Kolkata, 22 Jun 2018 18:33 IST
Even after getting exposed to the revelations, the twists and the unusual characters, one might want to watch the film again solely because of the joy and the charm it offers.
Pratim D Gupta’s Ahare Mon is sure to fill the heart with warmth and make a tired soul smile. The design of the four stories and the equations between the characters contains elements that inspire one to feel grateful for the little joys of life.
The film doesn’t have high ambitions. It doesn’t send across any message or propose intellectual questions; neither does it have happy endings. Ahare Mon only narrates the stories that are often buried in social norms and realities of mundane life. Gupta not only exhibits his finesse in telling the stories, but also surprises by creating each of the characters with agency and vibrancy.
Needless to say, the content, barring a few drops in one of the stories, is the hero of the film. The characters, no matter how minor their roles are, provide the actors with enough opportunities to explore their prowess. The progression of the plot doesn’t generate any anticipation for twists; however, the film offers the most unexpected climaxes in linking the apparently four separate stories.
The first story revolves around immigration employee Purnendu Pahari (Adil Hussain), and businesswoman and regular traveller Ramona (Paoli Dam). They develop an inexplicable connection since their first exchange in the airport.
The second story is about a terminally ill patient Titli (Chitrangada Chakraborty) who is aware of her fate, but refuses to live her dreams and express her genuine love for a man who is not within her reach.
The third story begins in the close quarters of an old age home called Sanjivani. Charulata Dutta (Mamata Shankar) is the new resident there and she develops a quick friendship with her fellow resident Barun Babu (Anjan Dutta). While having a heart to heart chat, she discloses to him a secret that she has kept enclosed in her heart for so long. The next morning Barun Babu takes Charulata on a quest to retrieve her past.
The fourth story is about Michael Tendulkar (Ritwick Chakraborty) and Suzie Q (Parno Mitra). Destiny has conspired to bring these two thieves together. Do they only break into big robberies or do they add more to the story?
The stories are not loaded with emotional turbulence, neither are there extreme dramatic shifts. However, the subtle shades of the characters, their minimum yet poignant exchanges, hopes and dreams touch the hearts.
In the first story, Purnendu is enamoured by the urban and independent yet compassionate Ramona. Director Gupta here invests much insight as he places the character of Purnendu in a lower socio-economic status than of Ramona. Ramona has her own choices and decisions, yet her kind gestures make the story stand out.
Gupta deserves accolades for pronouncing the fantasies of Titli, portraying her innocent dreams in the most realistic way possible, simply because he reminds that such dreams are not to be ignored. A few moments of her musings, her surreal imaginations and momentary heartbreaks are truly genuine and beautiful.
The director shows that for a rejuvenating bond, one necessarily doesn’t need to fall in love. The way Barun Babu honestly attempts to rediscover himself by helping out his old-age home mate is innovative, yet it echoes the secret longing of the countless homeless elderly people, who like everybody else, look for adventure in their lives and most importantly, wish to live to the fullest.
Among the four stories, only the plot involving Michael and Suzie seems a bit a lame during the sequences of their theft. However, it is the purpose that the story serves at the end redeems it of its apparent flat progression.
Paoli Dam and Adil Hussain’s chemistry is astonishing and so are these two actors in their individual places. Hussain is naïve, shy and overwhelmed when he just needs to be. Dam plays her role with adequate assuredness too.
Anjan Dutta etches out the simplicity of his character with his usual effortlessness. The moment when he subtly blushes while accompanying the beautiful Charulata is extremely heartfelt. Mamata Shankar, too, retains the inherent courage, a subtle confidence and wisdom of Charulata well.
Chitrangada definitely nails the character of Titli. She becomes the embodiment of a modern lonely girl with a lot of courage and dreams.
Ritwick Chakraborty is the only attraction of the part of his narrative. He is seen in a new avatar and is smooth, romantic and adorable. Parno doesn’t really stand out amongst the bunch of extraordinary actors and loses out on bringing out the thrill in her story.
Soumik Halder essentially captures the entire film with the eyes of a storyteller, who watches the incidents with a lot of love and care.
Neel Dutt does an amazing job in setting the moods for each separate story. For Barun Babu, a man who has been a loner for 17 years, nothings brings more peace than a Tagore song. Both Anjan and Neel do justice in this regard.
Ahare Mon is a more than a one-time watch film. Even after getting exposed to the revelations, the twists and the unusual characters, one might want to watch the film again solely because of the joy and the charm it offers.
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