Angshumaner Chhobi (2009) Bengali Film
ANGSHUMANER CHHOBI (a film by Angshuman) is a psychological drama with a crime story in the backdrop focussing on the lives of a group of people coming together during the making of a film. The Bengali Film is directed by talented Atanu Ghosh starring Soumitra Chatterjee, Indrani Haldar, Tota Roy Chowdhury, Sabyasachi Chakraborty in lead roles. ANGSHUMANER CHHOBI happens to be the first film in his 50-year old movie career, where Soumitra Chatterjee plays the role of an ACTOR
- Soumitra Chatterjee
- Indrani Haldar
- Tota Roy Chowdhury
- Sabyasachi Chakrabarty
- Ananya Chatterjee
- Rudranil Ghosh
- Anjana Basu
- Pijush Ganguly
- Bhaskar Banerjee
- Koushik Sen
- Bobby Chakrabarty
- Indraneil Sengupta
Written & Directed by Atanu Ghosh
Produced by T.Sarkar Productions
Music: Rocket Mondol
Singers : Rupam Islam, Subhomita, Anwesha, Pratik, Sumana and Bhoomi
Choreography : Sukalyan Bhattacharya
Cinematography : Sandeep Sen
Editing : Sujoy Dutta Roy
ANGSHUMANER CHHOBI – EXPLORING NEW SPACES
by: Shoma A. Chatterji
Rating by Shoma A. Chatterjee: 3.5/5
A past matinee idol now lives in voluntary exile; A National award-winning star is reduced to an actress in jatra performances; a young gigolo is in love with the actress; a documentary filmmaker comes from Italy to make his first feature film; the actress’s hairstylist can gauge her boss’ swinging moods and volatile temperament precisely. What do these off-beat characters have in common? They are ‘parallel’ people thrown together in Atanu Ghosh’s Angshumaner Chhobi.
Somewhat like Rituparno Ghosh’s Bariwalli, but with Atanu’s distinct style of understatement and suggestion, Angshumaber Chhobi offers two points of view. One is the omniscient view of Atanu Ghosh, who has directed, scripted and written Angshumaner Chhobi. The second is the view of Angshuman, the filmmaker from Italy who wants to direct his first feature film. The name of the film Angshuman is making is subtly revealed towards the climax which changes the viewer’s perspective. The two points of view, in reality the same point of view – that of Atanu Ghosh, intercut into each other as the two main actors, Prodyut Mukherjee, who plays the 72-old painter who cannot paint as he slowly slips into dementia, and Madhura Sen, who plays Anandi, his semi-literate, poor ayah, evolve a bonding born out of the mutual dislike they shared when they began to shoot for the film.
The bonding evolves also because they are two lonely souls who have distanced themselves from the mainstream and have forgotten to cope with human relationships in the world outside. Yet, there is no love between the two. There is a silent understanding that brings them together only during the making of the film. The film-within-the-film’s positive closure spills over into the real lives of Prodyut and Madhura. Madhura moves to the south to do South Indian films while Prodyut signs two more roles after Anandi’s Story, Angshuman’s film, is a success. Angshuman decides to stay back in India and make films. Atanu does not spell out the nature or the degree of the film’s success.
For the first time, you are introduced to Indraneel, a kind-hearted gigolo. Tota Roy Choudhury lives this role, as one who so much in love with Madhura that he can even kill for her. What jars is that how a man who is advanced HIV+ has such a beautiful body; that this man can open out so easily, without being prompted, to a virtual stranger to unfold the story of his life; that this man, too proud to say he is HIV+, needs to explain why he became a gigolo. Through this rationalization, the writer in Atanu Ghosh defeats the very purpose of trying to invest the character with the respect he set out to bestow him with. The film-within-the-film looks more like a two-character telefilm than the ‘uncompromising’ film Angshuman sought to make. The thriller element running through the narrative like an undercurrent is scripted well but the police officer’s character is a weak link because of its glossy build-up and look.
The acting credits are consistently and evenly shared by the entire cast with stellar points going to Sabyasachi Chakraborty in a brief cameo as Angshuman’s blind teacher. Sandip Sen’s cinematography and Joy Chandra Chandra’s art direction enrich the tapestry of the film. The two ‘nightmares’ Prodyut has, shot in semi-darkness, are beautiful. Rocket Mandal’s musical score is another weak link. It is too light and frothy to merge into the somber mood of the film.
Cinema-within-cinema does not tell stories only about film. It also draws attention to filmic codes, e.g. camera angle, montage, colour, music, sound, etc. The presence of cinematic items, objects and other paraphernalia, such as the movie camera, the boom, the lights, the make-up, the costumes, the make-up room, etc, can classify a self-reflexive film as a special genre. These elements make their powerful presence felt in Atanu’s film. In a beautifully orchestrated top-angle shot, one can see the camera moving along its track as the characters take their paces in front of it. The shots of Anandi dancing away and peeping through the latticed walls of the terrace are telling. The dividing line between a film being shot and real life happening is drawn with the sound of the cranking movie camera. The ambient and emotional sound design is imaginative. The loudspeaker on the village rickshaw belting out Madhura’s running jatra show, the sound of Prodyut Mukherjee throwing the glass when his assistant gauges his interest in Angshuman’s script are two examples. Atanu does not allow technology to overshadow his aesthetics or his statement. Can all relationships be defined? No. But such relationships should neither be trifled with, nor ignored, says Atanu Ghosh in Angshumaner Chhobi.
Wednesday, August 26, 2009
Banner: T. Sarkar Productions
Story and direction: Atanu Ghosh
Cinematography: Sandip Sen
Editing: Sujoy Dutta Ray
Art direction: Joy Chandra Chandra
Choreography: Sukalyan Bhattacharya
Music: Rocket Mandal
Lyrics: Suchandra Choudhury
Cast: Soumitra Chatterjee, Indrani Haldar, Indraneel Sengupta, Tota Roychoudhury, Ananya Chatterjee.
Date of release: August 21, 2009
Exclusive Photogallery and Movie Stills from Angshumaner Chhobi