March 7, 2011 (Calcutta Tube): Punoruthhan is a 2011 Bengali film directed by Rishi Mukherjee with Rituparna Sengupta, Priyangshu Chatterjee, Victor Banerjee, Sabyasachi Chakraborty and others in the cast. Read the Bengali movie review at Calcutta Tube.
PUNORUTHHAN – RESURRECTION?
Producer: Pailan Group
Presented by: Auprba Production Pvt Ltd
Story: Apurba Saha
Script and direction: Rishi Mukherjee
D.O.P.: Rana Dasgupta
Editor: Rabi Ranjan Moitra
Cast: Victor Banerjee, Soma Dey, Rituparna Sengupta, Sabyasachi Chakraborty, Priyangshu Chatterjee, Rajesh Sharma, Kharaj Mukherjee, Biswajit Chakraborty, Dolon Roy, Kunal Padhi, Punyadarshan Gupta, Raza Murad, Indrajeet, Jopomala, Abhishek, Priyanka and Reema Lagu.
Date of release: March 4 2011
Rating: 06 / 10
Punoruthhan opens with the downfall of Mahendra Mullick’s (Victor Banerjee) empire comprised of his huge business in potato flakes and his massive residential mansion. This was made possible by the manipulations of his sister’s (Dolon Roy) husband Bikram (Rajesh Sharma) who lives in the same house as a ghar jamai but works as a dalaal with Mullick’s arch rivals Bajoria, Kanoria and Agarwal who have plans to buy off the entire Mullick property when it is placed on auction. At the penultimate moment, Ambika Das (Sabyasachi Chakraborty) steps in to bid the highest price. But to everyone’s surprise, he gives back the entire property to the Mullick family. He represents Siddhartha (Priyangshu Chatterjee) who, unknown to the Mullicks, is Sujata (Reema Lagu)’s son. When in US for higher studies, Mahendra had fallen in love with Sujata but had to return when Sujata was expecting his child. He was forced by his father to marry Sabitri (Soma Dey), a girl of their choice. Sabitri is Sujata’s older sister. How Siddhartha with the help of his lawyer Ambika rescues the family from the clutches of the Marwari businessmen, reunites with his father, falls in love with Mahendra’s adopted daughter Dona (Rituparna Sengupta) and makes his two misguided step-brothers Kanchan and Kuntal realise their mistake marks the happy end.
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In a multi-starrer, with characters popping out every other minute, no character has the space to take on flesh and blood and be invested with the shades that run between black and white. No actor worth his weight on celluloid has much opportunity to explore his talents. So, the characters are neatly positioned on either side of the black-and-white stick. The Kanorias, Bajorias and Agarwals, including Bikram are all pitch black. Mahendra Mullick’s family, including the poor Sabitri who dies off early to make place for Sujata later, is lily white. Mahendra’s two sons, Kanchan and Kuntal, are black as they ditch their father when he needs them the most. Also white is Ambika, Siddharth’s razor-sharp lawyer. But good actors such as Victor Banerjee, Priyangshu Chatterjee and Rituparna Sengupta, are utterly wasted in minor roles. However all of them do justice within the confined space they are given. It is a pleasure to watch Sabyasachi and Rajesh Sharma come out with flying colours in the substantial footage they enjoy. Reema Lagu is controlled in a small but important role and Priyangshu is a picture of low-key acting.
The film seems to have begun with a hidden message that zeroes in on the unscrupulous business strategies of the Marwari businessmen that an honest Bengali industrialist like Mullick cannot match. Ambika keeps repeating that the idleness of the Bengalis has led to the rise of this unscrupulous community in West Bengal. But this conflict is lost when Bikram shows that though Bengali, he can sell his soul and his do-gooders mercilessly or when the Bengali father (Biswajit Chakraborty) of Kanchan (Abhishek)’s wife (Priyanka) manipulates the kidnapping of his own daughter in order to usurp the Mullick property through marriage.
The cinematographer and the editor do not have much choice to play around with their technique in this Hindi-Bengali film. Too many songs, positioned very badly, spoil the flow of the film never mind the Ravindra Jain tag. The choreography is pathetic. Poor Indrajeet is wasted in a meaningless role while Kharaj Mukherjee adds a bit of fun. The film falls back on the wonderful and popular Tagore number purano shei diner kotha that begins like a theme song and closes in its English translation (Gopinath Mukherjee) superfluous as the song auld lang syne is already there. One glaring anomaly is – why were Mahendra and Sujata married at a church wedding through Catholic rituals when her sister is shown to be Hindu?
– Shoma A. Chatterji