April 14, 2011 (Calcutta Tube): Bajikar is a 2011 Bengali movie directed by Prodyot Bhattacharjee with Rohan, Pamela, Rajatava Dutta, Rama Prasad Banik, Kharaj Mukherjee and others in the cast. Read the Bengali film review at Calcutta Tube.
BAJIKAR – BACK TO LITERATURE
Presented by: S. N. Das
Produced by: Shivam Pictures 2008
Director: Prodyot Bhattacharjee
Story: Prafulla Roy
Script: Dulal Bandhopadhyay
Editor: Sushmit Mondal
Art Director: Ananda Addya
Lyricist: Gautam Sushmit
Camera: Babul Roy
Music: Babul Bose
Cast: Rohan, Pamela, Rajatava Dutta, Rama Prasad Banik, Kharaj Mukherjee, Santana Basu, Partha Sarathi Deb, Masudur Rahman Baidy (Guest)& Others
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Mainstream Bengali cinema had almost cut off its relationship with its literary roots. Prodyot Bhattacharya and his producers Shivam Pictures 2008 decided to change things a little and get back the links of cinema to literature. Bajikar is adapted from noted writer Prafulla Roy’s novel and deserve a pat on the back for just that one decision. The other positive feature of the film is that instead of spreading homilies and indulging in empty rhetoric, it uses comedy in a good way to get its message across.
Darpanarayan (Rajatava Ditta), an affluent zamindar with an aristocratic background, high moral values and self-respect, does not wish his children to squander away his wealth. He wants them to follow his principles of honesty and dignity. But before he writes out his will, he wants to test their integrity and their worthiness in upholding the values he stands for. In an unusual stand, he hires the services of Rahul (Rohan), a detective to check out what his three sons and one daughter Sujata are at and whether they have the qualities he is looking for that would make them eligible to inherit his riches. Rahul is given a four-month deadline to submit a detailed report to Darpanarayan. As destiny ould have it, Sujata (Pamela) falls in love with Rahul, and tries to appoint him to find out what her father’s true intentions are. Rahul accepts Sujata’s assignment without disclosing to her that her father has already given him a similar job.
Rahul discovers that Darpanarayan’s sons are used to unscrupulous ways of life and living but Sujata persuades him not to write it in his report for her father. This is a contradiction because she is not supposed to know that Rahul is to submit such a report to her father! When he shows the reports and the photographs to the three sons and to Sujata, they are shocked with the findings and beg him not to submit this to their father. Rahul agrees on condition that they will rectify their ways within a specified time to allow him to rewrite a positive but true report to submit to Darpanarayan. But Darpanarayan smells a rat and appoints another detective to shadow Rahul, setting one detective to chase another. It now becomes a battle of wits between Darpanarayan and Rahul, each one trying to outwit the other without any villainy or violence.
The storyline might seem a bit outdated in this era of nuclear families. But it has a strong social message interwoven into the story that makes sense solely due to the power of Rajatava Dutta’s brilliant acting in the main role of Darpanarayan. Darpanarayan’s chief aide (late Ramaprasad Banik) adds to the fun in the film and one laments that one will not see his talent gracing Bengali cinema any more. The strong story is somewhat spoilt by a rambling and lengthy script, not very good editing and cinematography that is wanting. Babul Bose’s music is okay. Rahul who makes his debut has promise but only time will tell how far he can go. Pamela still needs to work on her act. But the comedy keeps the film going and makes it a worthy-watch.
– Shoma A. Chatterji