September 9, 2011 (Calcutta Tube): Bhalo Meye Mondo Meye is a 2011 Bengali film directed by Somnath Sen with Tapal Pal, Debasree Roy, Firdaus and others in the cast. Read the Bengali movie review at Calcutta Tube.
BHALO MEYE MONDO MEYE – NOT ‘BHALO’
Produced by: Ankita Arts
Presented by: Konkona Roy
Direction: Somnath Sen
Screenplay, Lyrics and Dialogue: Somnath Sen
Music: Ashok Bhadra
Cast: Tapal Pal, Debasree Roy, Firdaus, Subhash Chatterjee and Shri Bhrigu
Date of release: September 2 2011
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Prostitutes with a heart of gold the family turns against the minute it learns where the money is coming from is as hackneyed a theme for cinema as you can make it. It is sad to see Debasree Roy reduced to such terrible roles after having won the National Award for her performance in Unishe April. Positing a sex worker as the lead character suggests some sleaze and sizzling scenes attached to a sob story. But Somnath Sen makes Bhalo Meye Mondo Meye an exploration of the mindsets and lifestyles of people suffering from different degrees of depression. They could have done with some sessions on a psychiatrist’s couch instead of weeping or wearing a long face for the camera.
Genia, our leading lady’s father turns her out of the house the minute he learns that she is a sex worker. All these years, the entire family has been living a lavish life on her earnings. But the bubble bursts and one fine day, Genia is considered expendable by the family. Debasree has essayed the role of a sex worker in several films. But she is no longer young enough to carry this burden.
Disillusioned by the family she loved so dearly, Genia walks out of the home to wander aimlessly till she meets Bivash, a successful writer whose writing she has read. But Bivash cannot console her because he is nursing his own emotional wounds from the tragedy of his wife having walked out of his life when he became famous! Then there is this bird lover Dr. Ashok Shome who can read the ‘good’ and the ‘bad’ side of Genia clearly and would have been sympathetic had he not had his own sorrows to tender to. Finally, Genia finds happiness in the arms of her brother’s crippled friend Shobhon who has been a silent lover for many years and has suffered for a long time from the pain of having been rejected by her in the past. Since he is a cripple, he is depressed too.
The music is no good and the performances are extremely lack lustre as if the actors are not at all interested in their work or in the film. The subject is not the sad story of a sex worker but a story of depressed souls. The painfully slow pace is another point against the film. Sad that Somnath Sen who made a reasonably issue-centric film Ei Aranya earlier this year, was so desperate to make this one. It is impossible to even pretend to be entertained by Bhalo Meye Mondo Meye because you might walk out of the theatre ready for a session with a psychiatrist yourself – the film is so depressing!