life of the painter. She can be uneducated, but she gives a notebook to the painter, who suffers from memory loss.
Atanu Ghosh juxtaposes the contrasting colors of the characters. The legendary actor feels he cannot offer anything more, the painter also lost meaning and joy in his life and the award winning celebrity finds her life filled with nothing but emptiness. Although apparently, they are highly successful in their public life, however, their lives are wrought with absolute loss of meaning. In contrast, it is the lives of the so-called insignificant human beings such as the gigolo and the uneducated attendant who came as the harbinger of springs.
From a creative standpoint, the story starts on a dark “winter night.” The darkness of the “inner emotional struggle” has consumed the lives of Pradyut Mukherjee and Madhura Sen. By the end of the movie, however, we find Angshuman in the terrace and looking at the wide open blue sky with a sense of hope, bliss and emancipation.
The psychological melodrama that unfolds is reminiscent of the quest for meaning and happiness in each of our own existence. As human beings, it is our pursuit to meaning that brings us happiness in our inner world. We define our own existence. It is not defined by any external factors or beings. It is our own confrontations with our own limitations that cause us to stop growing. The limitations come in the form of fears and nightmares, a yearning to acknowledge our own existence by someone other than ourselves. Each of us is in the quest of our “truth” – both real and empirical. The most profound message of the movie is the deep connection to human relations and the relationship with our own selves. These relationships transcend all the so-called differences of life and liberate us to follow our destiny.

The brilliant synchronization of the gifted artists and their respective characters, they played in the movie made it so enriched with content. A masterpiece by itself, a thought-provoking and deeply reflective work of art, I encourage you to watch the movie at least once, if not more.
Rajyeshwari Ghosh
Author, Essence of My Existence
(To be published in USA in November 2009)

Bahnisikha Chatterjee on 27 August at 10:09 Facebook

Please keep on making such Lyrical Poetry which touch our hearts in this way.Each & every member of Angshumaner Chobi deserves all the Praise at its highest level for creating such a heavenly magical world for people like us.Congratulations to All,who made Angshumaner Chobi possible.

Shyamashree Sen  on 27 August at 10:36 Facebook

You all have done such a great job...I cannot stop recommending the film to one and all...!! Just wow!!
 
Ipsita Mallik 27 August at 16:49 Facebook
 
Congrats once again!!...we can just hope that this inspiration will lead to many more master pieces in future!..and we get to see some good and sensible bengali films.
 
Lopamudra Das 04 September at 01:06. on Facebook

Thnx a ton to my sis who recommended me to watch it I watchd it and I just bowled over.....cinematography, script, background score, opening song everything ws superb...only tota's wig...dat cn b lil better..


Pradip Das  12 September at 08:16  Facebook

A real good movie.

Arup Ratan Banerjee 09 September at 07:21 Facebook

you have made a really wonderful movie...simply wonderful
From the margins – a Bangla film peeks - Amitabha Nag - E-mail

In picking up the protagonist of his film as a Bengali film-maker residing in Italy, director Atanu Ghosh already harped on the ‘margin’. The reason is pretty simple. Any ‘sensitive’ film-maker in Bengal traditionally wants to make films which we all know as ‘art film’. There are no prizes for the sacred definition of the term, it is as misleading and baffling as many films of that particular genre actually are – we more or less understand – films which have something philosophical to convey. In Bengal, burdened by our super-rich heritage of enlightened individuals in every field of culture (sic), we have taken every aspect of art, seriously. Probably so much so, that we have forgotten that essentially art has to ‘entertain’ (here I risk being castigated by the ‘bhodrolok’ bangali who cannot think of art as a medium of entertainment, ahem!). Coming back to where we started, Angshuman of Angshumaner Chhobi (A film by Anghsuman, Atanu Ghosh, 2009) is a marginal, cause he is a documentary film-maker who stays in Italy. That is, he is not a mainstream Bangla film-maker. The other marker to this inference is a scene – the last scene of the film Anshuman was shooting which freezes on Anandi’s face and we understand that it’s a film poster which has all those olive leaf symbols on it indicating the numerous international awards that it probably bagged. This directly puts forward the wish-fulfillment of Atanu Ghosh, the director who probably aspires to do a film of his choice but market dynamics forces him to tread a middle path. In this regard, Atanu is also a marginized individual who fights in the Bangla film industry.

Those of us who are familiar with Atanu Ghosh’s telefilms know that in many of his works he deals with characters who are mentally deranged, have Alzheimer’s, blind or socially outcaste. He has always empathized with the individuals in the margins.

This preamble is needed to understand some extra points about the film in discussion. Or so this critic felt.

Anghsumaner Chhobi is getting rave reviews to the extent that one daily reporter wanted to give the film twelve stars in a scale of one to five! Quite audacious from the reporter’s part no doubt but Atanu Ghosh must be having his smile even broader. Interestingly, as I feel Atanu is half-hearted in his aspiration of making a mainstream film (with a ‘difference’ – this is the buzz word these days) the box office really shows in the second week of its release that its doing better in mainstream halls rather than the multiplexes (in fact it just disappeared from few multiplexes after only two weeks) – so, does this mean, the little ‘difference’ Atanu wanted to include keeping niche audience in mind who visit the multiplexes more than the mainstream halls falls out of place. It can well be, for, as I mentioned in the beginning, the rift between reality and the dream of many such educated Bengali film-directors are taking them no-where. And taking us, their audience as well.

Fortunately, Atanu is indeed ‘different’ and so is his maiden film. If we consider his objective of making the film a mainstream one but for the urban audience, in essence he is trying to achieve a phenomenon which is past – the glorious ‘60s of Bangla films. And where many today’s film-makers confuse, Atanu succeeds in retaining only an essence – sublime and holy, his form and his content emanates a contemporary radiance.

To term this film as a ‘film within a film’ is injustice. This film is too complex than that. On the one hand we find a scintillating Soumitra Chatterjee almost playing himself as a septuagenarian actor Prodyot Mukherjee who has a chilling dream every night of his make-up man who asks him to pack up. Interestingly, the black background and the actor’s panic-stricken rendition give the scenes the needed theatricality without making them melodramatic. In a later incident, we come to know this actor acted as Mayurbahan in Jhinder Bandi – a reference of Soumitra himself - another film which implicitly pays tribute to this thespian who unlike the actor in the film, does think he has many more hidden jewels in his oeuvre waiting to be brought out.

In Madhura Sen as the actress who won the National Award at an early stage of her career but somehow fizzled out in the race to become the mainstream heroine, Indrani Halder again, like Soumitra comes out as someone playing her life – atleast part of it. By bringing in a gigolo (a very likeable Tota Ray Choudhuri as Indraneil) as a partner of Madhura, the director is experimental – a new character type in Bangla films which had for so very long been elusive. But in emphasizing that Madhura and Indraneil never had any sexual relationship or in shaping up the story to have Indraneil die of AIDS eventually, Atanu probably wanted to play safe. This did fall short of expectations along with some other glitches – the glossy police officer, the irrelevant sales person of a fitness equipment firm, the couple who were Angshuman’s friend and were never sure what they were for. But still, Angshumaner Chhobi is an interesting film.

Why? Primarily, because when Hindi film is taking its own definitive course where jazzy contemporariness is the key selling point, Bangla films (which are not hardcore commercial ones like this film) predominantly are still searching. There are few which fake being contemporary and yet play the tunes of nostalgia. Atanu Ghosh has scored over many just here. He was nostalgic – right from the first shot of Soumitra Chatterjee taking make-up and as the story unfolds – to his tribute to the golden era of Bangla films. But as we enter into Atanu’s world we confront a death – is it a suicide or a murder and suddenly we recognize how we are entwined to the intricacies of a mystery thriller even though the film is not a crime pot-boiler. Atanu’s journey from nostalgia to contemporariness is striking in its sublime interplay of the three central characters played by Prodosh, Madhura and Indraneil – all three marginals coming in the life and work of another man in margin – Angshuman.

Atanu’s customary strength which he carries from his telefilm experience is his taut script. Here as well, he is sensitive, occasionally faltering as mentioned above, but mostly being subtle. His compassion for the art of cinema is poignant in the meticulous details of the shots which show the film-making process, intermixing with sounds of reality – the aura of cinema where reality blends with the unreal. Like most of his earlier works as well, the director’s mission for the ultimate betterment of mankind is persistent as we find both Prodosh and Madhura get a new zeal of life much like Anandi, the character Madhura played in Angshuman’s film. Probably this is why Indraneil has to transcend through death – he remains untouched even if he is the killer of Madhura’s husband – his love for her being the ultimate triumph. As mentioned this is simplistic and pretentious in an otherwise un-compromising film.

Angshumaner Chhobi should have definitely pleased the audience with a mindset of the ‘60s. There are few songs – some good, some ordinary and commonplace. The acting is exceptional from every actor – including the new one who played Anghsuman. There are touching moments when Madhura becomes a widow, when Prodyut tells Madhura where he is different from the others, when Indraneil reasons with Madhura why she should lower her tantrums or when Madhura realizes how she forgot to reminisce her childhood for so many long years. The lengthening shadows on Prodosh’s interior or on Madhura’s short-lived peace with Indraneil are telling – passionate yet supremely underplayed and hence translucent. But still, I am not sure, if today’s youth will find the film interesting or not. The pace is adequate for the film –little slow to start with and then gaining momentum. However, the bollywood-fed Bangla audience may want some more action in between. Meaning, this will flutter the cockles of the middle-aged Bangali heart, not sure about the youth which after so long has accepted Madly Bangali by Anjan Dutta. But probably this is not a discredit for a film which is otherwise different from many of its contemporaries.

Atanu Ghosh knows his audience, or so it seems from his tele-films. This feature is his attempt to lure that mass to the hall to see something which he creates with more freedom than its television siblings. As expected, being a Bangla film-maker puts the added clips on the wings and operating from within this framework is difficult. Heartening to see, Atanu didn’t lose focus, he was not prophetic like many of his predecessors, he followed a path tested and verified. He added certain flurries but never went overboard with them – being innovative within the realms of tradition. This is commendable and definitely worth a praise, a bouquet as well. But we have to wait to see Atanu’s subsequent films. He has raised hopes in an industry which is fighting for its life. There had been sporadic attempts in Rituparno Ghosh, Anjan Dutta and Aparna Sen – the Bangali middleclass intelligentsia is yet to return to the box-office at large. Atanu Ghosh probably will see himself in the list soon – the expectations defined, the path he has to chalk out for his own. He already started the prelims. Whether he is the horse of a longer race remains to be seen. Good luck, director.


Maroona Murmu E-mail

Had it not been for the unison in opinion with my friend who had come from JNU and seen your movie, I would not have dared sending this mail to you. He first sent me a message right after the film saying ‘Thanks
for the recommendation. Besh biswas phiriye dewa chhobi janis.’ While going back to his place he called me once. After reaching home he called me again. The next morning he again did so. This is just a humble effort to get across our views which have much to do with our training, we surmised. So, these can be blown to the wind for they matter not as far as the cinematic sensibility is concerned. What struck me was that two people thought in the same manner and certain things perturbed them in the same fashion.

This is solely about the handling of memory, past and future in your film. Well, you have all the right in the world to say that you have every reason to think differently. Fair enough. I am left with saying that we agree to disagree right from the beginning. There are certain baggages in the film. You have raised our expectations and since I am slightly aware of what you are capable of, I believe you can transcend such cultural constructs.

Let me speak of a few instances of your selective appropriation of past. Perhaps this has much to do with the middle class anxiety of having lost the golden era and the fear that it shall never revisit them. It might be that you deliberately tried to speak of the past in an eulogistic fashion. Why is it that the great actor of the past had to study in Presidency College and not in any other? Why is it that when one reminds him of a film of the yore that he had seen with a friend, it has to be Pather PaNchali? Was it a ploy to juxtapose the
hackneyed tradition/modernity dichotomy? We had a problem not only with the depiction of past but also what is shown as future. What you depict as a new beginning is actually a reinscription of the past.

What was novel about a painter painting again? It is not a tabula rasa on which he writes. He simply rewrites the past and projects is as a future.

Coming to Anandi. Bodhoy graamer school-e class VIII parjantya porashuna karechhilen. Then the film speaks of her innate sensibility that led her to treat the patient beyond what her training taught her. Has sensibility anything to do with education? Or for that matter, does urbanity/education take away sensitivity?

Apni satyi paren bhalo Bangla cinemay ‘biswas pherate.’ Ami pratham bar film dekhar parer din anek bhebechhi. May be it is not unjust on our part to think that you too would not deal with ‘madhyabitta
manasikata’. Why should you for that matter? But you have already broken ground on a number of occasions. You have dared to work on man-woman relationship from a different angle-be it between a celebrity actress and her gigolo friend or a patient and a nurse.

Apnake byatikrami hate habe emanate ba ke bale diyechhe. You had no pretension that this you are not making a commercial film. Kintu you consciously choose not to be Swapan Saha in doing so. And you can never unlearn and do Minister Angshu Pagla. Jakhan darshakder opore etota bharsha rekhechhen, takan r ektu bharsha rekhe…

Just to add a bit. Jakhan Brabourne Hostel-e thaktam class XI-XII poRakaleen, takhan sandhya hale ekta ektu durer baRi theke ghanta shona jeto. Oi ghanta madhya raate peroleo shone jeto. Aneke bolto
kachhe kothao sex worker’s ra thaken. Amar takhan mane hoto, ish besh ‘bhalo profession.’ Bichhanay naki manush-ke sab cheye bhalo chena jay, eto manush chenar suborno sujog. We need not be ‘rational’ in all
that we do. A gigolo might not have a deprieved childhood to become one.
Bhalo thakben, bhalo chhobi upohar deben…
 

Maitrayee Sinha 15 September at 00:28 Facebook

I watched this movie today only...
I have seen couple of ur telefilms in Tara, had always liked them. Generally I am not a very review-giver kind of person, but today "Angshumaner Chhobi" touched me to such greater depths that I couldnt help writing about this movie! Accolades in every sense go for you and ur casts...very thought-provoking, introspective, free-flowing movie. There are some dialogues which leave any matured individual doing self-analysis and in turn gives an upliftment to one's character. Awesome acting prowess displayed by everyone...especially very refreshing to see Indrani Halder. The new man Indraneil Sengupta is a good find...kudos to you...

As one of those many viewers, would eagerly wait for your upcoming movies...Thanks for gifting us with such a wonderful movie!

Priyadarshinee Guha 12 September at 10:56 Facebook

I saw the film at Menoka and I have to say that it was indeed a very different experience after a very long time.Your treatment of the film was very interesting and I have to admit next to seasoned actors like Soumitro Chatterjee and Indrani this boy from Bombay has done a swell job.This goes to prove again that in the hands of a great craftsman any clay can be moulded into a masterpiece.Kudos to you Sir and we expect more such films in the near future.

Bahnisikha Chatterjee 12 September Facebook


I was under the impression that Angshumaner Chobi has been taken away from Nandan.It is so very nice & considerate of you to let me know that it is still running in Nandan.It is just for your information that I will be able to take my Principal-cum-English teacher of my school to watch the movie tomorrow.Would you believe it,I am watching it for the 5th Time!!!!!!! Thank you,once again.

Bahni Sikha
 
Senjuti Ghosh 09 September Facebook
hi ..I am Senjuti...one unknown writer...you have signed an exception in your first come....awesome conception...congrats...hope to see ur minds work later on..take care...:)

Sunday, August 23, 2009


Angshumaner Chhobi by Anindo Sen
http://sakagaze.blogspot.com/2009/08/angshumaner-chhobi.html

Every time a new director arrives on the scene, there is always a lot of excitement among the cine-viewing public, especially among the enthusiasts. It is even more palpable in the Bangla film scenario, more so in the so-called new wave Bangla cinema. And here comes the debut of director Atanu Ghosh, with his offering "Angshumaner Chhobi" released on Friday across Kolkata. He has arrived in style, his debut film is nothing less than impressive. And I am delighted to feature this review of mine on the same.
"Angshumaner Chhobi" is an impressive directorial debut largely because of the competence with which the director has engaged his viewers in an intriguing, and somewhat complex narrative. In spite of all the complex layers that the film offers, it is not at all a pseudo-cerebral film. Rather it makes us go through a multi-layered ride in explorations in the hues of filmmaking. It is not so much of the much-used film-within-a-film device, than it is a depiction of the filming rigours experienced by a young filmmaker protagonist named Angshuman, and the complex struggles undergone by the leading characters in his film (called Anandi Katha). And there is a crime angle too.
The director has already delivered multiple acclaimed tele-films, and hence he has been able to avoid the indulgences common in first-time directors. He has been able to use a terrific ensemble cast that blends perfectly into the narrative. The screenplay is shorn of excesses. The cinematography has been made use of in the right manner to help us rightly focus on the emotional curves of the characters. The music (by Rocket Mandal) is apt, and so is the editing.

The stellar performances, that happen to be the essential hallmark of "Angshumaner Chhobi", feature the nuanced portrayal of the veteran egoist actor Pradyut Mukherjee by none other than Soumitra Chatterjee; Indrani Halder as Madhura Sen - the one time National award winning actress who has had an unsatisfactory career and even acts in jatra for a living. Indraneil Sengupta, from Mumbai, has been cast as Angshuman, the director who has come from Italy only to make his dream feature film debut in his mother-tongue. While Indraneil's voice has been dubbed by Aabir Chatterjee, I must say that the model-turned-actor does look convincing in the role. Tota Roy Choudhury is the surprise package among the actors, donning the role of a gigolo with aplomb. Others in the cast include: Rudranil Ghosh, Ananya Chatterjee, Bhaskar Banerjee, Shoma Chakraborty, Pijush Ganguly, Anjana Basu & Sabyasachi Chakraborty.

The cast makes us so much involved that we cannot escape being drenched by the climaxing of the powerful feelings. That is a rarity in many a parallel film or one that treads the middle path, trying to yield a sensible treatise. Personally, I applaud the efforts of the makers of such films which offer entertainment as well as food for thought. It is so tough to achieve! And Atanu Ghosh succeeds; mostly. The psychological probings are not diluted by the dramatic elements. Yet, there isn't an overburdening of the narrative with a 'more intelligent than thou' execution.

At the core, there is a simple tale, or rather there are simple tales, of vulnerability, insecurity, camouflaging, clinging, longing & transgressing. There is even death - which acts like a hook, and which gets probed almost like it happens in a whodunit. The characters in the film made by Angshuman & the protagonists playing the leads in Angshuman's film, viz. Pradyut and Madhura, merge beautifully towards the end.

I wish Atanu Ghosh all the success. May he get all the success that he deserves, and more importantly, may we get more such sensible & sensitive films.
posted by Anindo Sen at 7:56 AM
10 Comments:

Aniruddh said...

I hope Indraneil Sengupta fills the void in Bengali films, as far as a stunning male lead is concerned
I do not know why the director felt that his voice should be dubbed by someone else. Anyways, the dubbing job was top-notch. I felt that the director has purposely left much of the primary and secondary characters' complexities to our imagination. I do not know if that will gel with the general audience.

Sunday, August 23, 2009
Satyaki said...

Indraneil Sengupta was born in Assam and raised in Ahmedabad. He had been a finalist in the Gladrags Manhunt contest 1999, and since then we have seen him in several successful ad campaigns, as well as in television serials in Hindi. His first movie role was in 'Mumbai Salsa' which sank without a trace. I hope 'Angshumaner Chhobi' and 'Janala' (the Buddhadeb Dasgupta film he'd be soon seen in) become his big ticket to fame.

Monday, August 24, 2009

saurabh said...
Am impressed to learn about this film, dude! I think it had a somewhat low-key release. But, anyways, I would surely try to check it out. Thanks for the review. Hope my feedback, post-viewing, would be favorable too!;)

Monday, August 24, 2009

Pratyush Mukhopadhyaya said...

I am glad to know about this piece, will soon check out this one. Hope the film will create a worthy time when watched. Its really cool to watch something nice n diferent ofcourse...Thanx for ur review it gave a lot of info about this one ...
Monday, August 24, 2009

a said...

Nice review. A wonderful film that did & should get noticed. It stimulates and makes us probe the diverse issues related to relationships. It is able to weave an accessible narrative for a comprehensive & compelling watch, thanks to the lean screenplay & competent acting. Cameraman Sandip Sen and art director Joy Chandra have made the look of the film interesting.
Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Imran said...

I saw the film just yesterday! After having read your take on it.... and I am glad I checked it out, although I have to say that I am not too keen on the middle-of-the-road Bangla movies! "Angshumaner Chhobi" is very much the result of a confident filmmaker's creative vision.

I was pleasantly surprised by Indraneil Sengupta, who plays Angshuman in the film. I will eagerly look out for his film with Kaushik Ganguly (Arekti Premer Galpo) where he is paired with Rituparno Ghosh (in his first film as an actor)!
Thursday, August 27, 2009

arunima said...

wow..the movie sounds interesting and ur review as usual is rivetting..hope 2 catch it wen i am in kolkata or get the dvd of it..
Thursday, September 03, 2009

Sharmee said...

Nice review of a really stimulating film. Haven't seen such an engaging Bengali film in a really long time. I hope that the enthusiasm in reviving Bengali cinema does not die down soon, may this not be an isolated good work, rather I would like to see many such brilliant films by fresh makers.

'Angshumaner Chhobi' has a nice soundtrack too. The song by Shubhomita, "Kaake tumi chaao..." says it all about thetheme, it is yet such a nice song, I loved it.

The many different subtle references to the film industry are so real that they are sure to evoke responses of association among the audience, yet I commend the director to do a cheap sensationalising with specific allusions to any particular celebrity or news-story.
Thursday, September 03, 2009

abhishek said...

The film should have been subtitled for all the non-Bengali viewers (in fact all regional films should have English or Hindi subtitles, that'll definitely make all regional film industries grow). I am sure it would cut across all kinds of audiences, all over, for its universal appeal.

A brilliant first film.

Strangely, I have found that most filmmakers who strike it big with their first film (critically or commercially), have a tough task to match up through their successive offerings. As had been the case with actress Madhura Sen, the heroine of the film within this very film!

I hope that does not happen to director Atanu; all the best to him!
Thursday, September 03, 2009

Siddharth said...

It is very different from the run-of-the-mill Bengali films. The technique & the content are both refreshing. Nice review.
Monday, September 07, 2009