A tender romance blossoming in Kolkata between law student Ramesh and his friends sister Hemnalini, is nipped suddenly as Ramesh is peremptorily ordered to marry Susheela, daughter of a hapless widow. While traveling in a boat, Ramesh & Susheela get caught in a fierce storm & this is when Kamala by mistake takes Sushe...more
A tender romance blossoming in Kolkata between law student Ramesh and his friends sister Hemnalini, is nipped suddenly as Ramesh is peremptorily ordered to marry Susheela, daughter of a hapless widow. While traveling in a boat, Ramesh & Susheela get caught in a fierce storm & this is when Kamala by mistake takes Susheelas place. What follows is an intriguing story about how a mistaken identity affects the lives of three people. less
“Scripting, acting and camera; this silver screen adaptation of Rabindranath Tagore's book fails to perform in every aspect.”
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I happened to watch Rituparno Ghosh's 'Nouka Dubi' (the original Bengali language version of Kashmakash) at IFFI Goa last year. Accompanying me for the screening was a fellow MJ and voracious reader Smita Vyas Kumar, who as luck would have it had read Tagore's book from which the movie had been adapted. Smita's sharp observations about the illogical departures from the literary source material only gave me a clearer picture about how Ghosh had obviously missed the boat on this one.
From a little bit of online research I found out that this isn't the first time the Tagore book has been adapted for the big screen & not even having watched the earlier adaptations I can't compare them with this one. But having watched Rituparno Ghosh's previous work I can see the same type of pretentiousness permeate his work this time around too.
Ramesh (Jishu Sengupta) & Hemnalini (Raima Sen) are madly in love with each other. Ramesh however is called upon to return to his village and marry a young girl whom his father has chosen as the bride. Ramesh relents but is emotionally blackmailed into ultimately marrying her. After the wedding, Ramesh & his bride (whom he hasnt seen yet) set out to Calcutta by a boat across the river. A storm capsizes the boat and Ramesh awakes along the riverbed, calling out his bride by her name, Susheela. He manages to find a woman (Riya Sen) unconscious lying by the riverside dressed like a bride and who responds to him instantaneously. Assuming it's Susheela (even though she keeps on calling herself Kamala) he takes her along back to Calcutta but falters when it comes to revealing the truth to Hemnalini. Soon however the truth emerges to Hemnalini and her family. On a trip to Kashi trying to find a way to repair the emotional pain, Hemnalini comes across a doctor, Nalinaksha (Prosenjit) and sparks begin to fly. He too is recovering fro heartbreak over his to-be-bride who never turned up for the wedding. While all four people seem to have made peace with their lives, a new twist puts them all on collision course all over again.
The plot I've placed is a little simplified version of the movie's and far too simplified of that of the book. Though I liked the narrative style and pacing the movie, the way scenes have been constructed and the camera work coupled with the background score turned me off. The emphasis on unrealistic and over-dramatized portrayal of emotions, particularly pain, seemed so overdone that it just didn't strike a chord. Infact it induced a few chuckles in places. The dialogues which may sound good on paper are ruined by the wave of over-dramatization.
The acting too suffers thanks to all too obvious expressions of sorrow & pain which all the actors are asked to display by trying to maintain strained expressions or a dead-pan searing look in their eyes, staring longingly at the camera or into the distance. Nothing is subtle here; everything is played up to the crowds under the guise of being an art-film.
I'd say avoid the movie all together and instead look for Tagore's book or try searching for the original movie adaptations.