Durga Sohay Review
Durga Sahay (In the name of Durga: the Goddess) can easily be considered as an amplified, extended version of any melodramatic television serials of both Hindi or Bengali channels. It is an epic saga of a certain Basak family, jewelers by profession. Apparently a happy joint family, the film covers a few days of durga puja inside the Basak household, adorned by the head of the family senior Basak (Sumantra Chattopadhyay), his two sons, little crude and vulgar, Dibyendu (Kaushik Sen), artistic and sensitive Subho (Indrashish Roy) with their two beautiful wives who are poles apart in nature complimenting their respective partners, the older Daughter-in-law (Debjani Chattopadhyay) and younger daughter-in-law (Tanusree Chakroborty).
The younger couple had a daughter whom they lost untimely and the older couple is the proud parents of a son Dhrubo (Rwitobroto Mukherjee). They have a sibling too played by Sampurna Lahiri, who visits her parents' home during puja. The puja is ushered by loads of laughter, anticipation and family dramas; also the director chooses an occasion very dear to the heart of the Bengalis, probably keeping the box office in mind. During this auspicious period, another Dugga (Sohini Sarkar) enters the household as a nurse to take care of the eldest Basak. She turns out to be a thief, caught by the compassionate choto bou who convinces others to give her a second chance to redeem her and a subtle mother-daughter relationship is established between them, much to the surprise of the other female members of the family. Dugga in reality and Durga as a deity occupy the central place in the film. How Dugga rescues Dhrubo from the local goons, how she is seduced by the elder brother Dibyendu, how she tackles her thug husband Mahadeb(Anirban Bhattacharya) constitutes the actual storyline.
The director in the opening title dedicated the film to another family film drama based on Durga puja i.e. "Utsav" by the late director Rituparno Ghosh. What is striking, in the last few years i.e. in the post Rituparno Ghosh era, Bengali cinema has witnessed a steady decadence. The same thematic has dwindled into a mere soap opera. The way Ghosh dealt with the nuances of relationships between generations has been reduced to a few loud acting, repeat shots and basic theme. Music by Bikram Ghosh is not remarkable. Only the song of the agomoni gaan catches the attention. The medley number is terrible for the ears. Gairik Sarkar as the cinematographer did not have enough space to exhibit his talent. Sujoy Dutta Ray brings in a certain pace in this otherwise mundane theme.
As a director it cannot be the only duty to entertain the masses, there should be at least a sincere effort to uplift the total cultural experience of the almost half baked, television obsessed Bengali audience. It is certain that Arindam Sil has the ability to do that. Hope he will prove himself in the next most anticipated venture of a film on Dhananjoy Mondol.
In the acting department, Sumantra Mukhopadhyay did justice to his character as the sublime patriarch. Kaushik Sen is ok, he had nothing much to do. Debjani Chattopadhyay needs to act more, she is a gem. Tanusree Chakroborty is slowly and steadily gaining ground for herself. Sohini Sarkar is the new blue eyed girl in the industry and she knows that. Anirban Bhattacharya has a huge potential and directors in the industry have already started experimenting with him, therefore he should stop wasting himself in these kinds of blink & miss roles.
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