Chho-E-Chuti (2009) Bengali Film Review

Chho-E-Chuti is a 2009 Bengali Film directed by Aniket Chatterjee. The Bengali film features Shilajit, Kharaj Mukherjee, Rudraneil Ghosh, Locket Chatterjee, Sabyasachi Chakraborty and more.

Chho-E-Chuti (2009) Bengali Film Review
Chho-E-Chuti is a 2009 Bengali Film directed by Aniket Chatterjee. The Bengali film features Shilajit, Kharaj Mukherjee, Rudraneil Ghosh, Locket Chatterjee, Sabyasachi Chakraborty and more.

Chho-E Chuti
Chho-E Chuti

Synopsis from Press Kit
A group of actors and a director decide to go for an outing for 6 days when there is a strike in the industry due to the death of a technician. They go to Mahapuram Sea and make merry. One day when they come back to the house and find their drink missing, they find the servant drunk and Kunal, one of the actors slaps him. He expires due to the severity of the slap and everyone is stunned. They make a plan and dispose of the body. The next day, the cops arrive and start questioning everyone. One of the actors contacts Benuda (Sabyasachi Chakrabarty) through whose reference they had come there. He arrives there and after a while it is revealed that he was part of the plan along with the servant (he was very much alive), one of the actors and the cops (even they were hired help with the O.C even being an Oriya actor).They have a laugh about it and decide to go back to Kolkata.On their way back, suddenly a body falls on one of the car and the windscreen is shattered. He falls to the ground and is run over by the other car which was following behind.

Review

CHHOY- E CHHUTI – EKTA SHOTTI GALPO

OUT-OF-THE-BOX

Shoma A. Chatterji

  • Banner: R.P. Technivision (E) Pvt.Limited
  • Produced by: Kaustuv Ray
  • Presented by: Shivaji Panja
  • Direction: Aniket Chattopadhyay
  • D.O.P.: Badal Sarkar
  • Art Director: Amit Chatterjee
  • Lyrics and Music: Gautam Ghoshal
  • Playback: Sreekanto Acharya, Prateek Choudhuri, Shilajit, Jayati Chakraborty, Gautam , Ghoshal, Subhomita, Ananya, Samik and Kharaj Mukherjee
  • Cast: Anjana Basu, Debshankar Haldar, Dhiman Chakraborty, Dona Das, (Late) Kunal Mitra, Kunal Padhi, Locket Chatterjee, Milon Roychoudhury, Rajesh Sharma, Rudraneel Ghosh, Sabyasachi Chakraborty, Shilajit and Sonali Chowdhury.
  • Date of Release: December 25 2009
  • Rating: 7/10
  • Date of release: December 25, 2009

Chhoye Chhuti Sonali and Shilajit
Chhoye Chhuti Sonali and Shilajit

A busy morning inside a Tollygunge studio floor shows ‘director’ Milon Roy Choudhury barking out orders to his crew. The scriptwriter informs him that a lead actor is absconding. The director tells the scriptwriter to ‘kill him off’ and waits for his artists to step in. Enter a host of television actors playing their real selves. They are (late) Kunal Mitra, Rudraneel Ghosh, Shilajit, Khoraj Mukherjee, Locket Chatterjee, Sonali Chowdhury, Anjana Bose and newcomer Dona Das. As shooting begins – it is a film within a film that is being shot – a member of the technical crew volunteers to wait at the propped up balcony to ‘fill the background’ that the director demands. As soon as the camera begins to roll, the ‘balcony’ gives way, the man falls off and dies on his way to the hospital. The technicians’ union leader marches into the sets angrily, with his chamchas in tow, declaring a six-day strike across all Tollygunge studios. The artists are left with no work for six days. Anjana suggests a six-day holiday to some resort. Shilajit calls up Sabyasachi Chakraborty for hints and tips and the destination is decided – Mahulpur-on-Sea, a picturesque sea resort some distance away from Kolkata. Two cars cart the artists and the director with one addition – Anjana’s husband Debshankar, an artist-turned-alcoholic addicted to country liquor who decides to pile on, much to the discomfort of Anjana because she is having an affair with Kunal. Dona is sleeping around with Rudraneel because he has promised her roles in films. Shilajit, divorced from Locket Chatterjee is currently hooked on Sonali and the two are planning to tie the knot. Locket, on the other hand, unknown to the others, is a lesbian and has the glad-eye for Dona. The ‘real’ story gets going once the team reaches Mahulpur-on-Sea.

Chhoye Chhuti Group Picture-Bengali Film
Chhoye Chhuti Group Picture-Bengali Film

The best part of ‘a true story’ that defines the tagline of the title – ekta shotti golpo is that the actors who are playing themselves do not need to act at all. They play their real selves, albeit, up to a certain point because debut-director Aniket Chatterjee has taken a lot of liberties with the truth. The ‘truth’ here is interwoven with a lot of imagination and fantasy. No one for instance, has ever heard of Anjana having a roaring affair with (late) Kunal. Nor is she married to Debshankar who, in real life, is one of the greatest actors in Bengali theatre today. He is neither an alcoholic nor a painter. Singer-actor Shilajit was never married to Locket and has never been known to have had a relationship with Sonali. Locket, by her own admission, is no lesbian. The actress who plays Khoraj’s harridan-of-a-wife is not his wife in real life. Rudraneel will not care to be associated with the sexual harassment of a newcomer like Dona. Yet, the actors have agreed to slip into the characters in a way where the characters and the actors have merged to become one. It called for a lot of guts for the director and the actors to toy with varied versions of the ‘truth.’

Chhoye Chhuti- Debshankar Anjana and Milon
Chhoye Chhuti- Debshankar Anjana and Milon

On the other hand, as the audience joins the group in this rather fun-cum-bizarre journey along a rickety ride in two cars, a glimpse into the real lives of tinsel people we love to admire on screen seems scary for ordinary people like us. The fanatic obsession with liquor in every shape, brand, price-tag, size and bottle, the fluidity of hopping into different beds quite openly, the fragility within married relationships, the sudden trigger to mindless violence if and when the drinks get exhausted, the brazen sexual innuendoes built into every relationship, the lack of moral courage to face the truth, the free flow of colourful slang stand in direct contrast to their brilliant command over Bengali music and song of every genre, their ability to draw the last drop of joy out of every situation, the gay abandon they surrender their very private lives to for public consumption.

Chhoye Chhuti Anjana and Kunal
Chhoye Chhuti Anjana and Kunal

There is a touching scene at the break of dawn on the beach. Sonali walks out to see Shilajit dressed in white kurta-pyjama to see the sunrise. He begins to chant the gayatri mantra and she joins in. She is overjoyed when he informs her that there is a tulsi plant in his home. Some time later, when things get hot over the sudden ‘death’ of the holiday home’s servant-cum-caretaker, she loses complete faith in him and tries to cut herself off from the relationship. In another scene, after considerable coaxing, Anjana breaks into a beautiful Tagore song belted out against a full moon night on the beach, puncturing the silence of her speechless listeners. Song over, she coolly walks into the waiting arms of Kunal. Point to be noted here is that if film people are so casual about the sudden death of a fellow-crew member, so violently obsessed with alcohol, so free in distributing their ‘love’ to different people at the same time, so scared to tell the truth, so desperate to hide a cruel act, are these not negative indicators of their commitment to their work – acting? Is this not a pointer to the terrible state contemporary Bengali cinema and television find themselves in?

What makes Chhoy-e Chhuti a watch-worthy film apart from its original storyline and out-of-the-box structure lies in its mind-blowing music score by Gautam Ghoshal. One song Chalo Mama Paliye written, composed and sung by Shilajit is also beautiful. The songs are completely situational, choreographed, positioned and orchestrated to fit into the different scenarios of the film. The three Tagore songs, including the last Agun Jalo in a remixed fusion version, and the title song that takes off from Joyjoyonti’s amaader chhuti chhuti and then makes its own personal journey, will remain hummable for a long time. With some of the best singers lending their voices to the six song tracks, Ghoshal is a talent to watch out for. Kudos to Aniket Chatterjee for revealing the underbelly of some famous faces in the Bengali film world and offering a microcosm of their world of glamour behind the greasepaint.

by: Shoma A. Chatterji

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