India has one of the highest accident rates in the world. Kolkata is also one such city in India which has a high rate of accidents taking place ever year and there is nearly one accident or the other taking place somewhere in the city on a daily basis. Now an accident might take place because of the fault of the pedestrian or because of the rash driving of the driver or because of the mechanical fault of the bus or other factors. Factors can be several and it is this and some things which the film intends to highlight.
Every day , most of us have to travel in buses and put up with the rash driving of the the drivers when they compete with their fellow drivers and put our lives at stake. Maybe a few of us also do actually meet with an accident and lose our lives, yet no one does anything. The buses are old, tyres are faulty and maybe the mechanism is also faulty, but no one cares to do anything since everyone starting from the bus owner, the unions, the bus company, the transport minister and maybe the chief minister are part of the ‘system' about which we can’t do anything as they are together.
The film is essentially about 3 people and their families. We have Arko and Rhea who lose their only child in an accident where he is run over by a bus, Kartick the bus driver who runs over Arka and Rhea’s son and Swapan Chakrabarty, the insurance surveyor who investigates the case. The accident shatters the couple and they find hard to face life , but they find a different meaning and purpose to life when Kartick approaches them one day. He is extremely guilty conscious and hates himself for what he is done, but he is actually not responsible for what had happened as the mechanism of the bus was faulty. The third person who has a moral conscience also is Swapan Chakrabarty, the insurance surveyor who investigates the case and sees the ‘system’ is at fault. When people unite and decide to take up a cause for mankind in general, the cause can actually be converted into reality , at least for the sake of the film. That is what happens because the trio decide to take up cudgels against the system which includes the bus owners, the union, the bus company and even the administration including the Transport Minister and the Chief Minister and accomplish their mission or purpose. The Chief Minister is forced to implement some changes which include salaries for bus drivers, no bus more than 15 years to be on the road, buses to be tried and tested before they are on the roads etc.
The film tells our story. A problem which we face on a day-to day basis, but regarding which we can’t do anything . Accident comes up with all the problems as well as the solutions to them as well. After Icche and Muktodhara, Shibu again comes up with a wonderful socially relevant film. He is again wonderful as Arko , the distraught father who finds a new purpose to life. Sampurna does show she can act by complementing him well as Rhea, his wife. Rudranil Ghosh again excels as Kartick and comes up with a wonderful performance. Kanchana plays her part well. Debshankar Haldar is good as usual. And who can forget the foul mouthed Madan Patra being played by Kharaj Mukherjee? Yes, when he is mouthing expletives, people might not like it, but it does seem realistic.
Unfortunately some things happen only in films and not in real life. Whatever has been shown in Accident, if it could take place in real life as well, the city would have been a better and a much safer place at least as far as accidents are concerned. Unfortunately there is a difference between ‘reel’ and real and to make it real, politicians would have to forgo pleasing various sections of people and would lose out on their vote bank which is not feasible to them at all.
At least the Chief Minister and Transport Minister should have been invited there and actually seen the film for themselves and then decided to implement a few changes to make the transport system a little better so that we can live a little more happily.
Shibu should be thanked for making such a socially relevant film and so should Kaustav Roy and Kolkata TV for backing such a project .