SARA RAAT (2010) Bengali Movie Review

Shinjini-Sara Raat Bengali Film
Shinjini-Sara Raat Bengali Film

SARA RAAT is a 2010 Bengali film directed by Ranjitmal Kankaria starring Shinjinwi, Abhik, Anuripa, Mrinal Mukherjee and others. Enjoy the complete film review of SARA RAAT at CalcuttaTube.

Cast and Crew:

  • Story: Sailajananda Mukhopadhyay
  • Produced and directed by: Ranjitmal Kankaria
  • Screenplay: Partha Banerjee
  • Cast: Shinjini, Abhik, Anuripa, Mrinal Mukherjee
  • Rating: 2/10

Review: SARA RAAT – MUCH ROOM FOR IMPROVEMENT

Sailajananda Mukhopadhyay was a noted Bengali littérateur. His original novel Sara Raat (The Whole Night) was penned in 1959 and turned out to be one of his most popular works because it was futuristic at a time when wives were rarely more educated than their husbands. It was also a much debated novel because of its way of looking at husband-wife relationships. The story goes that Uttam Kumar had once expressed a wish to play the protagonist Shankar if it were ever made into a film. Alas! Uttam Kumar has left us 30 years ago and we are left with a half-baked attempt at a celluloid representation of the story more than six decades later.

Shankar (Abhik) is an 8th standard drop-out who is the do-gooder Robin Hood of the neighbourhood. He whiles away his time and energy leading the local gang of unruly youths, lording over the neighbourhood club and building up his body to be able to flex his muscles at one go. His family inheritance has been snatched by his uncle who drives him out of the family home along with his widowed mother. This is some new kind of Robin Hood who does not blink before kidnapping a groom from a neighbouring village because he has demanded a hefty dowry. The same Shankar however, throws his principles in the air when he demands Rs.5000 from his mother-in-law though the girl he marries is a graduate! A rising conflict with a childhood friend finds Shankar in prison. His mother kills herself in shock and his wife Indrani (Shinjini) leaves him out of shame. The story goes on from one melodramatic twist to another, exaggerating episodes in the original novel so much that the film becomes an entity unto itself.

The characterizations are paper-thin and contradictory at every point. The uncle who drives Shankar out turns out to be am affectionate, quiet and nice guy when Shankar comes back to claim his share of the property. Shankar does some good work for the people of the village he shifts to such as opening up a free dispensary, helping in building up a proper road and a school. But he remains as irresponsible as ever towards his family. If Indrani left him for his irresponsible and callous behaviour, how does she accept him in the end? The film is not a patch on Mukhopadhyay’s original novel with its timeless quality and futuristic perspective. It is simply a melodrama with holes another film could easily slip through. A few Tagore songs are a welcome relief. Both Shinjini and Aniripa who plays Jaya, the new woman in Shankar’s life, appear stiff and need to work very hard indeed on their diction. Abhik’s English on the other hand, is too good to be true considering his rural backdrop and his eighth-standard education. Thankfully, the author is no longer around to watch the tragedy his work is reduced to.

by: Shoma A. Chatterji

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