Saturday, April 08, 2006

A bengali movie today ...

Sometimes movies on television can be a valuable means of generating thoughts; though most often it acts as a medium of unidirectional communication stifling the thought process in its wake. Was watching a bengali movie on ETV Bangla called 'Chayasurya' literally translating to 'shadowed-sun'. The story is of a bohemian girl who grows up in a well to do household in Calcutta where she has a sister who is her exact opposite. She is of a dark complexion, naughty and always with a 'dont care' attitude. Also she repeatedly seems to fail in examinations, becoming a cause of great ire for her parents and relatives because of her ways - playing around cricket with the boys on the street and giving studies a damn.
As she grows up and becomes notorious for her ways, with unkempt hair and an indifferent attitude; the story portrays the difference in how the family treats her as against her docile and good-mannerdly sister; however the movie doesnt fall into the trap of overdoing it, it does not show her as the extremely rude and cheeky sort that you may have watched in some of those hindi extravaganzas. This role is portrayed by the young Sharmila Tagore in the film. As the movie proceeds she rescues a child, seems to sketch better than her sister who formally learns painting and wants to learn tabla; referring to her sister's sitar as an instrument that cries.

Later on she actually develops a liking for an unemployed man whose face is never shown in the movie and visits him everyday to learn tabla right at 5 in the evening. He even after repeated interviews is not able to obtain a job. In the mean time she visits a place in Bihar with her uncle who is a writer and is like her friend and whom she confides in, comes to know about her lover and asks her to tread judiciously. By the time they come back home her sister's marriage has been fixed with an affluent foreign-returned engineer. This causes her further anxiety and she tells her uncle that she would bring down the dignity of her family if she were to marry the boy, however she would run away if they did not give her permission; on which her uncle admonishes her. She also tells her uncle, that he is not well. In the hustle on account of her sister's marriage everybody forgets about her.

On the day of the marriage it is found that her aunt is missing some money from her purse. First they suspect the servants and then when the servants deny; they spot the protagonist looking totally distraught coming home, on which they ask her where she had been when she confesses she had stolen the money from the purse and says she has spent it but refuses to disclose where. Here an emotional scene shows everybody including her mother, accusing her except her father. The end of the movie shows her standing, staring out of the window, in her uncle's room when he enters and asks her if she spent her money for her lover's illness and she says, she never got that opportunity, and she had bought some flowers and had paid some money to his friends for his funeral. She had expected nobody to notice a hundred rupees missing, when they were spending thousands for her sister's marriage who was a perfect doll; however even this was found only because she had been a 'bad' girl. She laments that should not have been born which would have saved all of them from so much embarrassment and she breaks down, crying that she had been totally neglected. An excellent performance by Sharmila Tagore, also the movie has many famous bengali actors of that time. The whole movie is as a narrative by the uncle who writes about her in his book as requested by her.

I liked the movie as it also reminded me of an argument I had once had with my cousin. The movie is an adaptation of a short story by Ashapurna Devi. Need to rummage in the pile of bengali books at home to see if I have any short storie by Ashapurna Devi. (Links on Ashapurna Devi - [1] [2])

No comments:

Post a Comment