‘Abhiman’ relies on the performances of Arpita and Parambrata and on tagline Fight For Existence

21 November, 2007. In the broad day light the inhabitants of Ripon Street, Park Street, Rawdon Street, Laudon Street  and  Park Circus crossing of AJC Bose Road,Kolkata suddenly experienced a nightmare. An organized bunch of goons nurtured and planned by a top ranking member (belonging to minority community) of the big left party of West Bengal ransacked all the public and private vehicles, forced to close all the shops and created a situation for which the left party itself asked primarily the  paramilitary forces to intervene and then handed over the whole thing to Army itself. The goons were plundering for a solitary demand- “Drive Taslima Nasrin (the famous rebellious and internationally reputed Bengali author) out of the state at once”. She at that time enjoying Indian Residential Visa  was residing at 7Rawdon Street, just opposite to the Park Street Cemetery and very near to Park Circus area. And as soon as she was taken out of that rented residence to the Calcutta Airport for her final departure from her beloved city Kolkata and from her loving place Bengal, everything became absolutely calm and quite. In fact everything became normal on that very evening.

But Debanik Kundu, the director of badly made Bengali movie Abhiman, took  advantage of that situation by  shifting the time schedule from daytime to evening and made it continued till mid night. And having no substantial logic, all on a sudden he throws Ananya the protagonist of his film amidst this rampant disastrous situation just to built a new revelation of her outlook about human relationships. Why after two days` of her marriage she had to do the political assignment (interviewing the then left front minister Khiti Goswami) and after that assignment why from her Park Street Office she had to go to Ripon Street crossing (where she asked her husband to pick her up) are not at all clear. Any way, thus as per this “outlook” is concerned he makes another Abhiman quite different from than that of Rishikesh Mukherjii- Jaya –Amitabha combination`s of early seventies or Sukhen Das- Ranjit Mallick- Mahua combination`s of mid eighties. Debanik`s Abhiman is a love story of different kind . It`s a movie which generates a certain kind of expectations in the beginning and ultimately turns out to be a mixture of contradictions taking target audience to certain feeling with a positive revelation. But sorry to say Debanik that, though your notion is good, your effort  results in an  immature film making. Though the subject of Debanik`s Abhiman is not for the children, it`s a subject for mature cortex, but the making of the film and the logical approach of the film making is very much childish. Though the subject dealt earlier in many movies, ‘Abhiman’ is an honest attempt by Debanik  to bring to light the sufferings and punishments that women  are subjected to every day life, for no faults of their own. Most of the times even many educated, high-level ones do suffer in the same manner.

Story Line

Pratagonist of the film young, smart and a  contemporary lady Ananya (Arpita Chaterjii)  is a famous TV anchor of a reputed house. She is good looking and she is well behaved but she refrained herself from any premarital love making. She strongly believes in arranged marriage and so after negotiation she ritually and ceremoniously gets married with Debangshu (Akash Das Nayek) who  appears to be a loving, affectionate and caring husband. As per her expectations she  is warmly received by her basic in-laws too. During the  fateful evening  just after two days of her marriage, when ‘Ananya’ is on her way to home after a tight schedule as an anchor, the said  riot breaks out .Her husband Debanshu tried his best to contact and get in touch with  her but in vein and thus without the comforting presence of  husband by her side and immensely  petrified by the ongoing violence  around her, ‘Ananya’ is someway or other  forced to take refuge in the garage of a petty pickpocket, ‘Shiraj’ (Parambrata Chatterjee). After the  troubled night is over most safely in the custody of caring Siraj, ‘Ananya’ manages to return home along with  Siraj with a strong believe that good persons of her in law`s will receive Siraj the saviour.. However, much to her shock and dismay, she discovers a completely different and  ugly side of her hitherto friendly in-laws. None of them can accept the fact that ‘Ananya’ had not been sexually assaulted on the previous turbulent night .On that eventful night in the garage of Siraj suddenly Ananya`s period started and since napkin was not available she could not manage the stream. The eventual stains on ‘Ananya’s  saree  are also taken as tell-tale signs of her getting raped. In particular, ‘Debangshu’, the doting husband of ‘Ananya’ can no longer stand the presence of the latter.  That evening Siraj  a Muslim pick-pocket  comes in to save Ananya’s life. But, when Ananya’s in-laws don’t accept her back for spending a night with a stranger, as per her expectations what would have been a story of friendship in troubled times, ends up with Ananya trying to commit suicide. And finally after recovery ‘Ananya’ rises up against the injustice and misunderstandings those she is being subjected to. Debanik makes her protagonist  able to make her voice heard in a male-dominated society. She drives her in laws out of the nursing home and started a new life. And as during her conversation with Siraj on that eventful night Ananya came to know the reason of picking up odd profession by Siraj, she arranges one honourable  job for Siraj in her Television House.

Since I have not watched  ‘Ekti Tarar Khonje’, to me it`s Arpita`s a  strong comeback . Parambrata Chatterjee is in  his usual acting self in ‘Abhiman’. The performances of the other actors in ‘Abhiman’ are in a word miserable. Aakash Das Nayek, the well known face from Oriya movie, appears as most ordinary in his portrayal of ‘Debangshu’ . Even veteran Bodhisatwa Majumdar and Sumanta Mukherjii as fathers of Debanshu and Ananya respectively appear most amateurish. Cinematographer Sandip Sen manages somehow or other. At least he could have been little more smart in mixing the stock shots of that eventful day of Nov 21, 2007 with the concocted shots he shoot. Abhiman is a film with a jerky screenplay. The film does not make much headway as far as its musical score is concerned (Debjit Ray).

‘Abhiman’ relies mostly on the performances of Arpita  and  Parambrata and on it`s  tagline ‘Astitver Lorai’ (Fight For Existence).

Pachu Ray

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