There are some films which bring forth the hard core reality of life in such a manner that along with conveying the underlying message clear and loud, have a strong feel good factor too. This is exactly what I experienced when I went to watch the first day first show of the Bengali film Ramdhanu at Nandan and came out smiling.
The film Ramdhanu is the tale of a couple Laltu and Mitali Dutta who want their only son Gogol to get admitted in an English medium school. They toil hard in order to crack the admission process but as luck would have it, either Gogol answers something incorrectly or Laltu makes a scene at the admission test. When they see no way out, Shining Stars, a school which grooms both the parents and the children come to their rescue while highlighting the myths which have developed in our society regarding education over the past couple of years.
Director duo Nandita Roy and Shiboprasad Mukherjee who have earlier given us films like Icche, Muktodhara and Alikh Sukh has again come up with a beautifully crafted film and the duo passes with flying colors owed to the skillful execution of such a sensitive topic. They surely live up to the expectations that they raised with the trailers. The topical issues dealt with by the directors are of much importance in our lives. The linguistic imperialism shown in the film will remind many of the recently released Bengali film ‘Bari Taar Bangla’ but the treatment is simply different and more subtle. The angst and the frustration of the father about the fact that he will not be able to teach his son the Bengali rhymes he has grown up singing owed to the new English education systems surely points out the sorry state of the Bengali language. This is a very hard hitting issue that the director duo tries to highlight by way of this New Kolkata Bangla Movie.
The second point that the director duo highlights is the concept of ‘Best school’, which in reality is a myth. As the proverb says, Charity begins at home, similarly the best education too begins at home. It is not necessary that getting the child admitted to the best school will ensure the best of education. The education one gets from parents, grandparents, neighbors does a lot of good for the child too.
One of the strong points of the film is that it is not at all preachy. Despite having such serious thoughts, one will never feel bored throughout the running time of the movie. The serious issues are expressed under the veil of wit and humor, which is abundant in the film. The wit is not the typical slapstick humor that we mostly get to see in such films. It is well timed humor which succeeds in bringing out genuine laughs from the audience. Imagine a situation when the interviewers ask Laltu to give an extempore on “Sibling rivalry” and he ends up speaking about “Evening library” with full gusto and enthusiasm. This will bring out genuine laughs from you and you will also understand the level of linguistic imperialism which has plagued our society. In the course of the film Malavika Banerjee (played by Rachana Banerjee) mentions that speaking correctly in your mother tongue is better than speaking incorrect English. How I wish people in our society understood this very fact! Every day one language is getting lost from the world and it is high time that we understand the need to preserve our native languages and not give in to linguistic imperialism.
Not just the script, the audience can expect a wonderful phenomenon unfolding in front of their eyes even in terms of acting. All the actors have done justice to their roles. Gargi as Mitali is a natural. She brings out the angst, worries, frustration to the fore so convincingly that you feel sorry for her. A few appreciating pats on the back of director Shiboprasad for selecting her as Mitali. Shiboprasad himself as Laltu is a complete revelation. He is so much in the character that at times you will have to think twice to identify the real life Shiboprasad. He makes you laugh, he makes you feel sorry and empathize with him. He may be clumsy and may have lied to woo Mitali during her college days, but the fact is he loves his family very much and is so meticulous about ensuring the family’s comfort and well being that he does not even think twice before breaking down fixed deposits to get his son admitted to the school of his wife’s choice. Kharaj as Akash Singhania also does a good job. Sasha as Gargi’s brother plays a good part in highlighting the linguistic imperialism. Rachana Banerjee as Malavika not only looks elegant in her Swetambaree chiffon sarees, is good with her emoting skills too and looks very much the level headed educator.
Music in the film by Sriti Lala and Raag Anuraag Music Academy beautifully compliments the film. A film on linguistic imperialism is never complete without Rabindranath and in keeping with the tradition, Rabindra Sangeet also forms an essential part of the film’s music. The nursery rhymes used in the film will remind many of similar English rhymes with the same tune. For instance “We are shining stars, jhiki miki tara” is a takeoff from “Baa baa black sheep”.
Ramdhanu indeed depicts the seven colors of the rainbow as it is all about exploring the seven colors of life. This is one movie that should invariably be in your list of ‘Must Watch Films’ for the weekend.
Ramdhanu -The Rainbow Official Trailer | Bengali film 2014 | with subtitle | (You Tube)
Bangla Movie Ramdhanu Review By:
Priyanka Dutta takes a keen interest in lifestyle and entertainment related news. She also enjoys interviewing celebrities and other renowned personalities. Priyanka holds a post graduate degree in English and Mass Communication. Journalism is her passion and she has reported for many a reputed international web portals.