AUTOGRAPH (2010) Bengali Movie Review: Srijit Mukherjee makes impressive Debut

October 18, 2010, KOLKATA (Calcutta Tube): AUTOGRAPH is a 2010 Bengali Film starring Prosenjit, Indraneel Sengupta, Nandana Sen in lead roles directed by Srijit Mukherjee. A must watch film that would touch your heart and soul.

Cast and Crew:

  • Banner: Shree Venkatesh Films in Association with Cinergy
  • Written and Directed by: Srijit Mukherjee
  • D.O.P. Soumik Haldar
  • Music: Debojyoti Misra
  • Lyrics: Anupam Roy, Srijato and Srijit Mukherjee
  • Editing: Bodhaditya Banerjee
  • Cast: Rudraprasad Sengupta, Biswajeet Chakraborty, Prosenjit, Indraneel Sengupta, Nandana Sen, Pijush Ganguly, Dwijen Banerjee, Dhruv Mookerji, Sohini Pal and others
  • Date of release: October 14, 2010
  • Rating: 7/10

Review: AUTOGRAPH – IMPRESSIVE DEBUT

Prosenjit Chatterjee
Prosenjit Chatterjee

Autograph is not about the world of films. It is not about the struggles, the pains and the vainness of the reigning superstar of Bengali cinema Arun Chatterjee (Prosenjit). It is about the pressures that bear down upon the people involved in the entire process of filmmaking. It is about how relationships within the narrow confines of film-making created out of professional and creative necessity mutate in ways so radical that the subjects involved are not even aware till it is too late. It is about how the media can create a character that does not exist simply by weaving a spidery and colorful web of attractive lies around a superstar celebrity, passing judgement on him and painting him in colors closer to black which could be both untrue and unfair. Arun Chatterjee, the man behind the make-up and the costume and away from the movie camera, is not really the Arun Chatterjee the superstar the media has created. The pressures that bear on the star – the uncertainty of the box office success of three successive films, or, the arrogance that comes of the knowledge that his name in the credits makes all the difference between a hit and a flop, are interwoven into the inner journey of Arun Chatterjee who discovers unknown facets of himself as work on Aajker Nayak, that of a superstar in a new director’s first film begins.

Autograph is a celluloid statement on a superstar’s emotional isolation and professional anxiety. It is also a comment on  the fickle pretensions of the so-called, uncompromising filmmaker Shuvobrata Mitra (Indraneel Sengupta) and the innocence of Srinandita (Nandana Sen), a theatre actress who remains completely ignorant about the manipulations the new director, her live-in boyfriend is capable of just to plug his film before its release. It offers insightful bytes into filmmaking/film-acting as choreographed on film, through carefully choreographed mise-en-scene, through imaginatively lit production design where the entire backdrop, plus the music and the sound motifs form a part of the cast and, through metaphorical music, matter-of-fact, no-nonsense dialogue with elaborately designed pauses and eloquent silences.

Watch the Trailer of AUTOGRAPH Bengali Movie

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nWubjFn4ci4

There are the typical stereotypes – the arrogant producer of mainstream films who misspells his first name like a fashion statement; the theatre director who has a very poor notion about film acting; the superstar’s friend who is always around him but living off his stardom and the associated fringe benefits that come along; the self-appointed hanger-on astrologer who keeps insisting that the star’s “stars are not quite good,” and so on.

Nandana Sen
Nandana Sen

The transformations within the three characters and their relationships are shown through small scenes. Shubhobrata’s growing rudeness towards the production man he was so soft to in the beginning; his cold treatment of his friend and his wife who drop in on the sets unannounced; his open rebuking of his heroine for not being able to deliver after repeated takes; his peeping from behind the curtain to watch the superstar convince her to produce the right emotional response, then, instead of being hurt, his asking the camera to start rolling. He feigns anger and hurt when Srinandita comes home very late after a dinner date with her hero. He takes her on a long boat ride on the river purportedly to get together again but really to spill the beans about how he has ensured a guaranteed full house for his first film. Nandana and Indraneel have done very well indeed but Srinandita’s character needed some more exploration. The scene in which she weeps bitterly inside the cab as she moves out is touching. The affluence of the lovers’ lifestyle fails to convince.

Prosenjit lives his part as Arun Chatterjee the superstar, Arun Chatterjee, the hero of the film-within-the-film Aajker Nayak and Arun Chatterjee, the ordinary man who finds that his celebrity status has stripped him of the freedom to express his feelings for a girl he has begun to care for. Betrayed and lost, he sits alone in his spacious apartment and plays chess with himself to purge him of the shock of betrayal. He often breaks the diegetic space between the audience and himself by looking straight into the camera, defining the vainness of a superstar, distanced from the superstar Arindam Mukherjee in Ray’s Nayak of 1966. He is shown to be a man with not a very glorious past that has its own stories of exploitation and betrayal. But his present is whitewashed and starched and ironed to present a picture that, in the final analysis, appears to stretch his goodness a bit too far. Prosenjit has outperformed himself in this film.

Debajyoti Mishra’s music and the lyrics of the beautiful song-tracks add a different dimension to the film. Memorable are amaake amaar moto thaakte dao, benche thakar gaan, Chol rastaaye besides bhaag jana hai kahan in Hindi. The lyrics, imaginatively put together by Sreejato, Srijit and Anupam Roy and the music live out the spirit of the film and reach beyond the confines of their celluloid existence and sustenance.

Shoumik Haldar’s camera is perfect chemistry for the story he captures on his camera – closing in on the swift changes in the facial expressions of the hero, the medium shots of Srinandita teaching her boyfriend how to use chopsticks, or getting into cushion fights, or, sharing in the gay camaraderie of lovers. The scenes showing Srinandita in semi-silhouette waiting at the station for the train to take her to some unknown destination as the camera cuts to close in on the bound script of the film she has left behind on a bench are moving. The flux in the relationship is in direct contrast with the lovey-dovey togetherness of the married couple enacted sparklingly by Sohini Pal and Dhruv Mookerji. The nightmare scene captured in diffused shots with white-cloaked ghosts from Arun’s past gliding away in silence as if in limbo is another masterful stroke. Arun’s captivity within his synthetic image is tellingly depicted through the massive sketches and portraits that surround the walls of his flat. Beautiful top-angle shots taken from a long distance show the hero driving along a national highway, the lights flashing along the way dotting the darkness of the night. A bunch of white pigeons in flight pass across in the other direction, one after another, of their own volition, free from the trappings the hero is bound by.

A teenaged dhaba boy somewhere away from the city asks top star Arun Chatterjee for an autograph when the star drops by to pay the boy his unpaid bill. The boy does not have an autograph book. So he rushes into the eatery and runs back with a paper napkin. The smiling star signs the napkin, presses the currency note the boy was returning into his palm and drives away into the nothingness of his lonely, isolated world. It marks a fitting end to a film that is a tribute to Satyajit Ray’s Nayak (1966.) This is the last scene of Srijit Mukherjee’s directorial debut Autograph.

Amake Amar Moto Banchte Dao

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ppUw1T5fCCs

The young theatre actress gets back to rehearsing her stage part in front of her video cam when her film is over and ready for release. Arun Chatterjee drops in suddenly and pours his heart out in a moment of alcoholic vulnerability. She forgets to switch the video cam off. The hero’s outpourings get recorded to become ‘breaking news’ on a television channel the following night, unknown to the theatre actress. The three worlds – the world of Arun Chatterjee, the world of Shubhobrata Mitra, and the world of Srinandita fall apart, collapse and break down only to begin again, differently and sadly. Some of this sadness spills over and you carry bits and pieces of it out of the theatre. “I am Arun Chatterjee. I am the industry,” is the superstar’s favourite one-liner. It also underwrites the anxiety and the tragedy that underlie the statement.

Shoma A. Chatterji

32 thoughts on “AUTOGRAPH (2010) Bengali Movie Review: Srijit Mukherjee makes impressive Debut

  1. The promo of this film and Anupam’s song is very well

  2. J. R Dasgupta / October 20, 2010 at 4:45 am

    Prosenjit has acted well in certain places but Nandana Sen is a total horror show! My God she has singlehandedly ruined the picture.

  3. Kaustav Goswami / October 21, 2010 at 3:42 pm

    the film is smart–despite some loose strings,Prosenjit’s performance is good but could have been better.The only miscast is Nandana who fails miserably to create any impact with the kind of strong character she was given to portray.

  4. i watched autograph in the opening show,it is a 4.5 star movie,i really like the movie and also prasenjit.

  5. very good movie…bumba da rocking

  6. Amake amar moto thakte Dao – this song is nice Indeed with some great lyrics.movie is done brilliantly.

  7. Best performance ever from Prosenjit. One of the best in bengali cinema. Loved it.

  8. NICE FILM but nandana is really waste

  9. sampa bangladesh / October 26, 2010 at 3:14 pm

    same to Dip and Atanu.thanks to director and love Boomba da.

  10. Brilliant Movie I Hv ever seen……..u r great Prosenjit dada , Indranil dada nd Nandana didi……. nd the brilliant director …….. also Debojyoti da cretor of the most beautiful songs……hoping ur good…….take my bst wishes……..
    ………KUSAN……….

  11. Nice film with brilliant script and dialogue, excellent acting (except for Nandana who was competent but a bit sub-par compared to the other two) and direction including camera but the music jarred in places.

    In fact apart from Chol Rastaay most of the other songs were rather irritating. Two of them were in fact particularly off-key at several places! The background score was otherwise nice though. Bad choice of singers.

    Sets were fantastic too.

  12. Autograph its not just a film,its the lesson or its better to say that a tight slap to that’s directors,producers those,who use prosenjit chatterjee as a non-sense clown in past-time so called commercial bengali movie,and also for bengali as well as bengali intellectual movie spectator those are says that prosenjit is a just “eeeeee”.I dont want to analyse or criticise it.I want to say thte whole team of Autograph that “THANK YOU”.

  13. Sumant Sarkar / November 5, 2010 at 1:44 pm

    The script is brilliant. Anupam and Shreya are brilliant. Camera work is good. Prosenjit is different. Editing, Nandana and sound engineering are atrocious. Overall 6/10. Considering that the director is a MPhil in Economics with no background of film making…9/10

  14. Awesome bumbada

  15. how to free download bangla movie this website

  16. Bumba da fatafati. One of the best movie.
    Anupam da darun.

  17. An another outstanding film in bengali film industry. It is a film of meriment. I just loved yhe film.

  18. Good film…good songs…I feel proud of bengali movie….

  19. Anyone can tell the DVD Release Date of this movie ?

  20. Awesome movie ever seen..

  21. santanu ghosh,orrisa / December 1, 2010 at 12:49 am

    those who are leaving outside bengal,the song,AMAKE AMAR MATO THAKTE DAO,just kono comparision hoyyynna.

  22. Autograph is very good movie. touched me so much. LUV prosenjit in this role. this kind of bengali films can get back audience into cinema hall. Indraneel Sengupta fantastic. but poor nandana.. very disappointing .. that was very strong role srinandita.. overall , very good.. direction, music, songs everything..

  23. A good movie, Prasenjit’s performance was fab, but Nandana Sen spoilt a bit of reel, she was horrible on screen.
    The idea was good, with a good storyline and good ending. But the movie had some loose strings in story telling and screen play. Prasenjit was superb in his character and the guy who played the director was good. People in bengali movies should make it a point to speak bengali accent free. But nways this movie does not even reach near to the caliber of the original Nayak by Satyajit Ray.

  24. Debarun Chatterjee / January 25, 2011 at 6:15 am

    Not bad but nothing new after ‘Nayak’…cinematography is quite good actually,glossy,slickly made..but really Uttam Kumar as ‘Nayak’ was more befitting than Prosenjit in this tribute to the only bengali superstar till date.Good effort no doubt.

  25. Arghya Bhattacharya / January 26, 2011 at 11:59 pm

    keu ki bolte parben, ei cinema ta USA te boshe ki upaye dekhte pari?

    • Tumi Torrent search koro. Ami kal peyechhi…print quality is awesome..and sound is a bit damp but still A7 V9. The movie is good, but I personally feel it could have been milestone if the lose strings were kept tight. Also Nandana is horrible..total miscast..

  26. Hi sir i have a new story for u plz contact

  27. Sayan Chatterjee / October 31, 2011 at 9:19 am

    Dear Sreejit sir, after watching your latest movie 22-a shrabon,I’m very excited now. Because I also hav a thriller story.If you kindly can make a little time for me,I’ll be oblized.I know ur time is priceless,but I can tell it will not be a total waste.

  28. anyone want to buy this movie contact me…payment via paypal…
    cost you 1 pound [UK] or 2 doller [US]

  29. anyone want to buy this movie contact me…payment via paypal…
    cost you 1 pound [UK] or 2 dollar [US]

  30. Faruk Abdullah Mondal / November 4, 2011 at 6:04 am

    Hi, this is Faruk from pune.I have a story based on the corporate
    life of young generation,their hopoes,relation and frastration.Its a real
    life story, not a fantasy like hello. I am interrested to work with you
    please contact me if you feel this worthy.

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