July 21, 2011 (Calcutta Tube): Actor Sohini Sengupta and new comer Samadarshi Dutta produces a brilliant performance in the psychological drama Icche presented by Rituparna Sengupta and produced by Jignesh Films.
The saga of the curious bond that exists between the mother and the son which can change from extreme affection to intense hatred had been penned by Suchitra Bhattacharya in her novel Iccher Gaach which has now been picturized in Icche by Nandita Roy and Sivaprasad Mukherjee.
The ambitious mother in Mamata clings to her son Soumik in whom she hopes to see the man that her husband could never be. Married at the age of twenty to Manas, whose sickly father didn’t remotely fill the place of his dead mother, there seemed nobody to whom this young girl on the brink of womanhood could affectionately demand anything. Maybe this was the cause or the unconditional love that a mother possesses; she wove an invisible shroud of affection over Soumik. The seemingly innocent whims to see her son leading in every competition soon turned into passionate obsession and the ordeal was almost always too much for the young child. Soon he started to revolt and on the verge of adolescence, the evolving man in Soumik started rebelling – at first secretly but very soon in the open. Squabbles become the order of the day but the incident that sparked off the conflict in a more formal note started as Mamata – to her utter dismay – accidentally came upon the love letters of her son and his classmate Debjani. A peculiar sense of insecurity seemed to grip the mother and soon she started snooping on Soumik’s private life. Without caring what her son felt and eager to regain control, Mamata brutally dealt with the matter and even went so far as to call on Debjani’s mother threatening her to restrain her daughter. Shocked and humiliated, a crestfallen Soumik vowed to her mother to discontinue the relation. Relieved and feeling that Soumik will now concentrate on a career of science and technology she was soon to be on the receiving end as on the day the joint entrance results were to be announced, Soumik confessed that he had bunked the exams. Soumik opted for comparative literature and as the college days progressed, another girl, a year junior to him, came to his life. This time Soumik was cautious and he introduced Jayanti to his mother and indirectly hinted at the relation. Always trying to prove Soumik wrong, a careful Mamata waited for an opportune moment for her next step. A chance encounter with Debjani and her mother at a mall soon turned the tide in her favour, or so she thought, as she now tried to reunite her son with his first love – all these just to prove that her decision always holds. Making it as unpleasant as she could for her son, Mamata was soon to learn the outcome of the folly as on his twenty first birthday – becoming legally adult – Soumik and Jayanti secretly contracted civil marriage. At the silence of night as he confided to Mamata of his marriage, Soumik declared his decision to leave for Bombay on a job leaving the mother stunned and distraught.
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[ReviewAZON asin=”B003M5P9GK” display=”inlinepost”]But was it not inevitable? What could Soumik do but to escape the mother whose increasing expectations for a perfect child had squeezed out the last bit of affection from him as he was suffocated in between her undue demands on the one hand and the natural process of evolution – so unique to each and everybody – on the other. In her delight as Soumik succeeded in humiliating his one year older and supposedly brilliant cousin in a round of intense quizzing and her anger when she found Soumik’s secret love she proved one thing for sure – in her desire to control her son to the fullest, she had overlooked the most important factor in his life and that was Soumik’s happiness. But is her nature too unfamiliar? Isn’t this the same in every other home in Bengal? Guiding the son towards a life which they could never lead Mamata represents those parents who feel to have the right in making every decision of their child’s life. Dreaming for a future of fame and enjoyment for their child they snatch the simple pleasures that kids get as they commit mistakes and learn from it. The insistence for perfection at every phase of his life is thus met with hostility and the gap only widens more between generations.
Thus Icche, the Bengali for wish, portrays the age old saga of the mother-son relation where the obsession of the parent clouds the natural evolution of the son and grinds the relation to dust.
Sohini Sengupta plays the role of the obsessed and over-protective Mamata in a manner that is simply outstanding. Perfecting in each and every act, she produces a performance that brings forth the character of Mamata in the best way possible. The love for the child, the concern during the exams, the feeling of insecurity as she finds her son slipping away from her grip and finally the utter despair that engulfs her as the son leaves – in each she plays the perfect mother that the movie demands. On the other hand she is equally natural during her wifely tete-a-tete with Manas and also during her banters with relatives and neighbours. Bratya Basu has skillfully complemented the character with the retired attitude of the mediocre Manas, satisfied with the life of an insurance officer, indifferent to family matters but always trying to maintain mutual respect between the mother and the son. But keeping these seasoned actors aside, Samadarshi Dutta as Soumik has excelled in his role. As he evolves from the hesitant but romantic school boy to the reckless undergraduate and finally to the determined individual, his acting is every bit natural and convincing. With Bidita Bag (Jayanti) and Ruplekha Mitra (Debjani) correctly cast in their respective supporting roles, the film is a must watch for film lovers. Soumik Halder’s cinematography has framed the domestic household of Bengal in their correct light and Moloy Laha’s editing has trimmed the film to perfection. The background score of Surojit harmonizes correctly with each mood and Anushe Anadil’s song with her cameo appearance provides an agreeable diversion in this intensely gripping storyline.
– Anirban De