Review Bengali

Gaheen Hriday review: A saga of broken relationships with a grim storyline

Release Date: 20 Jul 2018

Cinestaan Rating

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Roushni Sarkar

The single strong point of the film is the way director Agnideb Chatterjee has brought out the inner turmoil of each of the characters.

As the name suggests, Agnideb Chatterjee’s Gaheen Hriday is a film that attempts to reveal the deepest corners of human psychology. The film doesn’t have an original storyline and the progression of the plot is quite predictable too. However, the two brilliant actors Kaushik Sen and Debshankar Halder leave their impression regardless of the ordinary script and the faulty direction.

The entire film is shot in monochrome and in contrast, there are few fantastic theatrical sequences that are shot in vibrant colours. Though these sequences try to establish the evil and hidden shades of each of the characters, the entire design doesn’t convey any clear message to the audience. Also, the female protagonist of the film, Rituparna Sengupta doesn’t really fit convincingly in these acts.

The film opens as Sohini (Rituparna Sengupta) complains about his typical middle class husband Bhaskar (Debshankar Halder). At the same time, a few passionate moments between Sohini and her lover Anupam (Kaushik Sen) are also placed between her bouts of complaints. Sohini, is a bank employee, who gets stressed at managing her household at the same time. Her husband is unromantic and is good at idling at his home, besides doing his job at the office. As Sohini feels completely alienated in her home, she gradually gets into a passionate extra-marital affair with her husband’s bosom friend Anupam.

Anupam is a divorcee college professor. As Sohini confides the entire scenario in her friend (Debaleena Dutta) at her office, her friend tells her that Sohini is merely trying to make a villain out of Bhaskar just because she wants Anupam in her life. Sohini brushes away all these possibilities and gradually takes a decision to separate from Bhaskar.

Meanwhile, Bhaskar is seen to be suffering from extreme headaches at office. When he informs Sohini about it, the latter thinks that Bhaskar is simply being dramatic to get attention. One night at the dinner table, she expresses her wish to separate from him; however, Bhaskar doesn’t take her words seriously.

In a few days, Bhaskar is diagnosed with a malignant tumour, leaving Sohini in a fix. As Bhaskar’s health deteriorates, Sohini finds it more difficult to announce her decision to him. How does Sohini finally manage to walk out of her marriage? Does she end up living with Anupam, leaving her husband in his situation?

The single strong point of the film is the way the director has brought out the inner turmoil of each of the characters, including Sohini, Bhaskar, Anupam and even Sohini’s brother-in-law Tarun (Shankar Chakraborty). All the characters are grey and their struggle to accept the reality is pronounced in every part of the film.

The moment it hits Anupam that at end of the day, Bhaskar and Sohini are husband and wife; the sequences in which Bhaskar starts to blame himself for the deadly disease he has contracted, and the slow submission of Sohini to her fate are genuinely realistic.

However, the montage transitions in every sequence do not add to the cinematic effect of the film.

Both Rituparna Sengupta and Kaushik Sen are quite bold in their passionate moments. Sengupta churns out her helplessness and confusions at understanding her own identity with a lot of drama and apt expressions. Sen too, delivers a natural portrayal as a passionate lover and appears convincing as he slowly comes to term with progression of the events with his subtle expressions.  

Eminent theatre personality Halder proves his finesse an as a film actor as well. His fears and insecurities in battling with the deadliest disease appear to be extremely real. Chakraborty also ensures that the certain actors cannot help but act well in any field they are put in. Locket Chatterjee delivers a decent performance in her brief appearance.

Though the film pronounce the desires, dreams and hopelessness of a female protagonist, at the end of the film she merely ends up as the victim of a patriarchal structure of society. Her struggles of finding a meaning out of her life don’t come to any fruitful result.

The question lies in whether these deep introspections about psychology are worth the one-and-a-half hour of the length of the film. As the entire journey of all the characters does not give out any clear message, it is hard to expect that the audience will go to watch an out-an-out grim story, some gloomy sequences inside the quarters of the hospital and explore the reality of a few broken relationships.

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