Shob Charitro Kalponik (2009)-Bengali Movie
Shob Charitro Kalponik (2009) is a Bengali Movie by Rituparno Ghosh with Bipasha Basu, Prosenjit, Jisshu Sengupta, Pauli Dam. The film is to be shown in different film festivals.
Review1: SHOB CHARITRO KALPONIK – DEATH MARKS A BEGINNING
by: Shoma A. Chatterji
Banner: Big Pictures
Story, screenplay and direction: Rituparno Ghosh
Cinematography: Soumik Haldar
Music: Sanjoy and Raja Narayan Deb
Editing: Arghya Kamal Mitra
Cast: Prosenjit, Bipasha Basu, Jisshu Sengupta, Paoli Dam, Sohag Sen
Date of release: August 28, 2009
Death has been beaten to death in hundreds of Indian films as a sentimental device to evoke audience sympathy, as a strategy to shock, to create suspense, but mainly to mark the end of a relationship. Rituparno Ghosh’s Shob Charitro Kalponik is a different take on death within cinema.
The story is from Radhika’s (Bipasha Basu) point of view. Positioned within a flashback where characters move back and forth in time, place and universe, the stress is on the fast-eroding relationship between Radhika and her husband Indraneel (Prosenjit) two good human beings. Their dynamically opposite ideology, language and upbringing creates a crack that pushed to the edge, drives Radhika to confide to her colleague-boyfriend Shekhar (Jisshu Sengupta) that she will divorce Indraneel. Just then, Radhika, who is in Jamshedpur is told that Indraneel has died of a heart attack. Her world collapses. She rushes back to find the flat decorated with white flowers, his garlanded photograph, his body prostrate, dressed in white, minus the mandatory growth on his now clean-shaven chin. “Who shaved him?” she asks, to no one in particular. Memories flood in. She hated that unkempt beard because it hurt. For Radhika, it is the beginning of another journey with a husband who is no more. A tributary function in memory of Indraneel, who had recently won a top literary award, tells her that his poetry was soaked with memories they shared as husband and wife.
These flashbacks are framed within the glass pane of a moving train, when Radhika and Indraneel are going to Kolkata after an arranged marriage. In the last frame, Radhika is going away from Kolkata. Her bejeweled hand touching the window glass in the opening frame tells us she is newly married. The single bangle on her bare hand in the final frame shows she is alone. But is she? Another hand, a man’s, comes up beside her’s.
[ReviewAZON asin=”B000KPXG9M” display=”inlinepost”]As she listens to his poetry recited by noted poets and elocutionists, a unique bonding evolves between a husband now with her not in the flesh, but in spirit and in emotion and a wife who is alive, physically and metaphorically. The camera flashes back in time to recapture precious moments of togetherness within their volatile relationship where Radhika is not even aware that there is a poet hidden inside her yet does not care for her husband quitting his good job for his poetry. She discovers the spirit of her dead husband beside her not as a ghost, but a blend of all that he was when he was alive and all that she wanted him to be – her companion in life and beyond death. There is a passing reference to Indraneel having ‘lifted’ a poem Radhika had written in English she discovers after he is dead, which raises questions about the authenticity of his other poems. But instead of taking the argument forward, the film concentrates on Radhika’s slow and sure metamorphosis after Indraneel’s death. In a moving scene, during a heated quarrel, Indraneel ferrets out a gift package from Radhika’s purse. He removes the wrapper hesitantly to find a Mont Blanc pen, with an endearing note to him for the literary prize, completely lost in the fight.
Prosenjit as Indraneel and Bipasha Basu as Radhika are mind-blowing. They look beautiful, stripped completely of the glamour of their conventional screen image. Jisshu Sengupta as Shekhar is controlled. Sohag Sen as the maid with her sympathy spread over both husband and wife is outstanding in a rare screen appearance. Soumik Haldar’s cinematography plays around with whites and light blues beautifully in a colour film and yet captures the lush green mantle of enchantment Nature presents in the outdoor scenes. Arghya Kamal Mitra’s editing meets the challenge of a complicated structure efficiently while the Sanjoy-Raja Narayan Deb duo have invested the film with a rich musical score added to with a number by the legendary Lalon Phokir.
Death in Shob Charitra Kalponik is a bond that transcends the finiteness of life. It functions as a leveler for Radhika, the English-speaking, no-nonsense, practical, working wife brought up in distant Jamshedpur and Indraneel, a talented poet rooted to Kolkata and to his Bengali identity, irresponsible and indifferent to the responsibilities that marriage entails. After Indraneel’s death, Radhika is absorbed by illusions and fantasies about him, his death, his poetry, and finally, by his emotional presence beside her stripped of his worldly self. The prize goes to Rituparno Ghosh for giving us a film that grows on us with time as we take it out with us outside the theatre.
Review2: SHOB CHARITRO KALPONIK
by: Anirban De
Rituparno Ghosh once again mesmerizes us with his unique creation of “Shob Choritro Kalponik” that translated in English means all characters are imaginary. But is that really so? Indraneel, an engineer by profession but a poet to the core who does not hesitate to leave his job to continue his literary pursuit is the all too familiar eccentric and romantic Bengali youth who had, since time immemorial, indulged in their passion without caring for a defined lifestyle. So is Indraneel’s wife, Radhika, lovingly referred to as Rai by her husband, who reflects the well-known practical minded working lady brought up outside Bengal, whose adoration to her husband slowly changes to that of intense irritation as she finds their social life engulfed in Indraneel’s poetry. The character of Shekhar, Radhika’s colleague and silent lover, whose respect and admiration for the poet prevents him to exert his right of love and sympathy for Radhika even after Indraneel’s death is also very real and can also be found in numbers in the Bengali society. The list doesn’t stop here but we find the maid, Nandar Ma (Nanda’s mother) representing that sincere class whose service to the family they live with is more genuine than many near and dear ones which not only cost their identity but also their name, Priyabala in this case, too wears out in the process.
So with these real characters Rituparno has woven a fabric of fiction that can also be considered a study in poetry where emotions intertwine to create an apparently complex structure that ultimately unfolds in fascinating and absolute revelations with clearer insight into each individual’s character.
The story starts to evolve in the memorial function of Indraneel where through the recitation of Neel’s verses by the elites of the literary world, Radhika seems to rediscover her husband. Memories stream in her mind as she could relate those everyday events, which seemed so insignificant earlier, that had found entirely new meanings in Neel’s poetries. These set her mind further back in the past as she remembers the early days of their conjugal life when conflicting events raised doubts in her mind as to Neel’s feelings towards her. On the one hand Neel would try to soothe her when she got annoyed by the Bengali edicts to be followed during marriage but on the other hand the apparently caring husband would completely forget the wife in the waiting taxi as he became engrossed in discussion about his new poetry with an eminent litterateur. But the slow and sure process of adaptation in Radhika seemed to reach the limit when Neel declared quitting his job following his reception of a prestigious award. Radhika’s dream of a secured life suffered a serious jolt by this and she felt embittered by Neel’s whims and their gradually deteriorating financial condition. Soon after news came of Radhika’s mother suffering a stroke, but this serious news too slipped his mind and Neel forgot to convey the message to Radhika. This seemed the death blow to their relation and in Jamshedpur, as her mother recovered from her illness, Radhika conferred with Shekhar as to a possible divorce. But fate delivered a cruel blow with Neel suddenly succumbing to a deadly stroke and once again Radhika seemed to sink in the depths of despair.
But the memorial function brought fresh hopes in her mind as the seemingly unfamiliar Neel started to blossom in a more humane way through his works and in the process Radhika discovered the true woman in herself. That she was also inspired by Neel’s writings had already been hinted at and so when she found Neel had ‘lifted’ her poem and was on the verge of shaping it in the lines of a prose it infuriated her in the same way as a creator gets angered at finding his original idea being stolen by a person in the same profession. Thus though she showed a fleeting doubt at the originality of Neel’s rest of the works but these seemed to endear her more and more towards her husband who lived no more. She gradually could identify herself with the fictitious Kajari, the protagonist in several of Neel’s works, and this convinced her of his sincere feelings towards herself. As she got more and more absorbed in the verses these seemed to offer her the much needed comfort and companionship which had previously been declined due to her mental detachment with Neel in the later’s lifetime.
The casting had been accurate with Bipasha in a captivatingly perfect portraiture and Prasenjit once again proving what excellent performance he is still capable of providing, given a good director as a guide. In this context it must be mentioned of Bipasha’s dubbing that is perfect and her personality that outshines the rest in the emotional scenes. Jishu and Sohag Sen seemed just the persons in their respective roles and their restrained performances give none the better support to the lead characters and so is Paoli Dam who had been correctly used in her short appearance.
Soumik Halder’s cinematography couldn’t have been better with exotic stills and superb close-ups. Sanjay and Raj Narayan Dev blend the music well according to the mood that is further enhanced by a composition of Lalon Fokir and Argha Kamal Mitra’s fantastic editing is also to be commended upon. Joy Goswami’s poems add a newer dimension to the whole structure and this two hour of artwork should be a must see for the intellectual minds.
Picture Gallery for Shab Charitra Kalponik.
[ReviewAZON asin=”B00006AW5G” display=”inlinepost”]Shob Charitro Kalponik (2009) is a Bengali Movie written and directed by Rituparno Ghosh with Bipasha Basu, Prosenjit Chatterjee, Jisshu Sengupta, Pauli Dam, Sohag Sen is an emotional movie of death and loss. The film is to be shown in different film festivals.
BIG Pictures’ Shob Charitro Kalponik selected for Durban Film Festival ’09. BIG Pictures, motion picture brand of Reliance Big Entertainment’s Bengali film directed by the maverick Rituparno Ghosh’s ‘Shob Charitro Kalponik’ (Afterword) has been selected for the 30th Durban Film Festival ’09 to be held from 22 July to 2 August 2009. Rituparo Ghosh will be traveling to Durban, South Africa for the screening of the film scheduled for July 30th.
Written and Directed by Ritupano Ghosh ‘Shob Charitro Kalponik’ a story of death and loss with many emotional and romantic moments, stars Bipasha Basu, Prosenjit Chatterjee, Jisshu Sengupta, Pauli Dam and Sohag Sen. It is produced by BIG Pictures. The film has music by Sanjoy Das and Raja Narayan Deb with a lot of folk, modern sounds and also a song by Lalan. Samik Halder is behind the camera and Arghyakamal Mitra will do the editing. Joy Goswami has written all the poems for Prosenjit’s character, who plays a poet in the film. Some of these are excerpts of old poems and some have been written exclusively for the film.
Commenting on this Rituparno Ghosh says, “Durban Film Festival is a very popular film festival and I am very glad that Shob Charitro Kalponik is being showcased at the festival. The protagonist of this film is the Bengali language and it is through the vehicle of the language that the love story of the film travels.”
Mahesh Ramanathan, Chief Operating Officer, BIG Pictures adds, “Our efforts to broaden international horizons for Bengali films are beginning to be successful. Rituparno’s work has been widely acclaimed globally. Shob Charitro Kalponik’s selection in the Panorama Section of Durban film festival is a first ever premier for a Bengali film in the African continent. With this success, BIG Pictures have now secured selection for 10 of its world cinema titles in over 12 prestigious international festivals in the last 6 months. It’s a historical first for any production house in India”
‘Shob Charitro Kalponik’ will be screened in the Panorama Section of the festival, alongside films by directors such as Woody Allen, the Dardenne Brothers, Lars von Trier, Laurent Cantet, Steven Soderbergh, Takeshi Kitano and Michael Winterbottom.
‘Shob Charitro Kalponik’ is the story of Radhika’s journey into the life of her late poet-husband, Indraneel and the revelations and contradictions she learns about Indraneel as a poet and husband. She realizes how much he romanticized their mundane, everyday life. Yet in reality, he was often insensitive, negligent and apathetic towards her. She wonders about his dual identity. How can a poet be unaware of his day-to-day realities, yet highlight moments from it in his art? Is art essentially an artifice?
A contemporary director whose playground is the complexity of raw human emotions that are often caught in the web of relationship drawn out by the society, Rituparno Ghosh has emerged as one of the finest filmmakers in India. . His 1999 film ‘Bariwali’ (Lady of the House) won him a Netpac Award and was screened at the Berlin International Film Festival. ‘Titli’ (The First Monsoon Day) and ‘Choker Bali’ (Passion Play) were the respective official entries in the competition section at the Locarno Film Festival in 2002 and 2003. In December 2008, Ghosh was awarded the prestigious Premio Arca D’Oro by the Italian government for his outstanding work. He is also the proud recipient of the National Award for his film ‘Shubho Mahurat’.
-Bengali Cinema / Sampurn