Kolkata, August 27 (Calcutta Tube): AAROHON is a 2010 Bengali film starring Rituparna Sengupta, Sandhya Roy, Soumitra Chatterjee and others directed by Pinaki Chowdhury. Enjoy the complete review of AAROHON at Calcutta Tube.
Review AAROHAN – WHO’S ASCENSION?
Cast and Crew:
- Cast: Soumitra Chatterjee, Sandhya Roy, Rituparna Sengupta, Samadarshi Dutta, Siddhartha Chatterjee, Tulika Basu and Rajesh Sharma
- Banner: Tapashya Media Production,
- Executive Producer: Rani Banerjee
- Short story: Subrata Choudhury
- Script and direction: Pinaki Chaudhuri
- Music: Suparna Kanti Ghosh
- D.O.P.: Badal Sarkar
- Editing: Sharmistha Jha
- Sound Design: Tito
- Date of Release: 27.08.2010
- Rating: 4/10
Review of Bengali Movie Aarohon
Aarohan translates to ‘ascension’. Biblically, it has its origins in Christ’s bodily ascension from earth to Heaven on the 40th day of his crucifixion. In Pinaki Chaudhuri’s film, this term expands to tell the story of a man’s ability to rise above his blind faith in the truth of horoscope that has no basis in science. Chaudhuri’s films Sanghat (1998) and Ballygunge Court (2008) won the National Award for the Best Regional Film (Bengali). Aarohan has been selected by the forthcoming Montreal International Film Festival.
The story explores Suryashekhar’s complete disillusionment (Soumitra Chatterjee) with his blind belief in horoscopes. He took every step in life following his horoscope. The same man tears his horoscope and throws the bits away in the Ganges in Benares. He came to Benares with wife Mrinalini (Sandhya Roy) to spend his last days at Moksha Bhavan where dying people are given shelter for one month. If they do not die, they have to leave.
Vignettes of life and death come across through different characters. Two sons are angry because their ageing father refuses to die placing the family finances at stake. An old man keeps heaving all the time till he finally kicks the bucket. A kothewalli–turned-spiritual woman dies of cancer within four days. A dying widow dies of a heart attack when her rebellious daughter-in-law Kasturi (Rituparna Sengpta) tells her that the baby she is expecting has not been sired by the woman’s son, a gay. Suryashekar is a self-centred, arrogant dictator whose life revolves around making plans about his own death including performing the death ritual before his death. Neither his wife Mrinalini (Sandhya Roy)’s persuasions nor his NRO grandson Arijit’s (Shamadarshi Dutta) sound logic make him see sense. He goes back to Kolkata, defeating the prediction made by the horoscope. He takes the pregnant Kasturi along, who, discarded by her husband, is left on the ghats, not because he feels sorry for her but because she is expecting a child sired by his grandson! Is this his way of rising above his belief is caste? Sorry, but we are not buying.
Aarohan contains every ingredient of a masala film – as many coincidences you can gobble from the first scene where Suryashekhar is saved from an accident by his grandson to many others; too many songs that take away from the fluid flow of the narrative though they are very good; an incredible dream scene where Kasturi dances like a Hindi film heroine; her seduction of Arijit and subsequent pregnancy; an ill-executed and cinematographed kotha dance shown in flashback; and finally, the hurriedly shot sequence of Suryashekhar’s only son’s death.
Chaudhuri liberally dips into too many language pockets that take away the Bengali identity of the film in terms of language. There is the clipped English in a boring voice-over by N. Viswanathan that sounds straight out an FD tourism-promotion documentary; American twang used by Arijit much of the audience might not care for; Bhojpuri or some Bihari dialect mouthed by Kasturi; and Bengali. The acting is very good with special commendations to Rituparna for a layered performance in an unusual role minus the dubbing done by someone else, to Sandhya Roy for her controlled performance; to Samadarshi for his freshness and spontaneity and Tulika Basu for being so expressive. Siddhartha Chatterjee as the son ruins the show. The editing is poor; the cinematography is uneven – very good in the intimate scenes with aesthetic lighting but equally flat in the dream song sequence.
Aarohan falls far below what its strong storyline demands and was capable of providing in terms of dramatic and aesthetic potential.
by Shoma A. Chatterji