July 18, 2011 (Calcutta Tube): Achena Prem is a 2011 Bengali movie directed by Swapan Saha with Akash, Reshmi, Bhaskar Banerjee, Arundhati Roy and others in the cast. Read the film review at Calcutta Tube.
Banner: Maa Films
Produced by: Saibal Ganguly
Direction: Swapan Saha
Story, screenplay and dialogue: Manjil Banerjee
Lyricist: Gautam-Susmit, Manojit
Music: Ashok Bhadra
Cinematography: Niranjan Das
Editing: Suresh (Chennai)
Cast: Akash (Debut), Reshmi, Bhaskar Banerjee, Arundhati Roy, Bodhisatta Majumdar, Subhashish Mukherjee and others
Swapan Saha should stop allowing rank newcomers a platform to showcase their non-existent talents. He is a veteran who knows his job and could once feel the pulse of the front-benchers in the Bengali audience like magic. He did not care for the media, so much was his confidence in his ability to hit the jackpot. A film like Achena Prem therefore, makes us feel sorry about the waste of time, energy and money on newcomers like Akash who makes a disastrous debut in this film. Akash it is reportedly the son of a one-time Bengali actress who was very talented but could not make a name for herself. But genes do not necessarily carry over and Akash stands testimony to this truth.
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[ReviewAZON asin=”B0057XXJKI” display=”inlinepost”]Achena Prem is a misnomer because one does not know the link between this ‘achena’ or ‘strange’ factor in this non-existent ‘love’ story. The film is about one Rahul (Akash) who makes his living as a radio jockey and runs an ‘agony uncle’ programme on the channel. He seems to have a fan-following though they only know his name. On a bus-ride, he meets Tanu (Reshmi) a beautiful young girl who is weeping inconsolably. He falls in love but she moves away before he can get to know her name. The script tries to hold up the suspense about the pretty girl’s reason for her glycerine factory but the suspense has neither build-up nor artistry nor story-telling excitement. Finally, one learns that her father, an alcoholic, brought in a brand new wife soon after his wife died and threw his daughter out of the house. She finds shelter in the home of a good friend, a working girl and is soon restored to her cheerful self with a job. The son of their landlord is an obnoxious teenager who addresses the two girls as ‘darling’ and even flirts with them but disappears from the film soon after.
Rahul unites Tanu with her repentant father who finalizes the daughter’s marriage to the son of his friend. Rahul announces that he will not run the counselling programme any more. The entire radio station, that seriously lacks security personnel, immediately fills up with his innumerable fans who demand an answer from the channel’s CEO. The bridegroom personally escorts Tanu to her real love and the two are united forever.
The ‘love’ part is the most intriguing factor in the entire film because you just do not see it anywhere except in song-dance dream scenes that jump out of the screen to hit you in the face without offering a simple reason – the two are in love. Tanu has never fallen for Akash. The performances are terrible. Ashok Bhadra’s music is neither here nor there. The editing does not make any sense because it has to keep up with the senseless story. Akash is terrible in terms of his screen image, his appearance, his looks, his body language, his Bengali pronunciation and his dialogue delivery. It is sad for a critic to fail to discover one good thing to write about a given film. Achena Prem does not have a single redeeming factor except perhaps, the good looks of Reshmi who has put on some weight since we saw her last and Subhashish’s performance who tries to wrench out the maximum juice out of a badly written role that is as dry as the arid deserts of Rajasthan.
The synthetic and repeated ambience of the Ramoji Rao Film City in Hyderabad makes things worse because there are some references to ‘Kolkata’ in the film but what you see is a different world altogether.
-Shoma A. Chatterji