Mom: A Movie Review

The story we all know. Daughter got rape and her mother or loved one take the revenge or sometimes the girl herself. So, when the storyline is like this you, me, we all sit back and says it is not hall-worth…let it be Premier on the TV. Yeah, when I went to watch Mom I was thinking why I’m going to watch this movie. For Sridevi, whom I admire or just Saturday evening, nothing to do so let’s watch a movie. Even after I book the ticket I was at the state of why. And after three hours I was thinking while having a coffee was I thinking to give the movie a miss. Continue reading “Mom: A Movie Review”

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Few Words on Fifty Shades Darker Soundtracks: A Long Note

Baby, baby, I feel crazy…

The Daily Prompt made me hum this line of the song “I Don’t Wanna Live Forever” from Fifty Shades Darker soundtracks.The movie of the season. I hadn’t seen neither the first part (Fifty Shades of Grey) nor this. I hadn’t read neither of the books from the series. Though the next book that is in the queue for Preferred Books in my online library account is the first part ’cause I want to know what create the strong ripple and also want to learn how to write an erotica story. Yes, am a curious bookworm always want to learn s’thing besides enjoying reading a book.

When it comes to songs, especially from the Western world, I’ve limited knowledge and liking for them. Till a certain portion of life, I only used to listen to Enrique Iglesias ’cause my elder sister used to listen to his tracks and later I grew a taste, how I couldn’t recollect, for the oldies English songs (that include Hendrix, Dylan, Beatles and all big names in scattered manner). I’ve shown my love for the songs from this era in a previously posted post It’s Not Going To Be Today. In near future, I’ll write s’thing on this.

So let’s get back to the topic. Here also my curiosity works. So, when, the online music streaming platform notified that the album of Fifty Shades Darker is out and available at their platform, I download it with skepticism. Then I forget that I had downloaded this.

It was after a few weeks later while searching for an album I stumbled on this Fifty Shades Darker: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack. I was on a long journey, so, I let the music play. I had downloaded the first two tracks of the album–I Don’t Wanna Live Forever and Not Afraid Anymore as single, but, seldom listen to them.

As the album rolled on and went on, it felt like a journey. Starting with a slow but energetic number. I haven’t got a chance to sip on wine, but, as I had heard wine took effect on the head slowly and softly, the tracks made me felt like that. It just seems the pace of a journey was showcased through the arrangement of the songs. The love is not only showcased erotically but also as long, as the lament and all.

Few of the tracks from the album are on my Favorite Songs for the season. The top five of them are–

  1. I Don’t Wanna Live Anymore
  2. Code Blue
  3. Empty Pack of Cigarettes
  4. Bom Bidi Bom
  5. Helium

There’re few lines which I like from these songs and other songs. If I had to select then these few lines I’m humming s’times these days (most of the time wrongly). So, I’ll conclude this review of mine of the Fifty Shades Darker: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack by picking the lines from the nineteen songs that made me humming:

  1. I’ve been looking sad in all the nicest places/ Baby, baby, I feel crazy/ I see you around in all these empty faces…(I Don’t Wanna Live Anymore)
  2. I keep running for you baby/ And it’s eating me alive/ I’ll be dying for you baby/ ‘Till you’ll bring me back to life…(Pray)
  3. But even Superwoman/ Sometimes needed Superman’s soul…(Helium)
  4. That’s what I get for loving you, code blue…(Code Blue)
  5. This empty pack of cigarettes and you/ And I ain’t got nothing else to give you but the truth/ Just this empty pack of cigarettes, / And I know all that I need, babe, is you… (Empty Pack of Cigarettes )

For Daily Prompt: Baby

The Bongs Again: A Review

In 2007, a movie that caught my fascination was the Bengali/English movie The Bong Connection. It was the second directorial outing of Anjan Dutt. The story of the movie was first of many films in coming years that joined two worlds together through the connection of being a Bengali–Bong as it had been stylized, an alien term at that time and a renowned term to address the Bengali nowadays.

The story revolves around two boys in their twenties–Apu and Sandy. Apu (played by Parambrata Chatterjee) went to America leaving his city, his root declaring to his fiance Sheela (played by Raima Sen) “Kolkata is a doomed Titanic…“. He promised her to come back and take her to America once he got settled there. On the other hand, Sandy (played by Sayan Munshi) an aspiring American born and brought up musician comes to Kolkata to pursuits his dream of being a renowned musician. They both faces conflict while achieving their goals and at the end, they both goes back to their home (read roots) being feeling dissipated and dejected, but, fill with lessons of honoring their roots.

Ten years had passed from then. I was then eighteen years old boy and now twenty-eight. So, when the so-call sequel to the aforementioned movie released I was excited and planned to watch the movie on the first day before critiques’ words and word-of-mouth influenced me. Anjan Dutt last few movie outing had been harshly criticized and panned, though, not all of them needed the same treatment, but, they were. I, being a fan, also got influenced by these reviews and all ’cause for the hunger of watching good movies, not some movies even it is directed by my favorite director.

The movie has been named The Bongs Again. I didn’t dislike the movie neither I like it.

The story now evolved around two girls in their twenties-Olipriya and Sara. Olipriya had journeyed to London to search out her estranged father Deepak; she disguised this by presenting “checking out all the things with her boyfriend Anindya in London before getting hitched”. Then she met Anjan Dutt and Hasan Khan. She set out on a journey to Kent with the two men in search of her father and in the end, she came to know she had been with her father Deepak played by Anjan Dutt all the time. At the end, she called off her relationship with Anindya and set out on a journey to roam the world like her father–all alone.

Meanwhile, in Kolkata, Sara had come in search of her biological mother who had left her at an orphanage when she was about a year old; later she was adopted by a couple from London. In her journey, she met with Jishu U. Sengupta character and Nitai (don’t get the name of the actor who played the role with such an elegant poise). At the end, she remained at Kolkata. Her story was treated like a short story with an end without a proper end.

The Bongs Again is being regarded as the sequel to The Bong Connection (2007). But, actually, it’s a thematic sequel. Two characters were taken to the cities where they were alien at beginning and grows a closeness to those cities through meeting with a number of characters and passing through a number of events. There’s another theme that got repeated in this movie. In the Connection, there was one character who declared Bengalis can be found everywhere. In this movie also the character played by Dhritiman Chatterjee, paternal uncle of Jishu U. Sengupta in the movie, on his first meeting with Sara said Bengalis can be found in everything.

The story of Olipriya seems to be stronger at some certain points. It seems that the movie can be made following her story, her journey. The story of Sara was included to make the theme of two characters in two alien cities work.

Parno Mitra as Olipriya aka Oli had presented a marvelous piece of an act. The scene where she confronted Anjan Dutt, still unknown of the fact he is the father, screaming at him by cursing his wordings of there’s wanderlust in every Bengali was one of the best scenes in the movie. In the whole movie, she had maintained the image of serious no-nonsense girl efficiently.

On the other hand, Sara played by Neha Panda was sometimes gloomy, sometimes dull and sometimes dramatic especially where she broke down after seeing the body of Nitai. It’s her third outing as an actress; this time, though, she had a much more screentime than the last two–Hawa Bodol and Maach, Mishti & More. But, she failed mostly in enacting the emotion and that got caught when Jishu was with her.

Kheyali Dastidar as the mother of Oli as well as landlady to Sara in a cameo was a delight to see though she hadn’t got much chance to enact her acting talent, but, still, she would hold a position of being a caring mother who treated tenant Sara as her own daughter.

After women comes the round of the gentlemen. Gaurav Chakrabarty as Anindya seems to be a character emerging from one of Jhumpa Lahiri stories who had struggled hard to have the financial stability in London; he had played this character efficiently and with grace. The Pakistani immigrant played by Hasan Khan was only there to take the story forward as it seems. He was the only friend to Jerry played by Anjan Dutt. His acting was not fine again not so not fine. It’s just between somewhere this two.

Next, comes, Jisshu U. Sengupta as a boy who was a businessman of garments. He held from a well to do traditional family and always remain by side of Sara.He hadn’t disappointed in enacting his character. He with every movie not only giving us a character to remember but also presenting strong acts that always need a sit up and take notice.

Anjan Dutt is the next one. As the days going, he’s just turning to an enigmatic actor who’ll surprise you with his act. In every movie, he’s just doing something different breaking the barrier of limitation levied on actors of his age. The way he played the character of Jerry here, I might be exaggerated, was a fine one. That heavy voice with an unsteady eye and mindset that got reflect through his body languages were more than enough to showcase his talent. He also had got a step ahead by playing a bisexual in the movie.

(And there is) Dhritiman Chatterjee, another veteran actor, who whenever came into movie grab all the attention with his presence.

The songs of the film are not so appealing one like the ones from the Connection. The “500 Miles Away from Home” or “Railroaders’ Lament” in the voice of Anjan Dutt stood out of all for the picturization–Kent and its countryside and the way he had sung it. There’s also a Rabrindra Sangeet–“Tomae Gaan Shonabo…”; like last time they didn’t change the tune, but, to make it appealing as the chemistry between characters played by Paoli and Hasan Khan grows, there was a portion of English sung by Anjan Dutt. There’s also the popular Baul song “Tomae Hridhimar Jhaare…” which had recreated tune wise and lyric wise to create a bridge between Oli and Sara as they broke out into enjoyment being intoxicated. The theme song was okayish one. And there’s another song on Kolkata as Nitai helped Sara for the wedding invitation. On overall, the music tracks of the movie are not so remarkable one.

To conclude it can be said, Anjan Dutt has tried best to make a comeback as a director. And he had succeeded up to much extent. But, the problem lies, as I think, is in the execution. As I mentioned early, the story of Sara seemed to be pushed into the movie to maintain the theme of two characters and two cities. Otherwise, The Bongs Again is a movie that can be seen for once and later, if wanted, to understand how Kolkata has changed from the one in The Bong Connection in 2007 to The Bongs Again in 2017, but, searching for roots haven’t.

P.S. I will like to apologize to the readers for not being able to recollect the names of the character played by Hasan Khan and Jisshu U. Sengupta.

Double Feluda: A Celebration Seen Through Eyes of Another Mitra

It’s being 51 years of Private Investigator Pradosh C. Mitra aka Feluda. Topshe was there from first as assistant cum narrator so it was his 51 years also while Lalmohan Ganguly joined them in 1971. That’s why I had to resist the urge to use the term Feluda & Com.

Feluda first appeared in Feludar Goyendagiri (Danger in Darjeeling) on children magazine Sandesh (serialized from Dec 1965 to February 1966). Then he appeared for next 31 years in magazines; sometime serialized in Sandesh, sometime as novel or novelette in Desh–first story was Gangtoke Gondogol (Trouble in Gangtok–Sharadiya 1970)–and Anandamela–only story was Ambar Sen Antordhan Rahasya (The Disappearance of Ambar Sen–serialized from May to June 1983). 2 of his adventure were posthumously published Robertsoner Ruby (Robertson’s Ruby–Sharadiya Desh–1992) and Indrajaal Rahasya (Magical Mystery–serialized from December 1995 to February 1996 in Sandesh).

I met him first when I read Apsara Theaterer Mamla in Double Feluda and I first saw him in Joy Baba Felunath in a summer vacation children show. I have grown up seeing Sabyasachi Chakrabarty as Feluda through the TV series–mention worthy Feluda 30 (telecast 1996-1997 in DD Bangla). When Bombaiyer Bombete (Bandits in Bombay) released back in 2003 I was satisfied to find Feluda on big screen. Then years passed, Sandip Ray made 5 Feluda movies (1 was reboot for starting afresh) before making the Double Feluda choosing 2 of the favorite Feluda stories of the author, his father, Satyajit Ray–Samaddarer Chabi (Key of Samadder) & Golokdham Rahasya (A Mysterious Tenant).

As it was said, it’s the 51st year of Feluda, so the celebration should be a grand one. Thus, the title card was designed to showcase a journey of a private investigator in print. It incorporated illustrations of Feluda in the books along with the covers over the years. At the end credit title, the interviews of few actors enacting different characters at different point of time in Feluda films like Biplab Chaterjee (played supporting antagonist in Jay Baba Felunath (1979) and an inspector in Kailashe Kelenkari (2007)), etc. focuses on the journey of Feluda on screen for last 41 years (appearing in 11 movies (1 unofficial and 1 short film), 4 TV series–one in Hindi and a TV film). The interviews were followed by interview of publishers–Badal Basu in his probably first and last appearance on screen and covers of a vast array of translated books of Feluda in various languages.

So there were lot of expectations and thoughts how will the movie go as after 2011 Feluda movie Royal Bengal Rahasya (The Royal Bengal Mystery), Sabyasachi Chakrabarty is back as Feluda in Double Feluda.

As the title card ended and the movie start with the headpiece of the first story–Samadderer Chabi in animated form (the second story Golokdham Rahasya also started in same manner), I get into the movie and after watching the movie–both the stories–there were few things I liked, few I disliked in this Feluda outing on screen.

The points or scenes that I like in the movie are–

Samadderer Chabi

i. The location was perfect one.

ii. Bratya Basu as the antagonist Manimohan Samaddar had done a decent job.

iii. The instruments shown are perfect.

iv. Showing Rajani Sen Road from top view was a new and innovative way to show the street where Feluda stays.

Golokdham Rahasya

i. Striking out the Mahabharat discussion scene at the beginning had gone with the story very well.

ii. The location, here also, was a perfect one though it was changed, but, still it goes fine.

iii. Paran Bandhyapadhya as Sidhu Jyatha was bang on; that jokes on mouse was subtle and goes with the character perfectly.

iv. Gourab Chakrabarty casting was apt one and that scene between his character Ranajit Chowdhury and Feluda at the end was a pleasure to see–son and father dueling to showcase their acting talent.

Now the things that I dislike, I’m not going to classify like I had in “I like” but in a general form because of the common dislike in both of the story, in the movie are–

i. In both story Feluda was lacking the energy. I mean to say the age of Sabyasachi Chakrabarty had got reflected in Feluda which was obvious thus making the character sometime out of energy, sometime lazy. Even the eyes seems to be hazy at many scenes.

ii. Strand of white hair in the sideburns, I hope I’m wrong, in one of the close up scene in Samadderer Chabi where Feluda confronting Manimohan Samadder might be before the climax of the story–in the morning scene.

iii. Nihar Ranjan Dutta enacted by Dhritiman Chaterjee I think was a miscast. He can be best for Mr. Dastur character.

iv. The use of black glass in every scene i.e. when Nihar Ranjan Dutta was lying under the blanket, his glass can be taken off.

v. The continuation error. In Samadderer Chabi, sometime hair of Sabyasachi Chakrabarty seems to be dishevel and in that scene after a second or two they are shown combed.

Then in Golokdham Rahasya, in the end scars are shown on Nihar Ranjan Dutta face which seems to be unseen or not clear in other scene.

There are few more points that I dislike due to being reading the book and seeing it mismatching on the screen. But, they have to be changed due to cinematic representation of the stories. Those are along with the reasons for change:

i. The striking out of Font Recognition in Golokdham Rahasya and instead using the Glue Theory made Feluda a novice detective. That portion made the part a loose one thus filtering out the main exciting point of the story.But, it should be remember that computers were in used after 1990s and the story was written back in 1980. So, it need to be change as my friend pointed out the point.

ii. The use of black glass in every scene i.e. when Nihar Ranjan Dutta was lying under the blanket, his glass can be taken off. Here also my friend says it had been done to avoid the gruesome effect of chemical explosion on the eyes because kids will also see the movie.

iii. The roads that were shown in Golokdham Rahasya seems to be shot at 1 or 2 of the night whereas according to time in the cinema I think it was 10 or around 11 and roads doesn’t become so empty at that time. My friend says, the locations are congested one; so to avoid the traffic and all the shooting was not possible at the possible mentioned timeline.

In overall somehow I’m at dilemma between I like the movie and I don’t because for the above points; I think it’ll be like by some and while some might not. But, one thing for sure like me many had, have, has and will miss Lalmohan Ganguly aka Jatayu.