Jan 11, 2011 (Calcutta Tube): Bedroom is a 2012 Bengali movie directed by Mainak Bhaumik with Rudranil Ghosh, Rahul, Abir Chatterjee, Paoli Dam, Parno Mitra and others in the cast. Read the Bengali film review by National Award winning film critic and writer Shoma A. Chatterji at Calcutta Tube.
BEDROOM – MIXED RESPONSE
Presented by: R. Sarkar
Produced by: Dag Creative Media
Written and directed by: Mainak Bhaumik
D.O.P.: Supriyo Dutta
Music: Rupam Islam and Allan Ao
Editing: Shamik Chatterjee
Cast: Rudranil Ghosh, Rahul, Abir Chatterjee, Paoli Dam, Bikram, Parno Mitra, Tanushree, Ushashie, Biswanath Ghosh, Dr. Kaushik Ghosh and others
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Mainak Bhaumik’s Aamra was a delightful take on the urban angst of youth. The film dealt with someone making a documentary where he asked the characters of Aamra – to define love. As each one tried to adjust to the reality of actually talking into the camera, the film tracked back to trace the reality of each one’s negotiations with love spanning sex within and without marriage, live-together relationships, honesty, one-time sex, adultery, and so on.
In Bedroom, Bhaumik strips the same issues of the ‘documentary’ to peep into the rather fragile negotiations the young characters deal in while exploring their ‘bedroom’ angst. The characters are a medley of colours – modern, post-modern and conventional, mentally, emotionally and physically teetering over their choices between and among marriage, live-in relationships, and one-night stands.
Anando (Abir Chatterjee), a corporate guy, chooses to marry Priyanka. (Paoli Dam), a millionnaire’s daughter, culturally distanced from Anando’s middle class morality. Joy (Rahul) is a failed actor living in with hi-fi portfolio photographer Ritwika (Parno Mitra) for four years but suffers from feelings of inferiority that leads the relationship to a precipice. Dev (Rudranil), a successful film actor, believes neither in love nor in marriage. He jumps in and out of one-night stands till he meets his match in the plain-speak Ipsita (Ushasie), a journalist. But these two cannot express their feelings through the three magic words and the relationship ends abruptly. Tanisha (Tanushree) is the odd one out. She is a sex worker. Her only dream is to own a pair of red high-heeled shoes she sees in a shop window but cannot buy. She unwittingly becomes a link among the men through her profession.
Dev takes her in for a one-night stand. Joy tries to find solace in her company when he finds Ritwika too aggressive for comfort. He promises to buy her the pair of red shoes she covets so much. Anando who lost his job because he refused to comply with his boss’ lecherous desires, finally gives in when he fishes out an old visiting card of a sex worker a colleague had given him. It is Tanisha’s visiting card with a big ‘T’ printed on top.
Parno jumps into bed with Sunny (Anubrato) a much younger male model, only to walk out when she finds he is as possessive as the rest. Abir has little time or inclination for sex so Priyanka tries to befriend an old NRI boyfriend (Bikram) to discover that there is only one man for her – Anando. Anando is suddenly fired because he refuses to supply the big boss with his pet obsession – a pretty girl.
The roller-coaster ride between and among the young couples ends with Joy and Ritwika deciding to tie the knot, following in the footsteps of what Anando and Priyanka did at the beginning of the film. Dev and Ipsita go back to their lonely and wayward sex lives. The film closes on a pair of red, high-heeled shoes swinging gently in the air, at the end of a pair of female ankles. It is the most poignant shot in the entire film in which the slick production values are not really complemented by the unfocussed script lifted by strong dialogue.
The credits come up with music director Rupam Islam singing with his band. It ends the same way, framing the film with post-modern music. The characters are not given a history of their own. They seem more concerned about their ‘bedroom’ lives than about their emotional angst and their professional careers. The cinematographic space is generously dotted with characters jumping in and out of different beds at different times and in different situations but sleaziness is neatly kept out of the frame through the power of suggestion and strong dialogue. A word of appreciation must go to the cinematographer for enriching these scenes with just the right lighting.
Tanushree wins hands down in the acting department as Tanisha with her eye make-up running down, her grunge look, her cynical approach to men juxtaposed against her child-like, innocent wish to own a pair of red shoes. The other actors fall naturally into the moulds Bhaumik has created for them. Rudra is more Rudra than Dev though he brings out the pain of a lonely and loveless life eloquently. It is strange to find a famous actor not being chased by autograph hunters or by paparazzi as he meets the journalist in an ordinary café several times. The other actors are equally powerful. But one must reserve a pat on the backs of Biswanath Ghosh and Anubrato who sparkle in brief cameos. Rupam’s musical score fits neatly into the film’s ambience and mood.
For a person born before Independence, it is a bit sad to meet these messed up youngsters utterly confused about their sex lives trying to find solace the way we all did so many years ago – by getting married. Isn’t it quite simple?