Wednesday, November 18, 2009


Rating : 7/10
Release Date : 6th Nov, 2009
Time : 120 minutes
Director : Aniruddha Roy Chowdhury; Writer : Shyamal Sengupta; Music : Shantanu Moitra
Starring : Rahul Bose, Aparna Sen, Sharmila Tagore, Radhika Apte, Kalyan Ray, Shauvik Kundgrani, Shalini Apte

This is a beautifully shot and crafted film which deserved a better resolution. In the eyes of the writer / director, Aniruddha Roy Choudhury, we are always waiting for someone, our special someone. For him, this is the unending wait…Antaheen. He shows dysfunctional couples, couples who’ve separated but are still bound by an umbilical cord and another who’ve chosen to remain strangers on the internet. None of them are happy in their relationships

Most of the film is extremely bright, chirpy and fun. It celebrates Bong-ness, even pokes gentle fun at Kolkata. Beautiful shots of rain, lovely long tresses, relaxed parties with people who are comfortable in their own skin. Even a villain who’s not really one…

We meet Rahul Bose, an articulate, quick thinking, well-mannered and intellectual cop, the type who in his spare time is either found sipping his coffee and a book in CCD or chatting on the net with a stranger. And he prefers to remain a stranger, though its clear, there is a strong connection between the two. His internet chat-mate is Radhika, pretty, vivacious, feisty, works for a news channel, is an investigative reporter, is the one with the dark, curling tresses.
Currently her big assignment is to investigate the flouting of norms by the ‘El Dorado’ project, which is being brought up by a new builder in town. The project is resulting in relocation for a lot of people and also has certain aspects, which if become known to media or NGO’s, would create havoc. Aparna Sen plays a photographer & romantic at heart, who now runs the TV channel our reporter works in. Age seems to have made her more practical, while earlier going off to Tibet for a photo-shoot is how she preferred to get her kicks. And despite being separated for many years from her husband, Kalyan Ray, she still thinks nothing of dropping over, cleaning / tidying his house and can get upset if he doesn’t help her with an important decision. She is also Rahul’s sister-in-law.

There are some more characters – Sharmila is the mausi who looks after Rahul, while the builders wife is still struggling to cope with the loss of her daughter. Aparna’s estranged husband lives the life of a happy loner, enjoying his Chivas, books and the stock exchange.

Each of the characters is extremely well-painted, very likeable and understandable. The camera captures well the dilemma each one faces, the life each one chooses to lead. And we see a beautiful Kolkata, rain-kissed, where even the beggars carry a smile and bright, radiant red roses, where a man in starched white kurta pajama, who has tea at a roadside stall everyday, manages to radiate such peace and calm, that it affects those passing him by. And even though this is a film about relationships, it moves along at a nice clip, involving you in its world without letting the pace slacken. The music is lovely – maybe one song too many but lovely to listen to anyways

What I didn’t like was the end. Unneccessary, I thought. Revealing once again, the darker, tragic sensibility that seems to lurk in every Bengali person and film…

For someone who could find such beauty, even in the splendid ‘ruins’ of Kolkata, I found it amazing that he chose to focus on the dark side of relationships. But maybe its just me…I remain a sucker for happy endings and even I’m old enough to know that life isn’t always like that…

1 comment:

Soumi said...

this is perhaps the best possible ending of this movie. don't criticize it! the way the movie has ended has actually raised many thoughts. it has ended at a poignant point... even this has its own beauty...