4.5 out of 5 (Very Good)
A brilliant take on life, reality and truth of Ritwik Ghatak, Meghe Dhaka Tara is a celebration of emotions on screen and sets a discourse of its own.
Anurima Das Sun, 16 Jun 2013
Meghe Dhaka Tara is a tale of a misunderstood man, a man who was recognized many years after he was no more. A brilliant take on life, reality and truth of Ritwik Ghatak, the film is a celebration of emotions on screen and sets a discourse of its own.
Jukti Takka Gappo was Ritwik Ghatak's last film, the legend that he was, ushered the audience in his glory even with his acting in this film. Neelkantha was his character's name. Director Dr. Kamaleshwar Mukherjee begins from where Ghatak ended and as if brings back the man of Jukti Takka Gappo, Neelkantha alive in his Meghe Dhaka Tara.
Saswata Chatterjee (Neelkantha) is a mentally ill man, who is being admitted to the 'Alo mental home'. He is admitted under the supervision of Dr. S.P. Mukherjee (Abir Chatterjee). Neelkantha is an unruly man, who cannot be stopped within the boundaries of a closed space. He is an artist, a non conformist and a person who cannot come to terms with the Bengal Divide. Durga (Ananya Chatterjee) is his silent yet disciplined wife; he describes her as 'sharat Kal'. Neelkantha during his stay in this mental home brings to revisit his past, his tryst with the People's Theatre, his ideologies, his ideas of a nation etc. the doctor stand still and observes closely as Neelkantha walks him through the alleys of his past.
They walk through the trying times of the 40s, the thin hidden alleys of revolution, the colonies of innumerable refugees and visits the homes of the mothers-who have been tortured, raped and killed mercilessly during those testing times. Neelkantha is disgrace for the society, who fails to adjust and accommodate to the terms laid out by the society. He is happier to find solace in his writings, in his theatre and of course the common man.
Several instances remind us that the silent observer Dr. S.P. Mukherjee is none other than director Dr. Kamaleshwar Mukherjee himself. He is just watching and revisiting the times to trace back and snatch a few moments for us. While initially Neelkantha refuses to stay put and always looks for a chance to run away from the asylum, he finally comes to terms with the place and begins to perform plays in the mental home only.
Apart from the brilliant storytelling tools adapted by Mukherjee, the films stand up on its feet resting upon the brilliance of acting. Saswata Chatterjee yet again shines as an actor who casts a spell over all and brings out emotions in their true, real state. The on screen theatre performance gives Goosebumps and all the actors strike a chord. Ananya Chatterjee shines in her own subtle silent splendor.
Along with the surreal imageries and acting, the film with its black and white charisma shines like a true star. The music imparts a rustic flavor and tickles a chord too. The film is truly beyond analysis and is such a remarkable wholesome effect that, it is bound to stay as a shining star in the history of cinema forever.
Critic: Anurima Das
4.5 out of 5 (Very Good)