Wednesday, October 19, 2005

UTSAB(Festival)- 2000,Bengali



Utsab( not to be confused with girish karnad's utsav) is a bengali movie by rituparno ghosh. This is a nice movie that is set in the background of Bhagabati's(Madhabi Mukherjee) family celebrating the durga pooja.This is a realistic and intellectual 'hum apke hai kaun'.Ok hold on don't start thinking about a bunch of happy peoples singing and dancing, it has got nothing of that sort, it is totally bland in those aspects. This is a movie that celebrates life and the complexities of relations using various metaphors.

Rituparno sen gupta

-----story--------
Bhagbati has 4 children’s two sons Asit(Pradip Mukherjee),Nishit(Bodhisattva Mazumdar) and two daughters Parul(Mamata Shankar), keya(Rituparna Sengupta).And it is durga pooja time and all the children’s are at their parents house to celebrate the festival. The movie starts with Parul's son Joy(Ratul Shankar Ghosh) recording the festival with his video cam. The movie slowly develops to show the problems faced by all the siblings of bhagbati like keya on the verge of divorce with her husband Arun(Prasenjit Chatterjee).

Shishir(Dipankar Dey) a relative who is also a big real estate agent is interested in buying the house. Most of the family members want to sell the house. With all there personal problems and the idea of selling the house, we get a feeling that this might be the last durga festival that is going to happen in that house. What happens to the house and everyones problems is the rest of the movies.
----------------

Arpita Pal

The movie is visually very dull(except for images like the above).But even though at start you feel it is kind of slow and depicts mundane things, the movie is beautifully constructed to convey its theme.At the end you will think back all those small incidents in the movie and enjoy it.A totally positive movie.Bhagabati for example is very positive about arun the son in law, who is depicted as a hopeless character. she feels and convinces her daughter that he will change himself one day. Similarly arun talking to keya tells her what he saw when the durga idols Being immersed in the river.The boys jumped with the idol to take them out for recycling. Idol loses all the plaster over it, but still the frame remains which will be used to construct a new idol. Construction and deconstruction will keep happening but the structure will remain the same .The idol is the metaphor used for a person/relationship.

The movie slowly unfolds and you first come to know about the various characters, then there fears, there dreams, there past there future and what is there position in the current scenario. Like real life we misjudge certain characters at start and understand them better later.



The movie aptly points out the importance of communication within the family members, which is the main reason for problem in many cases. The characters first try to hide there problems, but later they open up and confide things to there siblings/son. The telephone was used as a metaphor for communication.



A beautiful moment in the movie is when shishir meets parul(ex lovers).There feelings for each other is expressed in those silent nods and glances that last for a few seconds. The relationship between joy and shompa is also expressed beautifully.

The construction deconstruction process is further conveyed in the cyclic nature of things that happen in the family. Joy's uncle asit wanted to study literature but his grand ma didn't want him to do it and asit ended up studying economics. He wants to get into film institute but his dad wants to do MBA and he is going to USA to do MBA.
The movie avoids all the emotional drama and ends with a beautiful climax. All there problems becomes beautiful memories.

Cast and credit:
The movie has a very good cast. Good acting by Rituparno sen gupta ,Mamata Shankar and prasenjeet.

I wish i didn't see the movie after watching madhabi.I always associated her with the poetic images of sathyajit ray in charulatha. From now on this image will also come into my thoughts when i think about her.

Madhabhi mukerjee

Alaknanda Roy .... Bonani, Nishit's wife
Anuradha Roy .... Monika, Asit's wife
Prasenjit Chatterjee .... Arun, Keya's husband
Ratul Shankar Ghosh .... Joy, Parul's son
Arpita Pal ....
Vinit Ranjan Maitra .... Bumba, Asit's son
Dipankar Dey .... Shishir (Special Appearance)
Madhabi Mukherjee .... Bhagabati
Pradip Mukherjee .... Asit
Bodhisattva Mazumdar .... Nishit
Alaknanda Roy .... Bonani, Nishit's wife
Anuradha Roy .... Monika, Asit's wife
Mamata Shankar .... Parul
Rituparna Sengupta .... Keya
Prasenjit Chatterjee .... Arun, Keya's husband
Ratul Shankar Ghosh .... Joy, Parul's son
Arpita Pal .... Shompa, Nishit's daughter
Vinit Ranjan Maitra .... Bumba, Asit's son
Dipankar Dey .... Shishir (Special Appearance)

Rituparno ghosh

Handling so many characters, showing there individuality and at the same time narrating the story in an interesting way is not an easy task to do.Rituparno ghosh has done it beautifully. He has scripted the movie brilliantly. The entire movie is shot in a house during the festival period. So the story progresses mostly on words rather than on any visual action. Even the past incidents are narrated in terms dialouges and not as flashbacks. But he does not waste any of the dialouges. Every single dialouge in the movie adds to the overall structure and is an essential piece of the story.

Music:
Music is by Debajyoti Mishra(Haazar chaurasi ki Maa).There is a beautiful rabindranath poem "Amalo dhabholo" which comes at various places in the movie. The song is sung my Sraboni Sen.

Awards:
Rituparno gosh got the national award for best direction in 2000.

Prasenjit Chatterjee & sengupta


Comments:
Well I have been a keen follower of cinema..and your blog is amazing..I mean the variety it offers is tremendous..lots of literature...lots of data...Could you help me with some literature on Dastak(Sanjeev Kumar-Rehana Sultan)?
PS: Where can I get the copies of these movies(regional ones)..can't find any suitable place..please suggest.
I'm really thrilled that I discovered this blog...really!!
 
illusion,
Thanxs :).Sorry buddy i don't know anything about DASTAK.Is it a good movie?.
 
Ya it is...one of those movies which gave a different view to privacy of an individual and voyuerism...BTW are you into cinema professionally as well?
 
i wish i did :)
 
Hi.. I like ur reviews quite a lot.. and fantastic pool of movies you have picked from. Perhaps the only review where I would differ with you, is Utsab. Pleeease don't compare it with Hum aapke hain kaun :-) !
To me the movie was about parul and shishir. What makes the story more powerful is that shishirs' presence is mostly through oblique references and subtle undertones. Although there were numerous characters weaving into this story and feeding it, making it richer, parul is the protagonist in this movie. Each event and character is equally treated and yet the underlying fabric remains the parul-shishirs' story. And probably there lies the brilliance of this director. It is about a love that was forbidden and the journey of the protagonist though years of compromise with the ways of society.
I do agree with you that the shot with parul and shishir (especially when he comes back for his glasses) is amazing. The sons' silent support to parul when she breaks down, after eons of silence at the end of the movie, was also beautifully captured.
As for the rest... keep blogging. I love ur reviews :-)
 
mou,
thanxs :).HAHK and utsab are miles apart, just wanted to convey the similarity of a movie based on a family get together, nothign more.
 
I saw this movie today -- a bad print. Still there was something nice about it. Thanks for reviewing it.

The youngest -- I wish she hadn't bawled so much, but it was good overall.
 
and the mom is Charulatha, unbelivable!!
 
Hi, friend
Happy Durga Puja
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rituparno ghosh has portrayed cousin love in an excellent way...but i think its not anything forbidden...it sud be accepted in society...as there are cousin couples right from satyajit ray,charles darwin, eistien etc...

so there sud be a bengali film portraying cousin love as d main theme in a very subtle way...
 
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