Chauu dance is one art form that is believed to be native to West Bengal- Purulia and dates back to the times when Bengal was at its glorious best. In this dance form dancers wear colorful masks and dance to the beat of music telling different tales. A slice of life of the people of Purulia and this tradition of Chauu dance is what holds center stage in the New Bangla Movie Nirmok.
The film is about a village where the villagers make the masks of the Chauu dancers. Haripada is a well known and clever businessman. He uses the money that government had allotted for the development of the dance form for his family business of making masks. He sells the masks as decorative items to the people in the city. Haripada’s son Shambhu falls in love with the daughter of a once well known Chhau dancer Dasarath. Mohua, Dasarath’s daughter works in the home of the government ranger to earn some money. Due to some circumstances Shambhu comes to Kolkata and Dasarath succumbs to illness. He is promised by Haripada on his death bed that he will make Mohua his daughter-in-law. But what happens is Haripada ultimately marries Mohua. What happens when Shambhu comes back? What is Mohua’s fate ultimately?
The director Mrinmoy Saha must be given the credit for making the film on such a different issue. Chauu dance and the fate of the villagers in the poor villages have been shown wonderfully. The fact that the government’s rules are openly flouted in rural areas with practices like polygamy and misuse of the Government allocated development funds has been shown well. The director has also shown how backward the mentalities of villagers are as they still engage in practices like witch hunting. Another fact which is highly appreciable is that he has not tried to make the film a typical city film. The language used is the type used in Purulia villages. The flaw which becomes an eye sore in this otherwise good flowing film is the bad camera angles. They sometimes have a jarring effect on the smooth viewing of the film. The dubbing also has not been done properly. Often the dialogues did not match with the lip movements. Costumes could also have been paid much attention to by the director. However, given the fact that the film was made on a stringent budget, one can avoid picking out the flaws and rather focus more on the thought process involved in the film making.
Debesh Roy Choudhury excels as the clever, mean minded businessman, Haripada. His diction and body language give life to the role of the businessman that he plays. Priya Paul who had earned fame by her acting in the serial Jol Nupur also does a good job as Mohua. Manie as Shambhu is also not bad.
The film, though has flaws, also showcases the truth happening in the remote villages of Purulia. Nirmok is a slice of life. Just like life, the film has its ups and downs. This film I feel can be viewed once to discover how people in other areas of the ‘Paribartan’ ridden Bengal still live.
New Bangla Movie Nirmok 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.