October 26, 2010 (Calcutta Tube): DUI PRITHIBI is a 2010 Bengali movie directed by Raj Chakraborty starring Jeet, Dev, Koel Mullick, Barkha Sengupta, Kharaj Mukherjee and others. DUI PRITHIBI is a complete entertainer. Enjoy the complete review of Bengali Film DUI Prithibi at Calcutta Tube.
Cast and Crew:
- Banner: Shree Venkatesh Films
- Producers: Shrikant Mohta and Mahendra Soni
- Direction: Raj Chakraborty
- D.O.P. Shirsa Roy and Somak Mukherjee
- Music: Jeet Ganguly
- Story: N.K. Salil
- Cast: Jeet, Dev, Koel Mullick, Barkha Sengupta, Kharaj Mukherjee, Basudeb Mukherjee and others.
- Rating: 6/10
Review: DUI PRITHIBI- ENTERTAINING WITH A CAPITAL “E”
Rahul (Jeet), the only child of a rich businessman, is a narcissist. He has neither time nor energy nor the willingness to even be aware of the problems of others. This includes his orphan girlfriend Nandini (Koel Mullick), a doctor, whose heart bleeds for the poor and the deprived and who spends most of her time in health camps and slums. He invites her to his birthday party where she is shocked to discover that he had placed a bet with his rich cronies over ‘getting’ her within a week. The clash of ideology had begun earlier when Nandini slowly came to terms with the fact that though Rahul loved her, he did not share her feelings for the poor and the downtrodden. The shocked Nandini leaves the city. Rahul sets out on his expensive Kawasaki Ninja in search of Nandini. Shibu (Dev), a motorcycle thief, practically thrusts himself on Rahul because he has an eye on the guy’s expensive two-wheeler. Rahul encounters a greater clash of lifestyle and philosophy with Shibu but is unable to shake him off and finally gives in. The destinations of the two are different – Rahul seeks Nandini while Shibu wants his motorcycle. But along the way, a bonding between the two develops and the journey takes a different turn. Shibu forgets all about stealing two-wheelers and commits himself to help Rahul in his search for the ever-elusive Nandini.
The film is dynamic and constantly moves over the arid brown terrains of Birbhum and Purulia with the two expert motorcycle riders kicking up a lot of dust, a massive traffic jam, a child-birth and two Maoist encounters along the way. The drama does not stop for one moment so the audience has no reason to feel bored because except the melodramatic climax, there is no pause in the actions, the adventures, the movements and the steady growth in the bonding between the two young men. The glaring anomaly that stick out like sore thumbs in the entire film but has been plugged for the cat-calling masses, are the Venice song sequences taken mainly in long shots and the item number that melodramatises the sob-story of Parul (Barkha Sengupta) needlessly, bringing the tight-knit script a few rungs down the rising ladder to popularity. Jeet Ganguly’s musical score represents his usual self –entertaining and charming but without the shelf life his dhaakher taale has attained. Shirsa Roy and Somak Mukherjee’s cinematography adds to the film’s changing moods and journeys – internal and external. The scenes shot in the rain-lashed forest hideout of the Maoist groups at night that ends with Shibu’s tragic death are mind-blowing. N. K. Salil’s dialogue is pithy, with lots of dry humour and the touching lines Shibu delivers to the Maoist leader when he recalls his severely oppressed past all the time hoping that the rebel group will come to help all in vain. Chakraborty exercises restraint in this scene that could have easily collapsed into soppy melodrama.
Dev excels as Shibu, the happy-go-lucky, stinking-to-high-heavens, small-time, light-fingered thief who cannot speak a word of English but manages to be a bundle of fun, amusement, fisticuffs and entertainment. Jeet complements him perfectly as the suave, sophisticated, strong and silent Rahul full of attitude. But Dev has the more author-backed role and is likely to run away with the ceetees. Koel has a strong role that has been marginalised because the journey is not hers and she is no part of the bonding that evolves between Rahul and Shibu. She is mostly seen in flashbacks but does justice to her role. The script treats Rahul’s father quite shabbily God alone knows why while Rahul’s mother occupies a big place in his life in the form of a huge oil-painting above his dresser. There are two scenes ‘inspired’ by Sholay and 3 Idiots. The similarity with Sholay is when Shibu dies but does not forget to deliver a small lecture in his death throes. For 3 Idiots, Rahul is forced to deliver a baby in the middle of nowhere when the bus in which the pregnant woman is travelling gets into a massive traffic jam. The other women passengers ensure privacy by standing in a circle and holding up saris for privacy. Kharaj Mukherjee enacts a very interesting cameo as a ‘prophet of doom’.
Ira Konigsberg, author of The Complete Film Dictionary defines the male buddy film as one that features the friendship of two males as the major relationship. Such films extol the virtues of male comradeship and relegate male-female relationships to a subsidiary position. Like its famous predecessors in male-buddy movies such as Sholay. The entire narrative focuses on the friendship between these two young men unequal in class, status and temperament, culminating in a pessimistic statement about such friendships having to end in tragedy. It is only in bourgeois buddy films like Dil Chahta Hai where no one dies in the end.
Dui Prithibi marks the happy marriage of a road movie and a male buddy movie and Raj excels in taking his cue from the copyrighted Telugu film Gamyam (2008), tweaking it a bit here and some more there, and giving it a completely Bengali identity. The acting and technical team is Bengali. The language of the film is Bengali. The ambience, culture and sociology are Bengali. Barring the song sequences shot in Venice and that item number, this is one rare road-cum-male-buddy movie the Bengali audience has been subject to in a long, long time. The road reveals an absence of moral virtues. It exposes people to their bare essentials and philosophy. It is often the consequence when men like Rahul leave the comfort of what they know for the unexplored, without considering that the journey might bring them face-to-face with the grim realities of life represented in the name, style, attitude and approach of Shibu.
The journeys undertaken by Rahul and Shibu, together and individually, are journeys into the ‘self.’ They signify on the one hand, the increasing mobility of the urban Bengali and on the other, the restive spirit of a willfully ‘orphaned’ youth. Is it a journey into the self? Or, is it a process of discovery through relationships created, sustained and destroyed? Dui Prithibi reveals Raj Chakraborty’s recognition of the need that Bengali cinema must come to terms with genres it does not generally indulge in and must venture into new areas never mind if this has to be through copyrighted Telugu films. Dui Prithibi signifies the journey of life across rocky roads and individual terrains inhabited by insiders like Rahul and ‘outsiders’ like Nandini and Shibu who can come together through a search, a journey, that is much more than the physical and geographical journey it visually suggests. The only problem is – why the need to dip into a Telugu hit that has, by the admission of its director, US-returned Radhakrisha Jagarlamudi, was inspired by two famous male-buddy and road movies – Easy Rider and Motorcycle Diaries.
Shoma A. Chatterji