Belasheshe

Director: Shiboprosad Mukherjee, Nandita Roy | Language: Bengali

Belasheshe was so disappointing. Boring filmmaking. Melodramatic storytelling. Inconsistent characterization. Uninspired, clichéd performances. The idea of watching private moments of your old parents through hidden cameras is disgusting enough, and those teary eyes make it more so. The writing is careless all over. It is not clear whether the patriarch played by Soumitra Chatterjee decides on his outlandish act because he wants his wife to be independent ( swabalambi) or because he likes solitude and wants t embark on adventures across different lands. When he comes back to his wife he says, ‘ I somehow managed to make the morning cup of tea, but couldn’t get around to making the afternoon cup, felt kind of lazy.’ What was his faithful Man Friday Ganesh doing? I thought the express purpose of taking him along was for tasks like these. The least he could do was to make two cups of tea a day.

bela-seshe

The conversation between the old couple is stilted. A line like ‘Was there love between us, or was it merely long years of habit’ is so out of place between two who we have never seen conversing in that tone. She says she had been reading one of the authors he publishes but she never told him about it lest he stop bringing his books home? Why on earth? Why should he be against her reading books? She might be too caught up with household chores to express her love, but how does he forget her birthday? He who was so in love with her from the day he saw her black and white photograph? The resolution of marital problems of all the siblings during the fortnight’s stay in Shantiniketan is as contrived and carelessly written as the rest of the film.  It is all a terrible mess and a big bore, and the laughably inappropriate use of Rabindrasangeet like ‘ Shay je maaney na maana’ and the perfunctory use of an Anupam Roy song in the credit titles ( which has become such a predictable fixture in a certain kind of Bengali films these days.) doesn’t help.

 

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