HANGOVER (2010) Bengali Movie Review-Prosenjit for Pravat Roy

(CalcuttaTube): HANGOVER is a 2010 Bengali Film directed by Prabhat Roy, starring Prosenjit, Subhra, Joy Mukherjee, Sayantika, Subhashish Mukherjee, Biplab Chatterjee and others. A comedy film for all Prosenjit fans.

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Review: HANGOVER – NOT INFECTIOUS

Cast and Crew:

  • Banner: Rose Valley Communications Limited
  • Producer: Gautam Kundu
  • Story, screenplay and direction: Prabhat Roy
  • Music: Bappa Lahiri
  • D.O.P.: Premendu Bikash Chaki
  • Editing: Swapan Guha
  • Cast: Prosenjit, Subhra, Joy Mukherjee, Sayantika, Subhashish Mukherjee, Biplab Chatterjee, Supriyo Dutta
  • Date of Release: June 18 2010
  • Rating: 3/10

A Lovely scene from Hangover Bengali Movie
A Lovely scene from Hangover Bengali Movie

The title of this film has nothing to do with the term ‘hangover’ as we understand it – the feelings of nausea, headache, etc. on the morning after a heavily tipsy night. Prabhat Roy gives a different interpretation of this term. In his opinion, this ‘hangover’ is directly linked to what we call ‘the male menopause’ in a rather convoluted celluloid interpretation that fails to convince or even appear presentable.

The story is about Samaresh Chatterjee (Prosenjit) who owns and is the CEO of a satellite channel. He has recently crossed forty and because of the ‘insecurity’ about his manhood that plagues him, he develops the ‘glad eye’ for nubile young females not caring about the fact that he has an eagle-eyed and intelligent wife (Shubhra Kundu) at home and a small girl too. The minute his second-in-command Rajeeb (Joy Mukherjee) brings in a new secretary Mili (Sayantika) who in reality is his girlfriend, Samaresh pointedly looks at her cleavage and runs his tongue over his lips. If this is what the middle-aged male sexual angst is all about, one is constrained to point out that this is in very bad taste indeed. Mili is a good girl in love with Rajeeb so when she is very uneasy about her boss’ strange behavior and points this out to her boyfriend, he shrugs it off by saying that his boss is a basically a good man and her job will make it easier for them to get the frills of setting up a family! What kind of quid pro quo is that pray?

Joy Mukherjee and Shubhra in Bengali Film HANGOVER
Joy Mukherjee and Shubhra in Bengali Film HANGOVER

Samaresh’s wife on the other hand, is aware of her husband’s roving eye and when she smells an affair between her husband and his secretary, she concocts a parallel affair with Rajeeb and is quite open about it. Samaresh sets a bumbling detective (Supriyo Dutta) to shadow her but the bumbling leads to bigger problems. When the detective takes the negatives to a studio, the studio owner is aghast to find that the pictures are actually those of his wife and her lover! All this is supposed to lead to guffaws in the audience but sadly, the few who had come to watch the film in a near-empty theatre did not seem to be in the mood for laughter.  Rajeeb and Mili have lots of song-and-dance scenes choreographed, picturised and positioned in the most unimaginative manner possible.

Prosenjit plays a character suited to his age perhaps for the first time in his middle age. He does his best to put in 100% in a badly written role but the director’s idea of giving him back his ‘Poshenjit’ image with terrible costumes in fantasy scenarios such as Superman in a black robe and half-mask Krissh style fighting street side goons single-handed, or dancing in the office’s annual function in the funniest wig imaginable and that spoils the top actor’s effort to inject some entertainment in his role.

Prosenjit as mannequin in Hangover
Prosenjit as mannequin in Hangover

The climax is shot in Mandarmoni, a resort owned and managed by the producers of the film. It is a dramatic climax with wife Chandana chasing her sad husband to the sea resort. Samaresh has hired the services of a would-be actress to profess his love for his wife who overhears the conversation from outside and is no longer angry. But when the willing-to-show-her-all girl comes to ask for her money, he is trapped again. Caught red-handed, Samaresh is about to fall over the cross-bridge. But he does not. He is speechless when he finds a sizzling Rituparna rising from the waves in a transparent sarong and top. The irrepressible Samaresh winks and this could have made the saving grace of a closure for a badly made film. But the script goes on dragging for a few more feet till you can hear the sounds of shuffling feet walking out of the theatre. But then, Samaresh-s wife Chandana has decided to turn the tables on her husband – she becomes the CEO and her husband is the secretary.

Shubhra is not good to look at but is promising as the wife, trying to infuse some dignity into the character. Biplab Chatterjee might not have been there in the script at all and no damage would have been done to an already damaged film. Shayantani has little to do but look pretty which she does. Joy Mukherjee is just the chocolate boy with a moral problem he is supposed to be. He is too baby-faced to look serious. Supriyo Dutta is wasted as the detective and so is Subhashish Mukherjee as the funny peon.

Prosenjit Joy and Sayantika in Hangover
Prosenjit Joy and Sayantika in Hangover

The musical score by Bappa Lahiri, son of Bappie Lahiri, is hardly worth writing about and so are the lyrics. Roy takes potshots at the trend of producers of Bengali films taking their cast and crew to foreign jaunts to shoot song sequences. One song scene from Om Shanti Om has been plagiarized with producers, directors, actors and all strutting into the song for a tribute to Bengali cinema that looks more like a shameless and badly smudged copy of a Hindi number. The dialogues are almost vulgar at times. Visuals are often indecent. In the last scene, Samaresh drops his pen deliberately, then crawsl under the table to retrieve it to have a peek at Mili’s thighs. He repeats this when he is secretary and his wife is the boss. She comes to office wearing a slit skirt. He crawls under the table and so does the wife, telling him, “You have seen these legs many times,” and laughs. One cannot imagine anything more vulgar than this.  The editing leaves room for improvement. The cinematography, with due respects to Premendu Bikash ChakiSheth Pathorer Thala is also wanting and digital images in some scenes tend to break up into shadowy jigsaw puzzles. It is very sad to find a meaningful filmmaker like Prabhat Roy who gave us films like that won the National Award, Shedin Choitromash that featured in the Indian Panorama and a super duper hit like Laathi slide down the ladder of both aesthetics and social relevance.

by Shoma A. Chatterji

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