Dec 7, 2011 (Calcutta Tube): Jaani Dyakha Hawbe is a 2011 Bengali movie directed by Birsha Dasgupta with Anjan Dutt, Mamata Shankar, Roopa Ganguly, Parambrato Chatterjee, Payal Sarkar, Shiboprosad Mukherjee and others in the cast. Read the Bengali film review at Calcutta Tube.
JAANI DYAKHA HAWBE – NEITHER HERE NOR THERE
Producer: Namit Bajoria
Associate Producer: Captain Virendra Marya
Direction: Birsa Dasgupta
Story, Screenplay, Dialogues: Ansuman Chakraborty
Music: Indradeep Dasgupta & Neel Dutt
Lyrics: Srijato & Ansuman Chakraborty
Background Score: Indraadip Dasgupta
Cinematography: Shirsha Ray
Edit: Bodhaditya Banerjee
Production Design: Ansuman Chakraborty
Cast: Anjan Dutt, Mamata Shankar, Roopa Ganguly, Parambrato Chatterjee, Payal Sarkar, Shiboprosad Mukherjee, and Debranjan Nag
Date of release: 25th November 2011
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Jaani Dyakha Hawbe is the maiden production of Cine Nine, a new one-stop shop for cinema. It was promoted as a musical romance with lots of fun and entertainment. What begins as a sweet love story in a hep Kolkata bookstore with lovely songs and music, loses focus half-way when Hiya (Payal Sarkar) and Megh (Parambrato Chatterjee) decide to part ways over a minor squabble. Hiya’s attempts at making a career out of modelling are thwarted by the skirt-chasing, pretending-to-be-hot-shot fashion photographer Pat (Shiboprosad Mukherjee). Megh, intent on music as a career finds Meenakshi (Roopa Ganguly), creative head of a music company who, besotted by this much younger man, helps him cut his first album.
Hiya and Megh’s love story ends happily thanks to several out-of-the-box characters who put their heads together to solve the schism. These out-of-the-box characters bring the film to life in the second half. Ishwar Gupta (Anjan Dutt) is the estranged lover of Nirupama (Mamata Shankar), Megh’s relative. He did not have the guts to marry his girlfriend and suffers for his cowardice. He can do little sleights of hand, does not have money but manages to sponge off others. The security guard (Debranjan Nag) can detect the gender of visitors from the perfume they wear or do not wear. Once Ishwar arrives on the scene, the guard takes French leave and goes gallivanting with Ishwar. Mac Dee, a la Makhan Charan Das (Arijit Dutta) a strange character who is everywhere and knows everyone joins them in their pursuit. Each of them, led by Anjan Dutt and Debranjan Nag are a delightful blend of the real and the surreal, of fun and frolic with some nostalgia thrown in through a torn, black-and-white, faded photograph of Nirupama as a young woman. You know who was there in the other half. Ishwar’s dialogue is brilliant. The same cannot be said for the rest.
The other also-rans are Pat, the loud-mouthed, stylish photographer who, out-of-the-blue, is depicted as a molester and would-be rapist just to bring in the rescue act by the three musketeers. Shiboprosad is given a raw deal when his character is reduced to resemble the outdated villain in old Hindi films. Anindita does a wonderful job through powerful body language and mobile face. Roopa Ganguly, Kanchan Mullick, Mithu Chakraborty and Biswajit Chakraborty are completely wasted in this could-have-been-love-story script. Mamata is excellent.
Birsa uses two dream scenes as a framing device. Each dream features Hiya and Megh in the same ambience of snow-capped mountains, scary rocks but in a different time-setting. The dream scenes with brazenly synthetic sets are probably pot-shots taken at mainstream Bengali films shot in actual foreign locales. Payal Sarkar is made up too heavily in some scenes while Parambrato tries his best but remains less convincing than he could have been.
Shirsa Ray’s camera is very good on the terrace of the dilapidated old building that offers a view of the city from above; or; the scene that marks the dramatic entry of Anjan Dutt, captured in a huge silhouette from the back with arms spread out, set against the golden yellow horizon – overdone, perhaps, but effective. The best shots are when Mac Dee, Ishwar and the security guy jaywalk into the night through narrow lanes between old tramcars waiting for oblivion; or, when Ishwar catches a glimpse of Nirupama looking at him sadly through the rain-leashed window of her taxi as he waits to cross the road with suitcase in hand. But the huge close-ups of Megh lying in bed with his feet pointed at the camera are uncomfortable. The editing lacks rhythm but so does the script. Indraadeep Dasgupta’s musical score, Anshuman Chakraborty and Srijato’s significant lyrics and Koushiki’s love voice are the highest points of the film.
Inspite of minor hiccups redeemed by the cameo characters, by design or otherwise, Jaani Dyakha Hawbe would have spelt real entertainment. But it suffers from an overload of cinematic references that fail to jell into the script. Examples are – the theme song of the film is carried over from Megh’s ring tone jo waada kiya to aana padega from Taj Mahal (1963); the brass badge bearing number 786 Ishwar carries that saves him is picked from Deewar; Megh gifts Hiya with a miniature Taj Mahal -an ode to the old film and the legendary love story; Ishwar keeps borrowing Rs.100 because he only has “thousand rupee notes” rings a familiar bell from the character he played in Madly Bangalee.. Postmodernism is okay but not at the cost of the love story gone awry.
– Shoma A. Chatterji