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Review Bengali

Abar Basanta Bilap review: Regressive content, loose sub-plots make for a tiresome watch

Release Date: 13 Jul 2018 / Rated: U / 02hr 17min


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Roushni Sarkar

If the characters were not enacted by brilliant actors such as Paran Banerjee, Kharaj Mukherjee, Mir Afsar Ali and Sumit Samaddar the film would have been thoroughly unbearable.

Ipsita Roy Sarkar and Rajesh Dutta’s Abar Basanta Bilap was touted as a full-fledged comedy film, which the film is, but only in some parts. The story just appears to be an ensemble of several loose subplots until they begin to make sense in the latter part of the first half of the film.

Anadi Chakraborty (Kharaj Mukherjee) works at Basanta Bilap Prakashani (a publication) under Paran Priya (Paran Banerjee), the manager. Anadi often gets late to work and Paran threatens to fire from his job. Anadi is not at peace at his home as well. He is continuously at loggerheads with his wife, and his only son, Shibu (Anubhav Kanjilal), is a good for nothing lad.

Shibu’s only occupation is chasing his love interest Radhika (Devlina Kumar) like a street-romeo. He and his confidante Nyapa (Bihu Mukherjee) come up with new plans to trap the girl. He is often ridiculed by local goon Ghanta (Sumit Samaddar) and his group. Ghanta is notorious but can go to any extent to help his friends.

One day the beautiful and sensuous Shakuntala Devi (Moon Moon Sen) comes to the publication's office with a draft of a collection of stories written by her. While Paran is instantly smitten by her, Shakuntala bumps into Anadi repeatedly for work and praises him for his qualities that always go unnoticed by everyone else.

Radhika enjoys Shibu's attention but is not serious about him. She takes literature lessons from Dimpi (Mir Afsar Ali), who is full of feminine traits and teaches only female children.

The story primarily revolves around Shibu’s escapades to win over Radhika. At the same time, Dimpi falls in love with Ghanta, to the latter’s disapproval. On the other hand, while Paran daydreams about getting hooked with Shakuntala Devi, he cannot help but suspect Anadi of getting to close to her. Hereafter, the plot brings in too many twists until all the characters finally achieve their respective goals.

Some of the twists go well with the turbulent course of the plot, while others are placed only to create comic moments and are barely related to the primary story. Also, there are ample sequences created only to help promote the several brand partners of the film.

First of all, the theme of chasing a girl on the streets doesn’t really work these days. Moreover, the film unabashedly promotes lewd gestures by the ‘hero’ with an attempt to evoke laughter. The reviewer is of the opinion that these gestures are often termed as abusive in a modern society. We can only hope school-kids do not watch the film and try to copy its characters.

Shakuntala Devi and Radhika appear not to be interested in Paran Priya and Shibu, respectively, for most part of the film. However, they suddenly change their minds just as the climax approaches.

The love story of Shibu and Radhika could have been funny with a rather innocent content. The character of Dimpi is at times problematic. He repeatedly tries to touch Ghanta and the film portrays this as quite a natural behaviour coming from a homosexual.

There are plenty of dialogues with mindless humour and some of them seem to be spontaneously improvised on the sets. The irrelevant sequences only make the film even more tiresome.

If the characters were not enacted by brilliant actors such as Paran Banerjee, Kharaj Mukherjee, Mir Afsar Ali and Sumit Samaddar the film would have been thoroughly unbearable. While Banerjee charms with his subtle expressions, Mukherjee impresses with his spontaneity and speech modification, often invoking genuine laughter. Thankfully, Mir essayed the role of Dimpi da. He manages to retain a certain grace and comic element of the character throughout the film. A few close shots, focusing on his expressions, are ridiculously funny.

Samaddar is apt as the street-smart Ghanta. Moon Moon Sen is effortlessly sensuous as Shakuntala Devi.

Anubhav Kanjilal is average as the protagonist and Devlina Kumar is quite amateurish, though none of their characters provide much scope to perform well. Bihu Mukherjee is much more spontaneous and has a commanding screen presence amongst all the new artistes.

The actress who essays the role of Anadi’s wife delivers a dramatic performance throughout.

The background score mostly comprises of tunes from various other films. The songs, too, are quite ordinary. The camera work of the film is average and so is the editing.

Despite having a good cast, the directors cannot really hope to pull audiences with such a shallow content. Also, they could have avoided naming the film Abar Basanta Bilap. The film is nowhere close to Basanta Bilap (1973) — the Aparna Sen, Soumitra Chatterjee and Robi Ghose-starrer blockbuster.

 

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