Sometimes there are people whom you haven’t met and don’t know at all. They remain unknown to you in totality. It might be the entire person or certain things about that person. But what if that person is your mother? Yes, the very special person who has given birth to you and brought you into this world. The person who is the protector, nurtures you and brings you up with utmost care and affection , the person without whom you wouldn’t have been there. What if such a person is someone whom you have never met or known or come to actually know and understand her long after she is no more?
‘Abasheshey’, Aditi Roy’s debut film is exactly about that mother and son relationship. A son who has never met her(after growing up) or known her, yet actually feels her presence in his life. Maybe they had been seperated for no fault of theirs and maybe could have met, but all this remains irrelevant. What becomes relevant is this journey of self discovery, of coming to know Kolkata and also coming to know his mother. The film is like a collage of memories which become the central point of the film. The film does switch back and forth and though it might confuse some, however the manner of story telling shouldn’t be a problem for most people. The film has various sides to it.
If it is about Suchismita, the lonely soul who couldn’t be a happier soul and kept everyone around her cheerful in spite of her troubled life, it is all about Soumya, just another young N.R.I who doesn’t remain just another young N.R.I after his journey of self discovery. For Soumya, it is about a lot of things. It is about knowing his mother, how she saw life and faced it, the people around her and what they meant to her and it is also about Kolkata. It is also about coming to know the real side of his father as it turns out he also has a half sister called Meghla.
Indeed, this is what makes the film stand out. It is the vignettes of life and the city of Kolkata which Soumya rediscovers like a thread which makes the narrative flow freely. Kolkata with it’s hustle and bustle, with it’s slow and non happening work culture, the dirt and squalor, the laid back atitude has it’s negatives, but it has it’s positives too. The people, the history, the streets, the Durga puja, the city with it’s sleepy approach to life and warmth yet grows on anyone who has even a remote connection with this city specially if you have lived here and even if you had practically not lived here , but were just born here. Yet this city just grows on you over a period of time and that is what happens to Soumya. These two things-knowing his mother and discovering Kolkata run parallely along with 'knowing' himself which is simply excellent. His mother becomes more and more close to him as he meets the few selected people who were her extremely near and dear ones.
Late realisation is also never too late and helps one to understand something or someone which might have not happened under normal circumstances. Ranjan Palit who incidentally made his debut as a cinematographer in Tollywood with this film plays with the camera at will. All the shots look so natural and well taken and nothing looks in excess. The background score by Prabudhha Banerjee are nice and Rupa Ganguly has done a decent job with the couple of Rabindra Sangeets which she has sung for this film.
Ankur Khanna is excellent as the young N.R.I ,Soumya for whom this journey to his homeland is a soul searching experience. His accent is right too and he sure impresses. Rupa Ganguly as Suchismita probably gives the performance of her lifetime whose inner turmoil and angst is perfectly potrayed by her and she makes the character very believable, life like and real. Raima as Nandini who was closest to Suchishmita and looks upon her as her own mother is excellent as a support to the character of Soumya. The other actors or actresses whether Deepankar Dey as Rangada, Manashi Sinha as Piyali, Suman Mukherjee as Amit, Kamalika Banerjee as Rakhi,Sudipta Chakrabarty as Meghla or even Avijit Guha(yes, the director) as the liftman-they all play their part so well. In fact director Suman Mukherjee again impresses after 'Sthaniyo Sangbad' and no matter what he thinks about his acting abilities, he has always performed more than creditably whenever he has got the chance to act.
Well, regarding Rupa Ganguly getting the national award for best singer(female), let’s say that the decision is a strange and surprising one , but such things have happened before at the national awards level before. If this film would have got a national award for best Bengali film, it would be a befitting one because the film is a very humane film and it comes as more than than a pleasant shock that both the director(Aditi Roy) and story writer(Neel.B.Mitra who has also written the screenplay and dialogues) are first timers!
We shall expect more bigger things from both of them in time to come.