Mar 5, 2012 (Calcutta Tube): Flop-E is a 2012 Bengali movie directed by with Barun Chanda, Sabyasachi Chakraborty, Paoli Dam, Joy Ganguly and others int he cast. Read the Bengali film review at Calcutta Tube.
FLOP-E – FORMULA FOR A SUPER DUPER FLOP
Banner: Sixth Sense Entertainment Pvt Limited
Producer: Dinanath Ghosh
Director: Preetam Sarkar
D.O.P.: Manas Ganguly
Editing: Preetam Sarkar and Srividya Chatterjee
Music: Neel Dutta
Cast: Barun Chanda, Sabyasachi Chakraborty, Paoli Dam, Joy Ganguly, Saswati Guhathakurta, Subrajeet Dutta, Monica Chakrbaborty, Sanjib Mukherjee, Srijit Mukherjee
Date of release: February 24, 2012
Flop-E is reportedly the first Bengali film ever to have been premiered in London at Harrow Arts Centre. One shudders to think what the audience out there would have made about the nature and quality of Bengali films. Is this a celluloid adaptation of the real life story of its producer who might really want the formula to failure like the film’s multimillionaire protagonist Pranabesh Mitra (Barun Chanda)? No one bothers whether this is a celluloid adaptation of a real life story or whether it is a work of fiction. The prayer we would like to send up there is that we should be spared from such ‘misadventures’ and ‘experiments’ in the name of cinema.
The film uses a long opening sequence of a television discussion about ‘success’ and ‘failure’ pegged to a news story about young men and women committing suicide when faced with failure. This is an unabashed and brazen promotional strategy to plug the image and interests of this particular satellite channel and its star anchor who is given big close-ups. This critic, along with younger peers felt one would have done better to just stay back home and tune in to this news channel.
Three half-educated, selfish, irresponsible and arrogant young men with pretensions of non-existent talent and of becoming big names in the film industry ignore problems of poverty back home to take piggyback rides on the fourth friend, the son of a millionaire. Their attempts at filmmaking are seriously limited to chat sessions at different parks and tea-stalls in Kolkata. The would-be director’s (Subrajeet Dutta) ex-girlfriend (Paoli Dam) is now the CEO assigned to find out the right director with the right script to produce a flop film. It is to realize Pronobesh Mitra’s aspirations of tasting failure at least once in his life so that he can ‘understand’ why failure prompts suicide! But the CEO is completely side-tracked by Mitra when strange candidates line up for interviews, one at the time. She sits there looking and acting like a dumb doll in a smart business suit.
The only redeeming feature comes across in the director-candidates who turn up to be interviewed. One of them is Srijit Mukherjee. They almost raise our expectations of something better happening. All hopes are dashed thanks to the CEO’s ex-boyfriend’s conception chosen for the flop film. Enter the real life Sabyasachi Chakraborty for the film-within-the-film. What was supposed to be hilarious is pathetic. What made a dignified actor like Sabyasachi Chakraborty accept such a trash role in a trash film and even ask his mother to play his screen mother who dies as soon as the film-within-the-film begins is shocking! One is not given the slightest hint about the Sabyasachi episode being the ‘film-within-the-film’ even once and we have to assume it is. We sometimes think this is a different film we are watching. This ‘film’ whose title or story or box office figures we never get to know turns out to be a huge success instead of what it was designed to be – a super duper flop. This gives Preetam Sarkar the opportunity to plug the same satellite channel and the same star anchor to hold another discussion, this time, with the four good-for-nothings. But the audience by then is rushing to the exit to catch the promised cocktails, snacks and dinner. There is no such thing as a free lunch, remember?
Whatever happened to the suicide story the film began with, quoting statistics and arguing on a television talk show? The director probably forgot about it since he was busy exploring the aimless wanderings of these four good-for-nothing burdens on their aged parents while they make a complete film only through their ‘adda’ sessions just like that! Flop-E is an insult to the entire process of filmmaking and to all filmmakers, past, present and future.
– Shoma A. Chatterji