Kolkata, 05 Jan 2019 12:12 IST
Bijoya lacks the passion of unwavering love which was so hard to let go of by both Padma (Jaya Ahsan) and Ganesh Mondal (Kaushik Ganguly) in their own respective ways.
When a sequel surpasses its previous instalment, it is generally judged as an independent entity because it is so well made. However, when it is not, the comparison with its prequel becomes evident. The case is more so with Kaushik Ganguly’s Bijoya because the film is intrinsically linked with Bisorjan (2017) — the prequel.
The story of unrequited love and the struggles of a widow and a persistent lover in Bangladesh in Bisorjan had a poetic charm worth winning the hearts of the audience.
Bijoya is set in an urban scape and hence, there are more dialogues than poignant silences to fit its complexity. Also, Bijoya lacks the passion of unwavering love which was so hard to let go of by both Padma (Jaya Ahsan) and Ganesh Mondal (Kaushik Ganguly) in their own respective ways.
Emotions of yearning, sacrifice and surrender pervaded Bisorjan. In Bijoya, characters become more important than emotions and there are agenda-centric redundant episodes and dialogues that ruin the essence of the film a great deal.
Bijoya’s story is extremely predictable, barring the twist in the end. However, Ganguly seems to have kept the twist only with the intention to make another sequel and to leave the audience with more questions and uncertainty.
Ganesh Mondal is diagnosed with a terminal heart disease. He is advised to go to Kolkata and undergo an operation as soon as possible. Ganesh travels to Kolkata with Padma and his domestic help and confidante Lau (Lama Halder). Naser Ali (Abir Chatterjee) happens to work as a staff in the medical store of the same hospital Ganesh is admitted to. In Bisorjan, he promised Padma that he would give up his illegal job.
Padma comes across Naser and the latter now feels that he has to pay the debt he owes to Padma. He decides to attend to Padma’s family and take care of them in every possible way.
It is quite natural to expect some complexities of the love triangle in the story, henceforth. However, it is rather simplistic and linear. The lack of inner turmoil in the characters in accepting the situation that fate has presented to them after six years and the following turn of events makes the story quite clichéd.
Though Jaya Ahsan becomes the embodiment of all the emotions she goes through and the experiences she has been subjected to, her character in the film appears to be rather placid — sometimes not being able to make sense of situations. At the same time, her character only exhibits the required complexity in the film. She owns some of the best moments and dialogues in the film.
Ganguly maintains a perplexing aura about Ganesh Mondal — who always means more than what he says and whose actions are always layered. Sometimes he is the most benevolent and understanding and at other times, he is annoyingly persistent and maintains a firm conviction in his beliefs and actions.
Abir Chatterjee as Naser Ali is the weakest presence in the film. His performance lacks passion and he fails to lend some of the most important sequences an engaging spin. His eyes lack the admiration and affection for Padma’s beauty and his persuasions don’t contain the frenzy of love while helplessly asking Padma to stay back.
Lama Halder’s expressions are dramatic yet subtle in brief sequences that speak volumes.
Souvik Basu captures the nuances of close interactions between all the characters who eagerly surround Padma, Naser and Ganesh inside the inner courtyard of the old house of North Kolkata.
Both, the late Kalikaprasad Bhattacharya’s and Indraadip Dasgupta’s music and background score majorly lift some of the sequences of the film. Prasad’s 'Badar Badar Allah Rasool' is as authentic and earthy as Dasgupta’s 'Tomar Paser Desh', soulfully rendered by Arijit Singh. The background score is minimal yet it fondly refers to the dreamy mood of Bisorjan.
Bijoya, at large, appears to be an unnecessary sequel. However, Ganguly possesses an ability to engage the audience to keep on anticipating for more till the end of the film, whether it is with his treatment or his screen presence.
Bijoya refers to the Bengali tradition of cordial exchange between friends and families after the Bisorjan or the immersion of the idol (of Durga). The film acheives that exchange between the three characters to some extent, but it doesn't culiminate into an experience that persists in the heart for a long time after Bisorjan or immersion. The film rather becomes all about the twist.
This reviewer wonders if Bijoya was made only to make the audience wait for a year or two for another film.
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