Moments from the Premiere of New Bengali Film Ichchemotir Gappo
All those of you who have been yearning for a film that brings to light the working culture and dynamics of most of Bengali Dance and Theater groups, MacNeil Media’s New Kolkata Bengali Film Ichchemotir Gappo is here to treat you with all that is musical and mostly pleasant.
Ichchemotir Gappo is essentially the story of a danseuse named Ichche and her conflicting emotions and relationships with two men and her first love i.e. dance. Ichche initially falls in love with Neel (played by Saswata Chatterjee) only to give up on him owed to her commitment to the art but then again falls for the charms of the young and dynamic photographer Rupam (played by Saheb Bhattacharya). Ichche owed to all the turmoil and dilemma that she goes though in her personal life completely loses her mental composure and gives up dancing. It is now that Neel who is still madly in love with Ichche comes to her rescue and helps her gain back the mental balance and makes way for her return on stage. After this entire episode of rejections, denials and psychological breakdowns has Ichche really been able to come back to stage and to her beloved Neel or is she still willing to chalk her own way out without any regard for boundaries and bonds, much like the river Ichchemoti is what the story reveals in due course.
The directors A-AA-K, as they prefer being addressed must be credited for having attempted to film such a complex tale of human emotions. Each with expertise in different aspects of film making seem to have put in their heart and soul in making this film and their efforts in more places than one are visible.
Since, along with being a tale of relationships and human emotions this is essentially a film that entwines dance, choreographer Kohinoor Sen Borat must be specially congratulated for such beautiful choreography and very strong visual representations of some basic human needs. Duly complementing the younger Borat’s choreography is elder brother Kalyan Sen Borat’s music that is contemporary yet rooted.
This being the tale of Ichchemoti which has been played by Tanushree in the film, the audience had a lot of expectations from the actress but were left wanting for more. Tanushree, as most say is a director’s actor and here her performance could really shine out with little more efforts from the director trio. Saswata is good in whatever he does but unfortunately in the film where the assumption was that Neel and Ichche make a couple in their mid-twenties, Saswata comes across as bit too matured for a young man madly in love. Saheb as the photographer had precious little to add to the film. Other actors namely Aparajita Auddy, Biswanath Basu, Dwijen Bandopadhyay, Biswajit Chakroborty and others have done their bit with due sincerity but could not add much to the film.
Apart from the cultural extravaganza that the film promises with its beautiful dance sequences and eloquent language, it also brings with it a huge culture shock as not always do you get to hear slang of such elite order, that too in Bangla. Biswajit Chakroborty for no particular reason seemed to be entrusted with the task of educating the masses with the slang that the great Bengali language hides within itself. Those typical mannerisms and gestures not only seemed gross but time and again kept acting as hurdles in the smooth flow of the film. Also, those who are not too musically inclined and would try watching the film for the sake of its cinematic elements would time and again question the credibility of the script as, in an effort to talk about too many things in one film the directors have not really been able to present individual concepts to their best.
The cinematographer however must be credited for such beautiful portrayal of the hills of North Bengal. Right from the city scape as is visible at dusk to the lofty peaks of the Kanchenjunga bathed in the golden rays of the morning sun; the lens man has captured it all in its most surreal form.
Overall it can be said that Ichchemotir Gappo is a film that gives the viewers the independence of opinion and approval as while a certain group of people would hail such an effort another would simply shun it off stating it as an absolutely half baked thing. Ichchemotir Gappo is one that you can Love or Hate but definitely not ignore; so go watch it lest you miss something you may enjoy watching.
Sholoana Bangaliana Rating: 2/5
Photographs By: Amitav Sarkar