Naukadubi (Bengali): Sinking sublime!


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Tagore’s illustrious works are magnificent manifestations of vindicated human encore. We famously get acquainted to those components in our daily lives as ‘Relationships’. ‘Naukadubi’ is yet another marvel from the basket of the renowned master.

Rituporno’s works usually fascinate me for his treatment of characters that sink like butter in a soaked Italian loaf; Ramesh, Kamala (or Susheela) and Hemnalini are such fine prints embedded in this engraving tale of love, love-lost and the desire to recuperate from fiddling relationships.

I still remember Byomkesh Bakshi’s chosen words in ‘Chiriakhana’ describing Tagore’s famed masterpieces: “No story can ever be scripted sans woman and every epic surrounding a woman cannot be woven without the threads of illicit relationships”.

This one, admittedly, doesn’t explore this contagious attribute of man but does depict the skeptical and two mindedness of a man caught between his lady love and the sympathy towards the unknown woman who cajoles him beyond the native desire of his father. I adore the language in few Bengali classics and this one engrossed me, not surprisingly though.

Performances: Raima Sen as the ethereal Hemnalini sizzles and carries the film on her shoulders, central to her thematic portrayal in this courageous adaptation. Jisshu Sengupta is restrained and does justice to Ramesh. Rituporno has gambled with Riya Sen for Kamala; I would not term it as Midas touch but the move did not backfire, to say the least. Prosenjit chips in for a quickfire cameo; others are there in bits and pieces (I was watching Dhritiman Chatterjee after quite a while) and deliver as any supporting cast of Rituporno would.

‘Dosar’ was the last product I saw from the talented filmmaker; ‘Naukadubi’ manages to stay afloat amidst ruins.

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