Sept 28, 2011(Calcutta Tube): Keloda in Kashmir is a 2011 Bengali film written and directed by Sanghamitra Choudhury with Pallavi Chatterjee, Joyjit, Shankar, Priyanka Banerjee and others in the cast. Read the Bengali movie review at Calcutta Tube.
KELODA IN KASHMIR- FAILS TO IMPRESS
Banner: D.R. Entertainments
Produced by: Manojit Das and Rajesh Mukherjee
Story and direction: Sanghamitra Choudhury
Music: Soumya Bose
Editing: Ujjwal Mukherjee
D.O.P.: Bappa Dasgupta
Cast: Shankar, Pallavi Chatterjee, Joyjit, Priyanka Banerjee and Bhola Tamang as Kelo-da
Date of release: September 23, 2011
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[ReviewAZON asin=”B005M2ACFE” display=”inlinepost”]Kelo (Bhola Tamang) has a very young wife, Padmini. The two are very much in love and decide to go on a package tour of Kashmir. The film is transformed into a bus journey for a mixed pack of tourists from Kolkata with their individual stories of what made them take this holiday in the first place. The bus becomes a platform for the different tourists to mingle, argue, fight, tease and play around on the journey. But the film clearly lacks a proper script so the narrative goes haywire through the picturesque locations the film wanders across – Jammu, Shrinagar, Sonmarg, Gulmarg and Pahelgam.
It is clearly a touristy film aimed at throwing up beautiful visuals of this ‘Paradise’ on earth. But this also becomes the defeating point of the film. The story has some comedy elements heightened by casting Bhola Tamang in the title role and giving some funny punch lines to different characters. But this is quite limited. The middle-aged divorcee for instance says once that she is not afraid of terrorists because she has ‘lived with one for seven long years,’ and gets onto the bus. The sparring between Kelo and his wife lacks imagination and is tediously repetitive. Some of the peripheral characters on the bus journey are not explored even sketchily and this affects the film. The middle-aged divorcee who has an eye for young males could have been fleshed out for better meat for example. The three young boys hardly have any roles to mention even in a brief review.
The Kolkata segments used mainly as a framing device for the main narrative fail to round up to a cohesive whole partly rescued by the natural and spontaneous performance of Shankar Chakraborty as one of the girl’s older brother apart from the delightfully comic performance of Joyjit as the girl’s fiancé. Pallavi as Shankar’s wife is quite good. It is saddening that a story that had tremendous potential to become a hilarious road movie failed to live up to the promise it made in the beginning. Choudhury says, “I made the film quite casually while we were actually on a holiday trip to Kashmir.” This tells badly on the film because filmmaking – good, bad or very bad, is not to be approached casually ever. Choudhury should go slower in producing films as if from a conjuror’s hat, prepare a solid and good script, conduct workshops for the non-professional acting cast she ropes in, go location hunting before actually getting down to the shoot and then begin shooting. Post-production details also need to be worked out carefully.
– Shoma A. Chatterji