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Review Bengali

Prapti review: A poetic and poignant celebration of love

Release Date: 10 Jun 2022 / Rated: U / 01hr 36min

Cinestaan Rating

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Roushni Sarkar

Director Anuraag Pati's film, which has been wonderfully shot by Saurav Banerjee, is based on a story by Buddhadeb Guha.

Anuraag Pati’s Prapti, based on Bengali author Buddhadeb Guha’s story of the same name, celebrates the metaphysical form of love that exists between separated lovers. The poetic and absorbing film leaves a lot of room for interpretation.

Set in the 1980s, the film unfolds in a remote village in Bihar, which does not entirely receive electricity. Prapti unfolds at a slow pace, much like life itself in days of yore in rural India, bringing audiences in proximity to nature, away from the hustle-bustle of urban life.

The protagonist Shoma (Pratyusha Roslin) represents many women of her era, who lacked agency in everyday matters. This, however, was only one of the reasons why she could not get married to the love of her life, Bedey Da (Samadarshi Dutta).

Though she is married off to Sunanda (Debdut Ghosh), she holds on to warm memories of Bedey Da and also experiences the pangs of separation. She fulfils her duties as a housewife but keeps writing letters to Bedey for months, hoping to get a reply one day.

The earthy colour palette, corresponding to the arid landscape of the village, and the detailed production design convincingly transport the viewers into the past.

Saurav Banerjee’s camerawork not only makes the film captivating but also compensates for the lack of dialogue. The characters are framed keeping in mind the source of light. This, as well as Sravan Bhattacharyya’s rich background score, speaks louder than lines from a script.

The subplot involving Chhotua, the son of Shoma’s maid (Ananya Pal Bhattacharya), who waits for his father to return from the city, underscores the theme of longing.

The change of weather plays a crucial role in lending a universal tone to Shoma and Chhotua’s emotional turmoil. Chhotua runs to the bus stop every day, braving the scorching sun, while Shoma broods over her blissful past amid the swelter, recalling rain-soaked moments with Bedey Da.

The only dissonant element in this poignant film is Pratyusha Roslin’s forced and mechanical performance. However, while her monologues cover up her lack of spontaneity, they also lend a strong literary tone to the film.

Though I haven’t read the book, Samadarshi Dutta seems to be the perfect fit for Bedey Da, who finds romance in attempting to understand life.

Debdut Ghosh also gives a strong performance while Ananya Pal Bhattacharya's character, who oozes kindness despite facing harsh realities, truly seems to come from a poverty-stricken family in Bihar.

Though some of the dialogues seem a better fit for a work of literature and the story is a bit outdated and lacks mass appeal, the skilful manner in which Pati has depicted a philosophical view of love leaves us anticipating his next offering.

Prapti was released in theatres across West Bengal on 10 June.


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