Tenyda (2011)-Bengali Movie Review

TENYDA -BENGALI MOVIE POSTERDec 28, 2011 (Calcutta Tube): Tenyda is a 2011 Bengali movie directed by Chinmoy Roy with Subhasish Mukherjee, Mainak, Gaurav, Ritam and others in the cast. Read the Bengali film review by National Award winning critic Shoma A. Chatterji at Calcutta Tube.


Produced by – Tower Solar System Ltd. (Tower Group)

Script & Direction – Chinmoy Roy

Story – Narayan Gangopadhyay

Distribution- Purple Music

Music Director – Chinmoy Roy & Durbadol Chattopadhyay

Releasing Date: 12th Dec, 2011

Cast: Subhasish Mukherjee, Mainak, Gaurav, Ritam, Tapas Chakroborty, Bibhu Bhattacharya, Gora Chowdhury, Barnali Biswas, Chinmoy Roy, Jui Bandhopadhyay, Pranab Nandy and so on.

Rating: 02/10

Date of release: December 12, 2011

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Narayan Gangopadhyay (1918–1970), was one of the most outstanding authors of post-Tagorean Bengali literature. Among his most endearing creations were the Tenyda stories that are filled with adventures of a gang of four (Char Murti) who, though not academically strong, much-loved addition to Bengali children’s literature. He died in 1970 in KolkataIndia. Teny-da who lives in Potoldanga is their leader. He is defined by a face with a very sharp nose, has a hearty appetite that never seems to end and is really bad at academics. He cleared his high school exams in the fourth attempt with a pass class and he is quite proud about it. He is also a bluff master who boasts of adventures and thrills that never happened but gets embroiled in similar adventures only to come out triumphant as hero. He is a good-hearted guy and the other three young guys, Pyalaram, Kyabla and Habul Sen with their typical individualities and eccentricities almost worship the ground he walks on. Gangopadhyay wrote two books of essays on his writings around and about Teny-da and the gang of four besides five novels, one play and dozens of short stories on the famous char murti.

Umanath Gangopadhyay directed Char Murti 32 years ago in which Chinmoy Roy played Teny-da. The other characters were portrayed by Rabi Ghosh, Santosh Dutta and Satya Bandopadhyay. The film was a big hit because it followed the literary source almost to the letter. Chinmoy Roy decided to turn director of Teny-da with Shubhashish Mukherjee portraying Teny-da. But the storyline is completely different and bears not the remotest resemblance with any of the famous Teny-da adventures created by Narayan Gangopadhyay. Roy has created a new story to fit into the contemporary situation keeping the physical characteristics of the four youngsters intact. Tenyda is always talking of food and bluffing away to his heart’s content. Pyalaram the only one who got a First Class at his board exams, Habul Sen who talks with a strong Bangal accent and Kyabla who is forced to live on a terrible diet because of his persistent stomach problem are the way Narayan Gangopadhyay created them.

Enter the story and the film becomes an exercise in great patience for the audience. Chinmoy Roy has tried to contemporize the story to update it to fit into contemporary issues like conservation of wild life and natural environment like forests, flora and fauna, the problem of terrorists who are smuggling arms, a businessman just out of prison trying to bribe a sub-caste primitive tribe in the forest into the felling of trees and so on. After a point, one loses track of what is going on and the film turns out to be a jumble of images each one worse than the other. The Tagore songs are the only redeeming feature other than Subhashish Mukherjee who tries to extract the best out of a very bad script and the young actor who plays Kyabla, chosen with care to fit into the character. The jungle queen wears loud stripes of red and yellow and green on her face and body and so do her subjects. That also could perhaps be excused. What cannot is the fact that she also speaks very good English.

The segments used to capture the Dooars location are not impressive at all and the jungle is sparsely populated by thin trees that would make any wild animal shy away from the place. There is an animated segment where Teny-da is carried away by a wild elephant but this throws the narrative into wild gear instead of adding to the film’s entertainment value. It is sad to find a Narayan Gangopadhyay story being tampered with in this terrible way. The film would have done better had it cut out the Teny-da connect completely. The literary connection destroys the film completely which is a pity.

– Shoma A. Chatterji

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