Paanch Adhyay

22 Oct

It was time well spent, even on Maha Saptami evening. Paanch Adhyay proves that Bengali Cinema which had witnessed a point of inflection in the last couple years is now shining. It is especially heartening in this context as this film is of the romance genre and not drama which has been the common point of the recent list of movies making the cut. And by the almost houseful audience at the Priya Cinemas show clearly meant that the word is spreading.

Paanch Adhyay was a sensory experience. A movie that will leave you asking whether you are true to your relationships. It will make you re-evaluate your current relationships and make you think twice before making a new commitment.

Pratim D. Gupta has lived up to expectations in his debut film itself and showed his class in each one of the 5 parts of the movie. The music had already given the indication, the movie has been clearly lifted up to the next level by the rich and classy diction of the director. I dont recall having seen any movie of the romantic genre where the entire composition was so packed and the kept the audience waiting. The pace of the movie was not of a thriller though and built up gradually till the dramatic scene before the interval where the husband tries to suffocate her sleeping wife with a pillow.

Dia Mirza has done justice to the role (Ishita) offered to her. She looked as elegantly beautiful as she looked in her debut film RHTDM. A word of praise has to go out for the costumes which undoubtedly played a role in that. Bangla sounded so natural from her and she looked graceful even in her silence. Priyanshu Chatterjee (Arindam)  delivered his powerful role as the other half of the couple being portrayed in the movie with surprising elan. They have bonded exceptionally together to showcase the lives of a modern couple who

find love and then loose it. It reminds me of Raincoat by Rituparno Ghosh where also like in Paanch Adhyay, the film had revolved in totality around the central characters played by Aishwarya Rai and Ajay Devgan.

As the next chapters of the life of the couple unfolded in the second half, although predictable at times, the handling was undoubtedly different. The sheer crudeness of the character Ranjabati played by Sampurna Lahiri made the audience literally cringe. I even heard one of them cursing Ranja as she showed her desperateness at not being able to finally take away the married man from his wife. Dia rises to the occasion in the last part where the couple understands that they had been together their whole lives but hardly had time for each other. The cruel blow dealt by the tragic turn of events brings them close again although it was too late.

I personally feel Soumitro Chatterjee’s guest appearance in the movie could have been better used. Nonetheless, the legendary actor not only delivered on what he was asked to but added value through his familiar enigmatic style.

The cinematography in the movie is surely one of the clinchers. The flower and hawker stalls, the “goli”s near Lake Market (Kolkata) are portrayed as if you must have seen the couple passing by some day..or feel as if its your story only. As we chase our dreams in this urban jungle, are we ignoring the love and sharing that our relationships bring. A must watch movie for every man in a relationship and not just of the husband-wife variety.

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