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Review Bengali

Samsara review: Absurd yet seamlessly conceptualised with entertaining quotients 

Release Date: 02 Aug 2019 / Rated: U/A / 02hr 05min

Cinestaan Rating

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Roushni Sarkar

The feature film is a work of depth that also intends to entertain the audience to the fullest with required humour, thrill and surprises.

As stated by lead actor Rahul Banerjee, it is difficult to locate Sudeshna Roy and Abhijit Guha’s Samsara in a particular genre. The content of Samsara, originally conceived by Indrajit Chakraborty, who happens to be the producer as well as one of the lead actors of the film, has a lot of layers and certain philosophical undercurrent that is expressed through a not-so serious approach.

The film is thoroughly engaging. The content doesn’t weigh heavy on mind but brings out new directions, if contemplated closely.

Samsara is also worth the watch for its distinct characterisations and the performances delivered by the lead actors. It is a relief to have lead characters, who fail to rise above their weaknesses and succumb to their inner demons. However, in their subconscious mind, they cannot get over their guilt completely, neither they can bring themselves to accept the truth.

The film is not entirely realistic; however, it manages to deliver its objective clearly. The reality and fantasy are woven into such a wholesome experience that when the fine line between the two is discovered, it comes across as a complete surprise.

Padmanabha Dasgupta deserves credit for writing a humorous screenplay that beautifully delineates all the characters and their equations in the most convincing and natural manner. The confusions and the tensions experienced by the protagonists along the progress of the plot can be felt by the audience every moment. In a nutshell, Dasgupta and the directors manage to create an illusive experience that the audience are bound to enjoy, leaving aside a few repetitions that are also essential for the story to unfold.

Atanu (Ritwick Chakraborty), Chandan (Rahul Banerjee) and Vikram (Indrajit Chakraborty) are three friends, who meet after 18 years. Atanu is a journalist-turned-writer, Chandan manages his father-in-law’s gold business and Vikram is into the construction business. Both Chandan and Vikram are quite affluent.

While the suddenly rich Chandan doesn’t mind showering money on various indulgences, for the smart and suave Vikram, money is the easiest way to all solutions. However, nothing in their life is as simple as they project to each other in their first meeting. Certain uncanny incidents eventually make them reveal the secrets.

Atanu wishes to complete his novel Parapaar (Afterlife) and for that,  he seeks the help of Vikram and Chandan. As he discloses his desire to write the novel, their interest regarding death and afterlife begin to grow too. Their life also begins to take unexpected turns and eventually they reach a place called Samsara, perhaps, to have all the answers of all the puzzles they continue to face.

In the first half of the film, the continuous confusions and surprises experienced by the three friends drive the plot ahead. The writer and the directors’ effort in infusing detailing in these portions deserves special mention. The actions of the protagonists do not really make sense always; however, that only make the characters more real.

Life suddenly brings them at a juncture that the apparently most sensible Vikram, along with the naïve and vulnerable Chandan and Atanu, doesn’t feel that life can go as it has always been going, anymore. They become desperate to decode all the signals that drive them crazy.

There are many interesting characters besides the three, but speaking about them will require to reveal a lot regarding the film. There are so many twists hidden in every moment of the film that a simple synopsis of the plot can turn into a spoiler.

The second half takes all their confusions into an overwhelming state of awe. There are repetitions of pattern in the narrative, as each of the three friends go through their own share of journey that make them stand in front of the inner demons they have so far been thinking to have won over in their life.

The cinematic composition of this part of the film is not as simple as it may sound. Through a complex yet seamless structure, with the most apt and surprising climax, the circle of karmic cycles in everyone’s life is depicted here. It is important to note that not enduring some grave punishments but facing the reality and the truth becomes the most dreaded challenge for these characters.

The film is shot in beautiful locations and cinematographer Rana Dasgupta has cleverly infused a mysterious aura with the required cinematic language with his thoughtful camerawork. Editor Sujay Datta Ray also needs to be given credit for creating an engrossing experience out of the screenplay and keeping the right pace of the film that maintains an intrigue till the last moment.

Nabarun Bose’s background score is one of strongest points of the film. His use of instruments is quite unique in terms of situations and in bringing out the hidden tension and fear in every sequence.

Ritwick Chakraborty’s work in detailing the mannerisms of basically an insecure coward is so real that his character might make you feel disgusted at times. He cleverly adopts a feeble physical demeanour that goes extremely well with his psychological weakness and a look that fits the film perfectly.

Rahul Banerjee dramatically depicts the lust and greed in his character convincingly. Chandan is funny as well as doesn’t take time to lose control over himself. It is a delight to watch the actor, enacting so many shades of his fragile avatar.

Vikram’s crisis are not so apparent as for the most of the plot he maintains guardian like stature of his two friends until the climax. However, Chakraborty does justice to his character with utmost honesty. Among the three characters, his character has the most control over himself and he also manages to hold all of his secrets almost towards the climax.

Sudipta Chakraborty’s appearance is brief yet haunting. Through her expressions, a lot of the eerie elements in the film are pronounced boldly.

Samadarshi Dutta, Tanusree Chakraborty and Devlina Kumar too deliver decent and restrained performances. Ambarish Bhattacharya too proves his skills as a powerful actor as the funny, nosy detective Sarat Chandra Chattopadhyay.

The film is full of dialogues and the moments of silence are also full of meanings. Samsara is a work of depth that also intends to entertain the audience to the fullest with required humour, thrill and surprises. Audience, who have a taste for absurd films might enjoy the film more.

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