Aug 22, 2011 (Calcutta Tube): Bengali film “Uro Chithi” talks of a man facing his trials and tribulations at the backdrop of the global crisis of recession and ultimately walking away with the hard optimistic lessons that reconstruct his tattered existence. A gracious attempt at handling a difficult venture with tantalising intricacies which could have been a classic, but unfortunately falls a little short.
Aniket ((Indraneil Sengupta) walks down his memory lane as he reads the stored sms-es in his phone.
With each sms we are transported to the stories of his past year which saw suffering, betrayal, love, anxiety and so much more.
The backdrop is the global recession from which the IT companies in India had suffered greatly and against that backdrop the protagonist interacts with several of his acquaintances in search of a meaning that eludes every man caught in the tangled web of our unsettling urban lifestyles.
As the story progresses he gets drawn to a life of guilt through his own actions and they rip his very existence to shreds, before he can even start making amends.
Loosing a huge chunk of money and loosing his family Aniket tries to understand where everything went wrong and he struggles to piece together his crumbling aspirations.
The story – 3.5/5
12 sms-es tell us 12 stories from the life of the protagonist but just as the number suggests, the sheer challenge present in handling such a complicated web of events is what ultimately proves to be a downer.
Kudos for the idea aside, the justification of so many characters and so many connections was bound to cause the jitter and as expected most of them could have been done away with some judicious editing for want of a more tightly knit script.
The 1st half thus manages to confuse the audience by laying out a stream of some unnecessary events related to a slew of dispensable prop characters of Farhad the teacher (Anjan Dutta), Sonia (Sudipta Chakraborty) and Aniket’s father (Biswajit Chakraborty).
The second half however picks up the much needed pace and drives quickly towards the ending while knitting all the individual characters towards respectable closures.
The final ending of the movie itself is poignant and leaves one with a sense of awe that the rest of the movie doesn’t quite generate. It is worth sitting through the entire movie to grasp the subtle undertones that the end generates in the minds of viewers.
A special mention must go to the delightful and innovative dialogues that keep you hitched throughout the movie.
The direction and technique- 3/5
Director Kamaleshawar Mukherjee has chosen a very engaging topic and kudos once again for the brave and honest attempt, but sincere effort doesn’t quite cover everything.
The technique is average but the flow of the film is quite smooth. Despite the obvious difficulty in jumping from one story to the other he manages to maintain a more or less steady flow.
The first half might prove to be a bit of a drag but the second half certainly holds its own.
Handling such a stellar cast of talented actors could have proved to be fatal but he manages to bring out the best in them.
The song sequences also don’t feel forced and blends quite nicely with the rest of the screenplay.
One complaint arises as he doesn’t quite highlight the poignancy of each text message and one can often miss one of the messages upon which the very tagline stands.
Some scenes also feel unnecessary and overdrawn but overall it was a decent job.
The acting- 4/5
Well now we come to the true strength of “Uro Chithi”- acting.
Each and everyone, be it the veterans or the relatively inexperienced lot, everyone manages to shine, despite the overcrowded poster of the movie.
While actors like Rudraneel Ghosh, Sudipta Chakraborty, Rajatava Ghosh, Anjan Dutta and Biswajit Chakraborty weren’t really offered important screen spaces, each of them marvellously excelled at whatever was at their disposal.
Particularly stunning was Rudraneel’s sudden outburst when he talks to his screen-wife about abortion that leaves us reeling in his character’s pain.
Special mention must go to Tanushree, who handled the roles of a seductive mistress and a destroyed woman with equal flair. Notable is also her inviting performance for the song “Dela Nada” that earnestly intoxicates the viewer.
Indraneil as the protagonist needed to move up a notch and at times appeared a little stiff but overall he did a commendable job.
Both Sreelekha Mitra as Raka (Aniket’s wife) and Biswanath as Suhash portrayed their character with much brilliance and fervour but Biswanath used the ample screen time to display every little emotion that his character was required to highlight.
Everyone else including Locket Chatterjee and Reshmi Ghosh enacted with much needed conviction.
The music- 3.5/5
The music wasn’t exactly moving or soul touching but music director Debojyoti Mishra still delivered what was needed for the film.
Spicy and feet tapping tracks like “Dela Nada” and “Athanni” were a treat mostly to the eyes but not so much to the ears.
Soulful melodies like “Sohor” and “Din Jaye” were also not quite up to the highest mark possible even the vocalists have certainly done justice to each of their songs.
The background music excelled at times but at times faded to a monotone that can’t quite leave an indelible impression.
Still the music blended nicely with the visual experience of the movie.
The big question
The big question is the one most difficult to answer for a mixed bag like “Uro Chithi” which clearly doesn’t have a well-marked target audience apart from the urban and rural distinction.
The varied issues that it covers could relate to anyone’s experience and yet the confusing elements could prove to be a deterrent.
If your pleasure bone tickles at the prospect of a well-acted movie that offers an optimistic substance describing life then “Uro Chithi” is for you.
If not, it could still prove to be decent watch provided you have proper filtration process activated.
– Arnab Chakraborty/IBNS
Uro Chithi: Trials of an urban man