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Friday, March 16, 2012
Bhooter Bhobishyot: Plight of the Living Dead
Anik Dutta's debut Bangla feature film 'Bhooter Bhobishyot' is a delightful watch.
It is a tongue-in-cheek film about endangered ghosts of an ancient mansion.
Here, the ghosts of the age-old Choudhury Palace face the plight of getting ousted, as it is being eyed for a mall-cum-multiplex, thanks to the contemporary consumerist craze.
The crumbling mansion hosts unique specimens of the living dead, hailing from different era and from different socio-cultural backgrounds, making the colourful past come alive.
They have nowhere else to go, and apparently enjoy their stay at the derelict mansion.
Their abode lures film crew who find shooting amidst the decaying opulence lucrative.
It is an irritant for the ghostly souls - averse to the purported invasion of privacy.
They ensure that the place gets a haunted house tag and remains secluded in obscurity.
They also need to ward off the scheming villains eager to raze the building to the grounds.
The ensemble cast is joy to watch. It includes (the list is really long) Parambrata Chatterjee, Sabyasachi Chakraborty, Anindita Bose, Bibhu Bhattacharya, Swastika Mukherjee, George Baker, Paran Bandyopadhyay, Samadarshi Dutta, Sumit Samaddar, Biswajit Chakraborty, Mumtaz Sorcar, Monami Ghosh, Kharaj Mukherjee, Saswata Chatterjee, Debdoot Ghosh, Srilekha Mitra and Mir. Some of the big names just have cameo appearances, yet each has contributed fairly to make their presence felt.
The teamwork of Indranil Ghosh (art direction), Abhik Mukherjee (cinematography), and ArghyaKamal Mitra (editing) has contributed immensely in creating the ambience and ethos integral to the narrative. The music (by Raja Narayan Deb) is apt and some of the situational songs are a breather (the best songs are however the zany ones featured on Samadarshi, playing Pablo-the-rocker). The spoofy takes on the constitutional inconsistencies of Bangali life, as well as the period-specific milestones that are casually referred to, have enriched the screenplay. The film could have been a crass comedy in lesser hands (although some of the innuendos could have been easily avoided) and a less nuanced tone could have marred the desired effect. I wish the film all the best, and I am keeping my fingers crossed that Bangali viewers (who do not necessarily equate a comedy with a laughathon) will love this breezy celluloid treat.