According to dictionary meaning, sound is a mechanical wave that requires a material medium to reach our ears. However, we hear a variety of sounds throughout the day yet realize very few. We only hear what we feel like hearing, but for some the world of sound becomes the only reality while the rest holds no meaning for them. Director Kaushik Ganguly's Shabdo explores this reality of sound in the life of Foley artist Tarak Dutta (Ritwick Chakraborty).
A film free of any background score Shabdo comes out as a unique research project on screen. While we all enjoy films we forget to respect the basic aspects of film. Sound has always worked as a necessary ingredient for films yet was never explored with such austerity within the Bengali cinema paradigm.
The role of a Foley artist is very important for a film, he successfully recreates sounds within the studio and brings out the original flavor of a real sound. He is a true artist in himself. Shabdo's protagonist is this Foley artist Tarak Dutta. In the midst of recreating these real sounds, Tarak gets trapped in his world of sound. With time he is unable to respond to reality and begins to move out of his original real world. The crisis of the life of this Foley artist becomes a major botheration for his wife Ratna (Raima Sen). She tries to pull her husband out of his self created world. In her struggle she even takes up the job of a LIC agent to support the family financially.
A film absent of any background score wins much praise because of the originality and the perfect usage of ambient sound. The characters come alive with sound and silence. The perfect editing by Mainak Bhaumik and the sound designer duo Anirban Sengupta and Dipankar Chaki never fails to amaze us with their brilliant film craft. Kaushik Ganguly has indeed crafted out a narrative with 'Shabdo' and at times without it. A national award win for the film much before the release has indeed made the journey of Shabdo more interesting and worthwhile.
The actors come out quite well within their respective screen space and are quite natural. The protagonist Ritwick Chakraborty deserves a special mention for his acting talent.
Certain surreal elements and sequences dominate the 100 minute film Shabdo, which will certainly not appeal to the normal cinegoer. To summarize, Kaushik Ganguly's Shabdo unquestionably opens up a new horizon for Bengali cinema and is not only worth a watch but worth a study.
Critic: Anurima Das
(4.2 / 5) : Extraordinary