Dwando (2009) Bengali Film
Dwando is the second feature film by Award Winning director Suman Ghosh starring Soumitra Chatterjee, Biplab Chattejee, Ananya Chatterjee, Kaushik Sen and Samrat Chakraborty in Lead roles. Dwando (Conflict) is a Bengali drama revolving around Ananya Chatterjee and her conflicts.
The story of “Dwando” revolves around Sudipta (Ananya Chatterjee) who faces a serious ethical dilemma. She is torn between two choices, each with vast and cascading repercussions affecting the lives of several people. In this situation, a neurosurgeon Dr Ashoke Mukherjee (Soumitra) becomes crucially involved in her life. Her dilemma is ultimately resolved through the intervention of Dr Mukherjee who subtly maneuvers Sudipta’s thought process and guides her to a choice, saving an innocent life in the process.
- Music: Mayookh Bhaumik
- Story/Director/Producer: Suman Ghosh/Suman Ghosh Production and The Databazar Group
- Cinematography: Barun Mukherjee
- Editing: Sujoy Dutta Roy
- Art Director: Tanmoy Chakraborty
- Costume: Anadi Ghosh
- Sound Designer: Partha Burman
- Chief Assistant Director: Abhijit Chowdhury
- Production Controller: Soubhik Das
- Main Cast: Soumitra Chatterjee , Ananya Chatterjee , Kaushik Sen , Samrat Chakrabarti
- Date of Release: 24th July, 2009
- Official Webpage: http://www.dwandothefilm.com/
Critic’s Review: DWANDO – DARK AND INTENSE
by Shoma A. Chatterji
[ReviewAZON asin=”B002SRQLLU” display=”inlinepost”]Suman Ghosh made his presence strongly felt with Podokhhep, his first film that bagged two National Awards including one for Soumitra Chatterjee as Best Actor. Critics have panned Dwando as having been ‘inspired’ by Kristof Kieslowsky’s Decalogue-II. Others say it carries a hangover of Somerset Maugham’s The Painted Veil filmed in Hollywood three times over decades. But Ghosh has infused it with a contemporary, typically Bengali-Indian conflict. Thus, it deserves a reading as an independent film and it would be unfair to compare it with the Kieslowsky film or to the Maugham story.
Sudipa (Ananya Chatterjee) is married to Anik Sen (Koushik Sen) for ten years. They lead a relatively high-profile married life till she falls in love with Rana (Samrat Chakraborty.) Since they do not have children, Sudipa considers splitting with Anik to begin a new life with Rana. Destiny steps in. Anik is diagnosed as suffering from a fatal brain tumor. As Sudipa waits for the results of the biopsy, she discovers she is pregnant with Rana’s baby. The dilemma now is – will she keep the baby and get along with life, or will she abort it? Her choice depends on the results of Anik’s biopsy. If the tumor is malignant, she can keep the baby. If the tumor is benign and he survives, she will have to abort it.
Ghosh introduces the eccentric, arrogant, aloof and famous neurosurgeon Dr. Ashok Mukherjee (Soumitra Chatterjee) as a counterpoint to the friendly, strong and confident Sudipa who gatecrashes into his dark mansion on a rainy night to ask him whether Anik will survive or die. Mukherjee, in a weak moment, tells her about his past, about the tragedy of loss. It is his conflict too, more as a human being than as a doctor, to tell or not to tell Sudipa the truth. The biopsy results have not come in but he knows what the result will be. He lies to Sudipa and suggests that Anik will live. Trapped in a no-exit situation, Sudipa walks out of his home, making her way sadly into the loveless world she so desperately wanted to walk out of. The Mahabharat spells out five reasons when lying is not a sin. Dwando takes off from this truth.
Ghosh has structured the film into two halves, one, before the interval and the other, afterwards. The first half depicts the somewhat shadowy relationship between and among the three characters – the husband, the wife and the lover. Rana remains unexplored and shadowy, perhaps with intent as his function is like a catalytic agent in Sudipa’s life, unwittingly pushing her towards a critical dilemma she cannot come out of. Swift editorial sweeps, wipes, fade-ins and fade-outs span the young woman’s past and present. The second half is straightforward, confined to serious debates between Sudipa and Mukherjee in the latter’s spacious home in Kolkata, the sound of thunder, lightning and heavy rain leashing across the windows, drenching the young woman down to her skin as she insists on seeing the doctor, creates an ambience of mystery tinged with the sadness of a would-be mother who finds motherhood slipping beyond her grasp just when she has begun to feel the change within her mind and in her body.
Ghosh leaves his audience to decipher the resolution. Does she keep the baby? Or, does she abort it? His pacing is leisurely, slow, but evolves a rhythm of its own as the narrative invites the audience to participate in Sudipa’s dilemma. He suggests more than tells, thus distancing the masses from with his ambivalence and turning the film distinctly into a niche-audience film. Direct references and quotes from T.S. Eliot, Walt Whitman, The Mahabharata are elements that further distance the mass audience from the film. But that does not make Dwando a bad film in any way. It only points out that it is strictly for viewing by an intellectually and academically aware audience who can make the necessary connects.
Barun Mukherjee’s cinematography is brilliant, with semi-silhouetted frames of Sudipa and Rana in the opening scenes, to the bright, flat lighting within the hospital, leading finally, to the dark interiors of Mukherjee’s antique home, lit by a table lamp, the Black-and-White old photograph of his wife on the wall. Tanmoy Chakraborty’s art direction adds texture to the backdrop. Mayukh Bhaumik’s mood music is ideal. Ghosh could have clipped away two scenes that do not belong. One is the scene showing Sudipa walking in the midst of some ruins with a beautiful song on the soundtrack. The other is the dragging, overdone party scene that is positively jarring.
Ghosh deserves a solid pat on the back for creating a story with a powerful ideological stance about love, life and relationships in a world where cinema is purely a packaged product for mass consumption. From the subterranean layers of the core, emerges a brief, partly incredible but strong relationship between Sudipa and Dr. Mukherjee, a bonding between two very dissimilar, distanced human beings inhabiting two different worlds who would never have met in normal circumstances. Dwando is a dark and intense film, made with love and nurtured with care. I would give Dwando a rating of seven on ten.
Detail Cast and Crew:
ANANYA CHATTERJEE – Hailed as one of the rising talents of Bengali films, she is a well-known television actress in Bengal and an accomplished dancer. She has also acted in several films. In 2008 she starred in the film “Abohoman” by director Rituparno Ghosh.
SOUMITRA CHATTERJEE – He is one of the most important actors to emerge out of India in the last century. He has acted in 15 of Satyajit Ray films, including, Apur Sansar, Devi, Charulata and Ghare Baire. He has received the ‘Officier des Arts et Metiers’, the highest award for arts given by the French government, and a lifetime achievement award from Italy. He was awarded the Padma Bhushan by the President of India in 2004. In 2008 he received the National Award for the Best Actor in India for the film “Podokkhep” directed by Suman Ghosh.
KOUSHIK SEN – He is one of the most important actor-directors of the Bengali stage apart from being a popular television and film actor. Koushik has received numerous awards in his illustrious career and has worked with stalwarts like Mrinal Sen and Tapan Sinha. Koushik started his own theatre group Swapnasandhani in the year 1992, which has produced plays of the highest quality and is regarded as one of the trendsetters of the Bengali stage.
SAMRAT CHAKRABARTI – Chakrabarti’s feature film debut came in 1994 in Spike Lee’s She Hate Me. He has since appeared in Manish Acharya’s Loins of Punjab Presents (starring Bollywood star Shabana Azmi) , Manan Katahora’s Arya, Joseph Castelo’s The War Within (nominated for Indie Spirit Award), and Anjan Dutt’s The Bong Connection (starring Victor Banerjee). In 2007, he was seen in Ajay Naidu’s Ashes, and Amyn Kaderali’s Kissing Cousins. He has also had several guest appearances on television including Law & Order (NBC), The Sopranos (HBO), Love Monkey (CBS) and Hope and Faith (ABC).
Dwando 2009 Film AUDIENCE Review by CT contributor Kanishka from Kolkata
“Dwando” is one movie that is in the news for two reasons -firstly, this is the second venture of Suman Ghosh, whose Debut movie ”Podokkhep” fetched Soumitra the National award. Secondly, it is a high budget movie (approx 1 crore).
I must say,this movie has been mistimed.With Paran Jai Joliya Re generating incredible hype, this movie might not get the response that can help to regain its cost. Also, this movie is not for all. You have to give a serious test of patience to watch this one out. But, if you are ready to giveit, you might feel the magic underneath.
”Podokkhep”, in my opinion was not a very strong film, but this one is.
Storyline: Aneek and sudipta are a troubled married couple.Sudipta has fallen in love with Rana and she is pregnant with Rana’s issue in her womb. But, at this time Aneek falls terribly ill and Sudipta get stangled in a conflict whether to leave her husband or stay with him. At this stage, she receives guidance from neurosurgeon Dr.Ashok mukherjee. Watch out for Tanmoy Chakraborty’s brilliant art work. The “Anatomy” painting by Da Vinci has been used well. Suman Ghosh’s dialogues keep you enthralled. Mayookh Bhowmick’s music is experimental. Thecinematography, (specially the static frames ), is praiseworthy. “Dwando” may be counted as one of the best performances of Soumitra Chatterjee. He, with his dialogues, expressions, body language, makes the character of arrogant, severely disciplined Dr. Mukherjee’s role a gem. Such powerful is his performance, that Ananya and Kaushik, though good actors, pale in comparison. But, Dwando does not turn out to be a gem, purely because of its weak Storyline, lack of pace, a disdainful attempt towards western inclination. Plus, the editing, by Sujoy Dutta Roy, which could have been far better. Still, Dwando is much better than Podokkhep, a step forward by Suman Ghosh.
Dwando Bengali Film Photogallery and Stills