Rituparno Ghose’s “Abohomaan” deals with the mentor’s relationship with his muse. And he believes this pygmalionish relationship is eternal. It happens everywhere, it happens in every ages.
Though “Abohomaan” tells the story of Aniket (Dipankar Dey) and Sikah (Ananya Chatterjee), it may also be the story of either Guru Dutt-Waheeda Rahman or Jean Lue Godurd-Anna Karina or Woody Altea- Mia Furrow or Himanshu Rai-Debika Rani. It happened in the 40’s of the last century, it is happening even today.
Aniket is a film maker who makes films for the class, not mass. When he was younger he was fascinated by the relationship between Noti Binodini and maestro dramatist-director Girish Chandra Ghosh.
He wanted to make a film based on this eternal theme. He auditioned a girl for the lead role of Binodini. The film was not made, but he fell in love with the lady and married her. She is Deepti (Mamata Shankar). They have a son Apratim (Jishu Sengupta) whose passion is music, he has his own Band.
Deepti has left acting. Aniket has become old. He again wants to make his dream film on Noti Binodini. And this time deepti has found Sikha, a theatre actress, fittest for the role of Binodini.
The “Binodini” film, a film-within-film, is weaved bits by bits from the beginning till end in the body of the original film “Abohomaan”, in such a way that it works as the “flash back” sequences but no one feels it as boring as typical flash backs.
This structure of the film is so unique that at times, if you are not very attentive, it is difficult to understand what you are watching, time-present or time-past?
The film begins with the death of Aniket and it end with that too- but the main story goes even beyond that when we come to know that Apratim is planning to make a fictional film on the relationship between his father Aniket and his actress Sikha. But the film ends in a flash back which begins in a time present and in between it goes beyond.
Rituparno handles the relationship between the maestro and the muse so cleverly that you can never identify any real life characters. But when we see Aniket in his study preparing for pre-production works of the film-the design of the study-set the attitude of the director reminds us a specific real character. Even that muse’s residence is north Calcutta and his secret visit to her reminds us that specific character also.
“Abohomaan” is also a story of relationship. Relationship between father and son, between mother and son, between husband and wife, between two sisters. So, one may easily call it a film on even kind of relationship, not only the relationship between mentor and muse.
Dipankar dey is superb in the role of Aniket. He portrays the pain, agony, ecstasy of a film director in minutest detail. Both Ananya Chatterjee and Mamata Shankar have delivered their best performances in this film. Jishu is also brilliant in the role of Apratim, who has a very sensitive attitude towards his mother, his father and also for the poor girl Sikha.
Avik Mukhopadhyay’s camera has done the magic again.