Shesh Sanghat (2009) Bengali Movie Review

Shesh Sanghat is a 2009 Bengali Movie directed by Ashoke Viswanathan starring Jayaprada, Jackie Shroff, Chiranjit, Sabyasachi Chakraborty, Ashish Vidyarthy, Abhishek Chatterjee, Chandreyee Ghosh and more. Check out the review of Shesh Sanghat by Shoma A. Chatterji.

Shesh Sanghat (2009) Bengali Movie Review-Ratings-Casts-Preview-Stills
Shesh Sanghat is a 2009 Bengali Movie directed by Ashoke Viswanathan starring Jayaprada, Jackie Shroff, Chiranjit, Sabyasachi Chakraborty, Ashish Vidyarthy, Abhishek Chatterjee, Chandreyee Ghosh and more. Check out the review of Shesh Sanghat by Shoma A. Chatterji.

Jayaprada in Shesh Sanghat
Jayaprada in Shesh Sanghat

Credits:

  • Banner: Rainbow Jayaprada Entertainment
  • Proudcers: Ramesh Gandhi and Jayaprada
  • Story: Daseri Narayan Rao
  • Direction: Ashoke Viswanathan
  • Screenplay: Ashok Viswanathan and Alok Mukherjee
  • Cinematography: Vivek Banerjee
  • Editing: Debkanto Chakraborty
  • Art direction: Sudeep Bhattacharya
  • Choreography: Sukalyan Bhattacharya
  • Music: Bapi Lahiri
  • Action: Santanu Pal
  • Cast: Jayaprada, Jackie Shroff, Chiranjit, Sabyasachi Chakraborty, Ashish Vidyarthy, Abhishek Chatterjee, Chandreyee Ghosh, Sudipa Banerjee, Santu Mukherjee, Soma Mukherjee, N. Viswanathan, Rimjhim Mitra and Amar Singh, M.P. in a guest appearance.
  • Date of Release: 30th October 2009
  • Rating: 5/10
Shesh Sanghat marks the entry of Jayaprada into Bangla cinema after some years. She looks beautiful in the lead. The film, shot with Dolby sound and projected on cinemascope, is rich on production values within the framework of Bengali mainstream cinema. Ashoke Viswanathan, who honed his skills at the FTII, Pune and followed this up with National Awards for his first two films, Sunya Theke Suru (Return to Zero) and Kicchu Sanlaap Kicchu Prolaap (Dialogue and Delirium), takes a step ahead to negotiate his terms with commercial cinema.

The 150-minute film based on a story by Daseri Narayan Rao is relocated in Gangitkuli, an adivasi village the Bengal – Jharkhand border. The village is in the dictatorial grip of the local sarpanch, Ramanuj Pratap Singh (Ashish Vidyarthy) whose ancestors have appropriated the entire land that originally belonged to the adivasis of the area. A militant group that lives and trains in the forests nearby claim their land on the basis of the amendment in law in their favour. But Ramanuj, with the help of the local police, remains firm. He refuses to budge. He becomes an MP and moves to Delhi. This is the parallel storyline that runs alongside the main story and then merges to become one.

Raji (Sudipa Banerjee), a pretty young adivasi girl, is forced to work in Ramanuj’s home. Ramanuj rapes her. But he throws her out the minute he learns she is pregnant. When they come to him for help, he sends his goons to kill them all. Raji’s infant son is lost somewhere, her parents are killed in cold blood and Raji is rescued by an adivasi couple. She grows up to be a beautiful woman (Jayaprada) haunted by memories of the injustice done to her by Ramanuj and his men. Ramanuj’s son by a widowed mistress spots her, falls in love and proposes marriage. An unwilling Raji marries him but tells him that she was raped once by his father and also has a son by him. The shocked Chhote Sarkar (Abhishek Chatterjee) tries to shoot her down but is shot and killed in the scuffle. Ramanuj returns to kill Raji who he believes has killed his son. But the militant group rescues her and takes her in their fold where she also finds her lost son, now a little boy, brought up by the militants who found him in the forest. Raji helps them get back their land but she loses her little son in the process.

Shesh Sanghat Jayapradha and Chiranjeet October 25 2009
Shesh Sanghat Jayapradha and Chiranjeet October 25 2009

Shesh Sanghat unspools the same hackneyed rape-and-revenge saga of an avenging woman who loses everything just because she is beautiful, poor and weak. On the con side, one needs to negative the lengthy script that gets repetitive. The logic is all awry. This is okay for any mainstream film that urges you to leave your thinking cap outside. It is not okay for a saga that hitches on to the contemporary struggle of adivasis to regain land that rightfully belongs to them. Ramanuj reads Women’s Era in his spare time. The Bengali dialect that carries a heavy Jharkhandi accent works fine in the first half but almost disappears in the second half when most begin to speak normal, colloquial Bengali. Raji wears South Indian jewellery that stands out within a Bangla wedding. All characters except Raji seem to have downed some magic anti-ageing potion because they do not age over the 20-year span of the film.

On the pro side, one must commend the dynamic action the film spills over with. Rarely does a Bengali film lend itself to such unending action specially in a rural milieu. The action scenes are convincing, not usual in an average Bangla film. Bappi Lahiri’s music complete with six songs is a big plus point, complemented by excellent choreography by Sukalyan Bhattacharya. Jayaprada and Sudipta Banerjee smoothly slip into Raji’s many-shaded character but for the crows’ feet visible in close-ups of Jayaprada. Chiranjit as the leader of the militants, who disguises himself as a wandering minstrel strumming songs on his ektara, is his usual theatrical self. Jackie Shroff, Abhishek Chatterjee, Sabyasachi Chakraborty and Pallavi Chatterjee in brief cameos are a sheer waste in terms of their significance and their histrionic experience. Ashish Vidyarthy is relatively restrained thanks to the director. But he still tends to overact and ham too much. The art direction is credible but the locations are not as the ‘jungle’ is a mere apology for militants to hide.

Jayaprada is almost in every frame of the film and that could be its undoing at the box office. But Viswanathan has proved that he can make a masala film if the producer gives him the freedom to act on his own.

Shesh Sanghat Jayaprada and Ashish Vidyarthy
Shesh Sanghat Jayaprada and Ashish Vidyarthy
Shesh Sanghat Bengali Movie Independent Review by Anirban De

It was with high hopes that I entered the hall to watch the bollywood big shots bringing their glorious acting to enrich a regional movie but alas, the acting was of no avail as the whole drama had the biggest mistake of depending on the veterans to pose as young guns. The storyline by Daseri Narayan Rao, though an old one, had the recipe for an ideal action movie but it really required young blood to carry out the show.

The graceful Jayaprada, beautiful as anyone can be, has passed that age when she played the part of the tender girl blossoming in the early years of womanhood and no matter how much the make up team had tried but the maturity of her face could not be masked at all. Sabysachi, an otherwise outstanding actor, is also far too old for serious action and the same applies for Chiranjit as well. The only two persons that were correctly portrayed according to the story and also played their part with perfection were Ashish Vidyarthi as the cruel and ruthless Zamindar and Santu Mukherjee as the opportunist villager. Mention must also be made of Pallavi and Chandreyi Ghosh’s supporting roles as with Rimjhim’s brief performance that breathed some life to the movie. Jackie Shroff had a limited scope only and thus didn’t leave any impression in the viewer’s mind.

The only thing that is worth mentioning of the movie is its music with Bapi Lahiri’s golden touch and so is the cinematography by Vivek Banerjee which also deserves special applause.

The story starts with a cruel and ruthless Zamindar Ramanuj Pratap whose love of the flesh took toll of several girls’ honour. One of them was Raji with whom he had an illegitimate son. In order to keep his own reputation unblemished, Ramanuj ordered the death of Raji, her parents and the newborn. But though Ramanuj’s savage henchmen tried killing them but Raji and the son had a miraculous escape and on the one hand, the unconscious Raji was rescued by a local family while on the other, the child was taken up by a band of outlaws, fighting for the cause of the local tribes with the aim of recovering their lost land from the clutches of Ramanuj and the corrupt Government workers. Raji’s new life apparently promised of a secured future but this too was shattered as years later, her beauty was spotted by Ramanuj’s son who desperately wanted to marry her. Again a violent sequence of events ensued and this time Raji managed to have a close shave of life and found both shelter and her lost son with the band of the outlaws. She was trained to be a fighter herself and soon she took the post of the faction’s leader. Their mission was to bring justice for the villagers and also to bring to justice the villain Ramanuj and his evil allies. Thus the rest part of the story was this fight for justice that took innumerable lives with finally the good winning over the bad.
Though the storyline was old, but several directors have scored well following the same line but using a more fitting cast. The picture was marred with inaccuracies too, a few of which I’m just highlighting. When Ramanuj’s son was killed by a bullet fired from his revolver, in the night of his marriage, the sound did not wake up a single soul though the house had been shown to be closely watched by several guards. Then again though Raji was shown growing up from a teenager to the early years of womanhood, the age of the other villagers seemed to have come to a standstill. That Raji waited for the marriage with Ramanuj’s son to be over before revealing the truth about his father also eludes any rationale. It is revealed that when Ramanuj’s henchmen were attacking Raji and her newborn child at the earlier part of the movie, the outlaws were nearby, but it again seems so incorrect for these apparently brave fighters not to come to her rescue but only saving the baby only after he is cut and thrown in the woods. These, along with several others, add up to the dissatisfaction of the serious audience as is apparent from the size of the crowd in the 2nd day with vacant seats outnumbering the filled ones.

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