August 26, 2010 (CalcuttaTube): Antim Swash Sundor is a Bengali movie directed by Kris Alin with Subrat Dutta, Indrani Halder, Poran Bandopadhyay in lead roles. Read the film review at CalcuttaTube.
ANTIM SHWASH SUNDOR – REALLY?
Banner: Venus Creations
Story, Screenplay & Direction: Kris Allen
Production design and art: Gautam Basu
Editing: Arghya Kamal Mitra
Music: Purbayan Chatterjee
Cast: Subrat Dutta, Indrani Haldar, Paran Bandopadhyay, Kaushik BanerjeeKunal Padhy, Swagata Mukherjee, Baby Surangana and others
Date of Release: August 20 2010
Magic realism seems to be the catchword of many contemporary Bengali films. Antim Shwash Sundar or Last Breath Beautiful is the latest example. For those who are avid readers, the ideology resembles W.W. Jacobs’ famous story The Monkey’s Paw where a man finds a magical monkey’s paw that will grant the finder three wishes to turn his life around. But the price will be heavier than the wishes when fulfilled. The film has a striking opening. A dead body of an apparently rich man washes up to the shores of a beach. Prem Sengupta (Subrat Dutta) moping on the beach, is sad about his wife Vibha (Indrani Haldar)’s unhappiness with their modest lifestyle. He finds the pendant around the dead man’s neck. He takes it off, picks the man’s purse and credit card and drives back home. His life changes apparently for the better. His wife is thrilled but the nine-year-old daughter Arati (Surangana) feels left out and alone. Prem’s and Vibha’s values tumble as if they never existed but their aspirations for wealth, power and success, in their terms, are fulfilled. The ultimate price Prem has to pay is with his life. He drives back to the beach, gives away the things he carries to a beggar, discards the pendant that changed his life and waits for death when the moon fades away. It is a beautiful closure.
Between these two points, the film reveals an ugly world of corruption, adultery, sexual permissiveness and deceit. The director makes the magic pendant an excuse to open a window to a world of adulterous and promiscuous sex for business gains, as revenge, or, simply for the excitement that taboo sex carries in as crude and as brazen ways as possible. The characters have no morals and no conscience. Respectable wives jump into any man’s bed and influential men are game for any kind of back-stabbing of a rival including orchestrating the gang-rape of a rival’s little girl. The strategic camera angles specially during the badly choreographed and performed item number featuring too very bad-looking girls with figures to match give the game away. Prem and Vibha’s response to their daughter’s gang-rape is very casual after the initial shock. Strange! The magic of Purbayan Chatterjee’s musical score is lost in the bad positioning of the songs with high-decibel sound-bytes. Even the two beautiful numbers by Ustad Rashid Khan are a sheer waste. Wasted similarly are talented actors like Paran Bandopadhyay as a beggar-mendicant and Swagata Mukherjee who is the home secretary’s wife but is fleshed out to appear like a modern, city-bred brothel madam!
Antim Shwash Sundar has neither magic nor realism. The only magic that will possibly keep you glued to your seat till the end is the marvelous acting of Subrat Dutta as Prem who transforms this film into a one-man show.
Shoma A. Chatterji