PREMER KOTHA KOLI – POWERFUL STORY, TECHNICALLY WEAK; Shoma A. Chatterji
- Direction: Aloke Kumar Roy
- Producer: Suraksha
- Presented by: Sujay Mukherjee and Purple Motion Pictures
- Camera: Debashish Roy
- Editing: M. Sushmit
- Story: Mayukh Chatterjee
- Script: Sadhan Pal
- Cast: Arjun Chakraborty, Dolon Roy, Pallabi Chatterjee, Shantilal Mukherjee, Arunima Ghosh, Dronn Mukerjee, Nibedita Chatterjee and Locket Chatterjee
- Rating: 03/10
Aloke Kumar Roy has taken up a very bold and radical subject Bengali mainstream generally does not like to touch. It is about an adulterous affair between Koli (Dolon Roy) a married woman with Prem (Dronn Mukherjee), a young man much younger than she is and a bachelor to boot. We saw it in Dil Chahta Hai, Freaky Chakra and Somnath Sen’s Leela. In Bengali, the all-time archival film remains Aparna Sen’s Parama.
Premer Kotha Koli is a name simply picked from the names of the three main characters of the film – Prem, the hero, Koli, the married woman he has an affair with and Kotha (Arunima Ghosh), her step daughter. Koli is a bored, very affluent housewife depressed because her husband (Arjun Chakraborty) has no time for her. She feels a tremendous physical pull towards the young man Prem when she sees him rising from the waves of the sea at Digha, his wet shirt dripping with water and seduces him into a passionate affair that is more physical than emotional. The two continue to ride on the waves of passion till Prem’s affectionate sister-in-law Protima (Pallabi Chatterjee) drills some sense into him. By then the very young and spoilt Kotha appears on the scene and falls in love with Prem who resists her advances initially but then surrenders. The song-dance sequences between the two pairs of lovers leave no footprint of aesthetics.
All hell breaks loose when the broken affair between Koli and Prem is out in the open. A jealous and possessive Koli is hell-bent on driving a wedge between the young lovers, in vain. The lovers are united at last on the day of Kotha’s engagement – to whom, remains uncertain. One is not quite sure whether Koli commits suicide or whether her husband has poisoned her as he claims. By then, one has lost interest in the film that began with the electrically charged affair. The plethora of badly choreographed and shot intimate scenes in hotels between the lovers ends rather tamely. There is no sizzle in the scenes that could have been crowd-pulling chemistry.
There is no fire in the affair between the younger couple – Prem and Kotha either, spoilt all the more by Dronn’s insipid acting. He has a wooden, chubby face and badly needs to train moving his facial muscles before he can face the camera again. Dolon is okay but sometimes, her weariness comes through the heavy layers of make-up and bizarre costumes. It was a role of a lifetime she had but it turned out to be a sheeer waste.
Arjun Chakraborty as Koli’s husband carries on secret conversations with his own daughter with such mysterious air that one feels the girl is his young friend ‘on the side.’ This leaves a bad taste behind because as it turns out, Kotha is his own daughter. He is okay. Shantilal Mukherjee as Prem’s brother and Pallabi as his wife are convincing in the brief roles they are called upon to play. It is Arunima Ghosh who, with her bubbly performance wins the hearts of the audience.
The music, except those few lines of a Tagore song used as a mood-centric refrain, is unimpressive. The editor had no work because for a change of scene, the editor simply had to insert a frame of the Digha Sea. The camera did not venture into anything beyond the mundane. It is a pity that Aloke Kumar Roy’s well-intentioned film based on a strong storyline came to nothing beyond a few badly done steamy scenes between the elderly beauty and her young lover.