Soumya and Supriyo are the names of two film directors who have made their debut cinema in 2008 based on a story by Sarat Chandra Chattopadhyay written a century ago. Soumya- Supriyo’s debut joint venture “ANTARATAMA” is based on the story “Swami” by Sarat Chandra Chattopadhyay. The problem with these film-makers is that they don’t reveal that their films are done digitally and cheaply. Cheap digital films are only meant for small screen, like television monitors. If their films are being shown in a regular theatre, it would definitely create certain problems. Here, the problem is very, very low light. Sometimes it becomes very difficult even to identify the characters in a long shot. The entire film seems to be happening either in dark or dead night.
Now, everybody knows the story of “Swami”. Though “Swami “ was written almost about a century ago, it never propagates the idea “husband is like god”, so, Soudamini even decides to leave her husband’s house with her ex-lover Naren, but considering the purity of the person, she changes her decision to return to her husband’s house.
“Swami” is the story of a woman Soudamini, who discovers her husband whom she was prepared to dislike from the beginning. It is the story of discovering her husband. She was ready to tell her husband about her past love, but could not say it some how.
Sreelekha Mitra as Soudamini has done an excellent job. When she was in love in Naren she was something, and when she comes to her husband’s house we find her as someone else. As an enlightened woman of that period, her dignified presence in the midst of in-laws clearly creates a difference. But when Naren comes to see her we see again a different Sreelekha.
Chiranjeet in his role of a Vaishnabite and simple husband of Soudamini surprisingly is devoid of his typical mannerism and dialogue delivery. But the character is not properly etched. It remains unclear why at the end she accepts her wife Soudamini even knowing that she has left her house with Naren.
Naren is the weakest link of the script, but he has a major part to play in the story. But the choice of a wrong actor has done the blunder. But the most cinematic scene of “ANTARATAMA” is the appearance scene of Naren in the “Pukurghat”. The film’s music track is good but they are not used properly, several Tagore’s songs are used like “Jibano Maroner Simana Charaye,” but the inner meaning of the song and the visuals does never coincide.
I have seen the film in the first day evening show in a north Kolkata theatre, but there were only five spectators to watch the movie - what’s the use to making these digital films?