'8:8 Bonga Local' is a startling revelation of the tremendous turmoil that exists in our society. The film is not only a tale of the common man or of passengers of any local train or of the ordeal they have to face at the hands of a few unwanted fellow passengers, but is rather about the harsher truths of our society. It is the story of a one man’s fight against the evil in our society, but in reality the film is actually a wake up call for all of us . It is an awakening which the director has tried to create in all of us.
The film’s protagonist Ananta Das is a normal middle class man . In fact he is a clerk. Everyday he avails the 8:08 A.M Bongaon Local to Kolkata to attend office. Some known and unknown common people are his companions throughout his journey everyday. He sees many incidents, which creates a deep impression in his life. One such incident is murder of a brother who protested against a group of drunkards who were teasing his elder sister (“Rajiv murder case in Barasat”). Initially he remains silent against all these incidents but one fine one day something happens inside him and he bursts out. He starts protesting against each and every wrong deed, irrespective of the level of crime. As a result he stands out as a protesting person in front of other common people. He turns out to be the target of the leaders of the society.
The film features a real life incident ( the Rajiv muder case in Barasat where a brother was murdered when he tried to prevent goons from raping his elder sister which created ripples in the society), but in reality the film is a real life description of incidents which are always occurring around us, but nearly all of us remain unmoved. If’Aami Subhash Bolchi’ was trying to wake up Bengalis, this film is also about trying to wake up everyone in particular, not only Bengalis. However this film in reality should be about trying to wake the Bengalis up. The reason is that the ‘Khat’ which Ananta has one day should happen to all of us..Just like his doctor says ‘Ananta‘s spine was crooked all this while, now at least it has become straight while most of the other people I see have no spine’. This statement is indeed so true. Most Bengalis have become spineless. They are just happy with whatever is dished out to them . They have forgotten to protest against anything and are extremely self centred and selfish and only worried about their own self interest. They will never come forward to support members of thir own community. As Ananta says’ Sabai Bole Aamar Tate Ki?’Yes, this has been the downfall of the community. Why , the community even fears foreigners staying in our own country and remain silent. Imagine foreigners coming and misbehaving and threatening us in our own country!
Therefore this film is definitely a wake up call for us to rise and protest against any wrongdoing that we see . Now whether we start protesting like Ananta even when it comes to petty matters is a different matter. For all of us, something or the other happens around us which should not happen and which we don’t protest against , but we should start protesting from now.
The film by Debaditya is indeed different and very good though the ending is very negative. Okay, so maybe Ananta had taken the law in his own hands in a way but he was honestly speaking, a sort of ‘Messiah’ for the society. His end coming in such a way makes the film well sort of ‘negative’ and might dissuade certain people from seeing the film as nowadays the word of mouth is the biggest publicity that works for a film as ‘Bhuter Bhabishyat’ is the biggest example of that. All the actors and actresses have done well, but the film undoubtedly belongs to Tapas Pal. This is a powerful performance as the social crusader who tries to be the ‘messiah’ of the society. He simply towers over everyone else with his marvellous performance as Ananta. The background score and music by Tanmoy Bose is appropriate. Raghubir Yadav as the rickshawallah is an appropriate choice as the man who stands by Ananta.
Therefore the film is not only about the daily lives of people travelling in local trains, but is for us and about us.