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Monday, August 02, 2010


Kolkata, my city, is often shown in films or in television serials as a city which is unanimous with many known facets but, interestingly, it is a far more complex and heterogeneous in reality. Often, I feel that there are many Kolkatas, many fringes, many ghettos, many marginalised sections, many strange & unique dimensions that do not get explored enough in popular media.

This year, I saw Kolkata in its renowned and resplendent visuals in Birsa Dasgupta's debut feature film called "033", but did know whether to laud it for its music-video-like appeal or pass it off as yet another glossing over in a picture-postcard-like depiction.
Again, there was this film called "Mahanagar @Kolkata", by Suman Mukherjee, and it was quite a novel approach, though tad more ambitious than able. The film - for a large part - had brilliant depictions of the underbelly, of the marginalised, decadent segments, and I must salute the courage shown by the director to do so. However, the director failed in the third segment (the film being a collage of three distinct segments, loosely tied up as a single narrative) as he tried to go somewhat offbeat in the portrayal of the desperation and despair of the urban yuppies; it came off as false and hollow apart from being show-offish.
I am happy to note that Kolkata has also been captured in many of this year's Bangla releases like "Shukno Lanka", "Le Chhakka", "Clerk" and "Ekti Taarar Khonje" - with mixed results. "Clerk" (reviewed earlier in my blog) scores highest in its depiction, according to my evaluation, in terms of content and style/manner.
May my city be the lensmen's delight ever more. And may the films too go a step further to show the many of its hitherto undiscovered and untapped aspects.

1 comment:

Siddhu said...

Kolkata is recently been featured prominently in not only popular Bangla films but also in films and television serials made elsewhere.
The latest Bollywood film showcasing Kolkata (although briefly) is tentatively titled "No One Killed Jessica", by Rajkumar Gupta) and the latest Hindi television serial to zoom in on Kolkata is Ekta Kapoor's "Tere Liye". Alas, in both the aforementioned products, Kolkata is just a glorified prop!