Anasuya Samanta is a young director whose second film Alo Chhaya (In the Darkness of Night) is adapted from a Sarat Chandra Chattopadhyay short story written more than 90 years ago. This film is the most recent acquisition of Databazaar Media Ventures that will distribute and telecast the film across North America and Canada while in the rest of the Western world, people will be able to watch the film through DVDs also distributed by Databazaar Media Ventures. Music is a unique selling point of the film.
Kalyan Sen Barat, an eminent music composer with a masterly command over music of all genres has been responsible for the musical score of the film soaked with compositions by Rabindranath Tagore. He said, “After a long time, I was overjoyed with the prospect of working in cohesion with Tagore’s songs to be sung in a film based on Sarat Chandra Chattopadhyay’s story and with wonderful singers like Shreekanta Acharya, Subhomita, Monomoy Bhattacharya, Sraboni Sen, Shubhankar Bhaskar and so on lending their voices to Tagore compositions worked on by me specifically to suit the script that has a cross-generational story of reincarnation and rebirth.”
[ReviewAZON asin=”B003M5P9GK” display=”inlinepost”]He introduced the audience to Manojit Goswami who has composed a beautiful keetan number hey krishno koruna sindhu for the film sung by a little girl called Rai along with Sreekanta Acharya. Goswami has also composed another number Haiyan re khushir taale e mon amaar naachey re. There are two theme melodies that function like a refrain through the film.
The Tagore songs have been picked with care with aami tomar preme hobo shobar kolonko bhagi coming in three times –once sung as a duet by Subhomita and Sreekanta, once by Sreekanto as a solo number and once by Subhomita alone spelling out the spirit of a strange kind of love that goes beyond the norms of acceptable man-woman relationships in love. One of the theme songs is gram chhada oi range maatir poth which reflects the fusion of the modern and the ancient as a group of young men and women make their way to a destination that harks back to a different era in history. Tumi robe neerobe is another melodious but sad number that happens in the film.
[ReviewAZON asin=”B004IURTY8″ display=”inlinepost”]The choreography has been done by Kabir Sen Barat and executed by the famous dance troupe of Calcutta Choir explained how they shot the dance sequences on picturesque locations in Burdwan after grinding rehearsals without lunch breaks. “These dances are not like the ones we see in usual commercial films in Bengali. They are different,” he added. “The most challenging step taken by the director is that in a virtual desert of Bengali films that is now separated from its literary roots, she has chosen to pick on a Sarat Chandra Chattopadhyay story for her second directorial film and has also decided to use Tagore songs in the entire film,” said Shreekanta Acharya.
Produced by Phoenix Films International, the film has been scripted by Samanta who has also essayed an important role in it. Others in the cast form a combination of veterans and relatively new performers. Among the veterans we have Soumitra Chatterjee, (late) Ramaprasad Banik, Sumonto Mukherjee, Bibhu Bhattacharya, Kalyan Chatterjee, Anamika Saha, Sanghamitra Banerjee, etc. Among the comparatively new faces are – Rwik, Manoj, Mou, Indrani, Riya, Dipa Roy, Banhi, Rima and Anasuya Samanta, the director.
Shoma A. Chatterji