FIRST LOOK: Bengali Movie JODI EKDIN – RIINGO’S NEW TWIST ON RELATIONSHIPS
Riingo made his directorial debut with Kranti, a commercial action flick, followed by Neel Rajar Deshe, an adventure film for children. His third, Love, was a Bengali relocation of the eternal Love Story. His last release was Risk starring Rituparna Sengupta that released in November 2009. Riingo has a solid background in advertising – 13 years of which five years were with Grey Worldwide. His films have three things in common – one, brilliant cinematography; two, mesmerising backdrops; and three, different plots, themes and storylines. The critics do not love his films very much, but part of the audience does. He has gone one step ahead with his new film Jodi Ekdin, based on the complexities that evolve in a live-in relationship in contemporary urban society.
Databazaar Media Ventures, the media arm of USA’s leading online printer supplies retailer Databazaar.com, acquired the distribution rights of JODI EKDIN and will be releasing the film all over USA and Canada.
Jodi Ekdin has Indranil Sengupta and Priyanka Sarkar playing the two main leads supported by Shaheb Chatterjee in an important role. Indraneil sports a different look and this gives his character an edge. Priyanka looks more mature than she does in her other films and shows the maturity her role demands. It is not the kind of bubbly-spoilt-little-rich-girl image she generally carries in her mainstream films. Others in the cast are Biplab Roy Dasgupta, Rii and Robi Ranjan Moitra. The film introduces Joy Sarkar as music director. From what we got to hear of the background score, the music is mesmerising. The lyrics are by Anindya Chatterjee and Chandril of Bengali band “Chandrabindoo“. They won the National Award for Best Lyrics for 2008. Jodi Ekdin is produced by Orion Entertainment along with Purnendu and Nilakhi Roy. Three-time National Award winner Shreya Ghoshal has lent her voice to three song tracks without charging a paisa.
The film has a rich visual texture with magical frames one will tend to carry outside the theatre. There is an outdoor scene showing Neil and Nikita swinging away on an improvised swing hanging from the branches of a tree. On the other side of the frame, the camera captures the back of a scarecrow against the backdrop of an azure blue sky. Another shot shows a queue of people moving rhythmically, shot in silhouette against a glorious sunset. One more scene – The focus is on a gigantic tree with its branches spread out in the centre of the frame. On one side, Neil side, Neil is sitting on a bench under the tree, his back to the camera caught in a mid-long shot, spelling out his loneliness.
“In love, everyone deserves a second chance.” This is the bottom line of Riingo’s new film based on the fragility of human relationships, especially those that involve two people in love. “It’s a déjà vu film about how relationships take a back seat in today’s fast life when all of us are running after making a fortune. Jodi Ek Din is a soothing film that any one can relate to. Relationships are fragile today. We are too busy chasing fame and fortune and our dear one is always taken for granted. What happens if one day you realize your beloved has disappeared for good? Are you ready for a second chance?” Riingo asks, not expecting an answer because he has suggested the answer in his film.
Neil Basu (Indranil Sengupta) and Nikita Choudhury (Priyanka Sarkar) are in a live-in relationship. Nikita leaves her flourishing career as a jingle singer in Mumbai to come and live with Neil in Kolkata. Neil is an ad guy. He is working very hard for a presentation that can make him the vice president of the company. With mounting pressures at work, Neil and Nikita fall apart. Nikita never complains about her loneliness until something happens that changes their lives. This one day is the Jodi Ekdin (If One Day) that shall take viewers on a journey of love, life and destiny.
One day, Neil and Nikita have a big fight. Nikita leaves home. She meets with an accident that leads to her death. Her absence makes Neil realise the value of her presence in his life. He begins to miss her terribly. This loss is almost unbearable when he comes back from work into the empty apartment filled with her touch, smell, memories and conversations everywhere. One day, he chances upon the diary Nikita used to scribble her thoughts into. He reads about all her unfulfilled desires. He suddenly hears a voice asking him why he was reading her diary. It was obviously a nightmare. But as he wakes up and the day begins to roll on, he finds that everything he had seen in the dream come alive. Scared that the day would end with Nikita’s death as he saw in the dream, he thinks of doing everything Nikita wrote in her diary about her unfulfilled desires.
“It is happier to give in love than to take,” says Nikita once. The character played by Shaheb is full of intrigue. He talks about the three steps one has to follow in magic tricks. The first is promise, the second is to tell the truth and the third remains a mystery because it takes a lot of courage to step into this unknown territory. The music carries over this mystique in the story because it is magical in the background score. Riingo has written the story and script, edited, cinematographed and directed Jodi Ekdin. “I find it easier to take on all these departments myself because as I am shooting, I am mapping the film and because I edit it too, it makes my task that much easier.”
“After the Internet exposure and information overload added to satellite entertainment, viewers are open to new and radical ideas they might not have approved of before. This has opened a new window for filmmakers to explore new genres. Relationship is not a new genre at all. But the kind of relationship I have explored in Jodi Ekdin is different. We are speaking on things like a live-in relationship,” says Riingo in his parting shot.
Jodi Ekdin is scheduled for release on April 14, which happens to be Bengali New Year’s Day.
by Shoma A. Chatterji