May 16, 2011 (Calcutta Tube): Prosenjit starrer Bengali movie Cholo Paltai that deals with academic pressure on children is going to release in North America by Databazaar Media Ventures. Read the lead story on the film at Calcutta Tube.
Once in a decade, comes a film that takes on children as a subject for a mainstream feature film. Chalo Paltai goes a step further. It reaches out to touch the parents of children bending under the pressure of academics with no space for choice or talent. Tare Zameen Par explored a different issue that dealt with dyslexic children. But after Jagriti, few Indian films have taken the responsibility of dealing exclusively with the issue of academic pressure and its social impact on the immediate family of a young boy who is more interested in cricket than in mathematics or history or science. Databazaar Media Ventures will soon be releasing the film through various media and formats in North America and Canada.
“The film deals with the dilemma faced by a middle class father about the future of his child. Today’s children are taught only to be in a rat race and excel in studies. But their dreams are given no importance by the parents. I have tried to address this problem. It is a film with a social cause. We hope that with Chalo Paltai we see some “poribartan” in the education system where extra curricular activities are given same amount of importance as studies,” says Haranath Chakraborty who has directed the film.
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[ReviewAZON asin=”B0051233MY” display=”inlinepost”]Mahendra Soni, director, Shree Venkatesh Films, says, “the film is about Subhamoy’s (Prosenjit) son, Gaurav (Devdaan), and the problems he encounters with his father as he chases a dream to fulfill his passion, and how he finds silent support from sister Munni (Tathoi) as he gets cornered from all quarters including his father, who feels dreams are only for the rich. Chalo Paltai cannot be categorized in any fixed genre. It is a realistic representation of some very important issues and concerns faced by contemporary society. We are driven towards spreading awareness about what our youth has to go through in its academic life. We hope that after watching this film, parents will reconsider how they would want their kids to grow up in today’s competitive world. Shree Venkatesh Films has always been associated with quality cinema and as we move forward in this medium, we will try to present more such films to our audience in the future.”
In a surprise revelation, Prosenjit who plays an ordinary father who seeks fulfillment of his dreams of a successful and flourishing life through his children in general and his son Gaurav in particular, says, “You may find this difficult to believe but during the making of this film, I learnt a lot from my young peers Devdaan and Tathoi as an actor and as a human being. They taught me to look at the world through their eyes. They taught me patience, perseverance and the frustrations children face because the adult world cannot perceive their problems the way they expect the adults to. It helped me a lot because I am a father too,” he says, adding, “this film is very important in expressing Tollywood’s concern for making socially relevant cinema. Without being preachy, we have made a film that will appeal to students, teachers and parents by merging both elements of mainstream and thought-provoking cinema.”
At a special screening of the film exclusively for hundreds of school children, one boy, seated with his friends in the front row, said, “Not only did I like the film, the subject also is very close to my heart. As a student, I could identify with all that was shown on-screen. That is why I felt like humming the song bariye dao right through the screening.” The story of a common man, who raises his voice against the present education system of forcing children to cram for marks while sacrificing their dreams, is an effort at making viewers rethink about ushering in a change in the mindset of adults about the rigid, academic oriented system that leaves no space for extra-academic interests to flower such as sports, fine arts and so on.
– Shoma A. Chatterji