Kolkata Bengali Films 2014 that Made a Mark and Fell Flat; A Year End Summary of the Good, Bad and Ugly by Sanjib Banerji (Sholoana Bangaliana Exclusive)


In an effort to salute the Bengali Film Industry’s showmanship in the year 2014, team Sholoana Bangaliana hereby presents a year end summary of films that the audience loved, lived with and trashed to the last frame. Hope you will enjoy reading!!

Chotushkone-ReviewCHOTUSHKONE: A Tale of Twists

The King of Last minute twists, Srijit Mukherji has the Bengali cine goer’s mind mapped to accuracy and has enchased heavily yet again on the star power and Bengal’s taste for thrillers. Accompanied with soulful music and a sleek editing, Chotushkone emerges as the undisputed winner in the league of Bengali Films released in the year 2014.

Apur-Panchali-ReviewAPUR PANCHALI : Pather Panchali the Kaushik Way

The tragic tale of an unsung hero told cinematically with conviction by the Master Story Teller of The Bengali Film Fraternity Kaushik Ganguly, Apur Panchali reminds the Nostalgic Bangali of Ray in more ways than one. With Indraadip Dasgupta’s BGM and some praiseworthy performance by the cast, Apur Panchali conquered many hearts at the IFFI 2013 and brought home a bouquet of accolades.


Byomkesh-Phire-Elo-ReviewBYOMKESH PHIRE ELO: Dutt Dhamaka at the Box Office

With Byomkesh Phire Elo Dutt proves it yet again that he cannot be written off from the Bengali cinema scene that easily. Though Sesh Bole Kichu Nei bombed at the box office, with Byomkesh Phire Elo Anjan Dutt made a statement ‘Anjan Dutt’er Sesh Bole Kichu Nei’. This film also marked the coming back of producer Kaustav Roy and that too with a bang. It is however a pity that Abir Chatterjee will not be seen as Byomkesh Bakshi again……


Jatishwar-ReviewJATISHWAR: A Musical of Sorts

A completely new product offering from brand Srijit, Jatishwar with its intelligent time play, Bangaliana and the acting prowess of Prosenjit Chatterjee gave Bangla cinema a new critical vantage point into the future of Bengali films. The hit formula that arose out of Srijit Mukherji and Kabir Suman’s astounding chemistry also added to the films undying appeal making it the industry’s Ivy League offering.


Ramdhanu-ReviewRAMDHANU: Directing the scanners onto the education system of India

A very relevant social docu-fiction, Ramdhanu exudes Shiboprosad Mukherjee and Nandita Roy’s philosophy of film making. A film that will coax the audience to evaluate their expectations from their children and the education system of the country, Ramdhanu with excellent performances from Gargi Roy Chowdhury, Rachana Banerjee, child artist Akashneel Mitra and the director himself is a very relevant and at the same time entertaining film. The fact that it is now going to be made into a Bollywood Hindi film affirms its relevance.


Ek-Phaali-Rodh-ReviewEK PHALI RODH: Social Mirror

In today’s realm of lawlessness where even kins abandon the dying, Atanu Ghosh conceives and presents a film on Bystander Effect which talks about stranger psychology in times of emergency or chaos and yes he presents it with élan. Proving yet again that fortune favors the brave; Ghosh has roped in some of the industry’s most talented but underrated (often considered unlucky for box office success) actors in a mesmerizing tale of the human psyche. The cerebral film maker that Ghosh is, he even dares to present Ray’s heroes as protagonists in films with a very modern context.


Jodi-Love-Dile-Na-Prane-ReviewJODI LOVE DILE NA PRANE: Love Still Exists in this Loveless World

A film on Bangla Modern literature, Jodi Love Dile Na Prane is director Duo Sudeshna Roy and Abhijit Ghuha’s best till date. With a psychological disorder presented in such a positive and feel good way, the film holds on to its romantic elements in every frame. While Abir Chatterjee is a revelation in terms of acting, the lyrical capturing of Kolkata and Shantiniketan makes this film a treat to watch.


Khaad-ReviewKHAAD: Soul Stirring Journey of Life from Darkness to Eternal Light

A soul searching visual narrative about the basic human values of sharing and caring, Khaad gives us food for thought. Right from the BGM to Screenplay, every bit of the film challenges the mental makeup of humans of the 21st century. Another comprehensive yet sensitive film from the master story teller that Ganguly is, Khaad transcends into a stimulator of introspection.


Bachchan-ReviewBACHCHAN: A Masala Pot Boiler

Encashing on the Bachchan mantra and Jeet’s charisma the producers, Reliance Entertainment found a money spinner in Bachchan. Under Raja Chanda’s direction, Bachchan with all its masala in Subhasree’s item number, Jeet’s action sequences and comic timing as well as Oindrita’s charm did roaring business in the suburbs of Bengal thus aptly balancing the yearly quota of urbane and mainstream Bengali films.


Buno-Haansh-ReviewBUNO HAANSH: Dev re-discovered

An open ended thought provoking underworld thriller, Buno Haansh with Dev’s star image stripped off proves it yet again that Bengali literature has the prowess to grab audience attention even today. Tollywood hero Dev’s efforts in portraying a character that was out of his safe zone was evident throughout the film and that to an extant adds to the film’s appeal. Excellent music by National Award winning composer Shantanu Moitra coupled with crisp editing by veteran editor Arghyakamal Mitra heightens the intensity of the plot. Overall Bunohaansh is director Aniruddha Roy Chowdhury’s bold attempt at presenting a dark underworld thriller in Bangla which was well complemented by Harendra Singh’s cinematography and Shyamal Sengupta’s screenplay.

While 2014 did indeed see some wonderful presentations by ace directors, few that were an utter disappointment were:

Yoddha-Movie-ReviewYoddha: A classic turned into Circus

Bindaas-Movie-ReviewBindaas: A bit too erratic for a rational human brain

Obhishopto-Nighty-ReviewObhishopto Nighty: Accursed

Highway-ReviewHighway: A fatal cinematic accident

Kolkata-Calling-ReviewKolkata Calling: Uncalled for!

Force-Movie-ReviewForce: Forced direction

Taan-Movie-ReviewTaan: Literature shabbily represented

Arundhuti-Movie-ReviewArundhuti: Nothing looked right

Window-Connection-ReviewWindow Connection: Just could not connect

Aakarshan-Movie-ReviewAakarshan: Nothing to attract

To sum up, 2014 has been the year of some path breaking experiments by seasoned film makers and films with bold content that are very much at par with those of National stature.

With a number of films like Chotoder Chobi, Lorai, Nirbak and others already lined up for 2015 we surely are about to start the year on a high and we wish the entire Bengali film fraternity the Very Best in their efforts.

So here’s wishing You all a Very Happy and Prosperous 2015!


Sholoana Bangaliana Year End Film Summary by:

SanjibSanjib Banerji takes a keen interest in both Old and Contemporary/modern Bengali literature and cinema and has written several short stories for Bengali Little magazines. He also runs a little magazine in Bangla, named – Haat Nispish, which has completed its 6th consecutive year in the last Kolkata International Book Fair. Being the eldest grandson of Late Sukumar Bandopadhaya, who was the owner of HNC Productions and an eminent film producer cum distributor of his time (made platinum blockbusters with Uttam Kumar, like “Prithibi Aamarey Chaaye”, “Indrani” and several others), Sanjib always nurtured an inherent aspiration of making it big and worthy in the reel arena.He has already written few screenplays for ETV BANGLA and he is currently working as the writer and creative director of upcoming Bengali Thriller Sesh Anko.

Sanjib can be reached at sanjib.banerji2013@gmail.com
The information and views set out in this movie review are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official opinion of the Publication/Organization. Neither the Publication/Organization nor any person acting on their behalf may be held responsible for the use which may be made of the information contained therein.


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