Lexically, "autograph" means, an identifying mark specified by the signature of the individual himself.Though the film ends with the autograph given by the unrivalled super-star Arun Chatterjee to a boy-servant of a road-side eatery or dhaba, the larger section of the audiences may find themselves crossroaded to earmak if the autograph is of Prosenjit Arun Chatterjee or of Srijit Mukherjee, the debutant diractor, who is stated to have been profusely inspired by "Nayak", a creation by Satyajit Ray, the doyen of Indian filmdom. The judgement may prove ambivalent. But, the film itself is a manifestation that-no "Nayak", no "Autograph". Ray's "The Hero" must have haunted Srijit day in and day out. Though "Autograph"is not purposed to be sequel to or remake of "Nayak", resonance is boldly vivid. The story-line needs no release from the nut-shell.
Shubhobrata Mitra, a young aspirant film maker, who tends to break ground with his latest venture, pursues Arun Chatterjee, the star with his loftiest realm in the industry. The top-ranked star, with a view to having his enveloped potentials felt,takes up the role and comes up to produce it. "Aajker Nayak"conjectured to be the title of the film on floors, is very much in reminiscent with Ray's "Nayak". Aditi for Uttam Kumar or Arindam Mukherjee is Srinandita in this case. Srinandita is factually the live-in girl of Shubhobrata, the director. Initially, she feels ill at ease with this mighty star, but in course of time,she becomes at home with him and develops warm rapport with him. This off-shoot relationship brings about an irreapairable crevice in the live-in status. Shubho fails to keep civil disposition and even turns foul-mouthed to his crew members. But, the crux, caused by the new relationship between Arun Chatterjee and Srinandita, culminates to the panic-station, where Arun, in a drunken state makes a clean breast of his inane acts to his new sweet-heart. Circumstantially, the confession gets recorded. Subho happens to come by the record, dupes Srin, and encashes the confession by revealing it for the promo of his film on media. As the so-called intellectual, off-the -track movie-maker stoops to this base to pick his triumph-card, calamity for him becomes invarable. He is abandoned by Srin and Arun scraps the production with abrupt directness.
The film is basically dominated by three characters:-Arun Chatterjee( Prosenjit), Shubhabroto Mitra( Indranil Sengupta) and Srinandita Sen( Nandana Sen). Needless to say, Prosenjit is second to none, at least, in this role. Of all the contemporary heroes he is the only one to have rubbed shoulders with Uttam Kumar ( his Uttam Jethu). Naturally,there can be no good substitution for him. In fine, he has done brilliant and proved that he can perform under-acting, as Uttam Kumar did in "Nayak". Prosenjit has never ventured to overshadow the Mahanayak.It is the great of a great actor to tribute to the other great. Indranil Sengupta is sure to have his presence felt,marked and remembered so much so that what he did before will pass into oblivion. He appears dynamic, vibrant and very much modern, sufficient to weaken a modern young girl.Time will make him a better performer. Srinandita enacted by Nandana Sen has done justice to her role, nevertheless her expressions, poses, expostulations need to be preemed all the more.
Srijit Mukherjee has no doubt strained his nerves extensively and created some underlining sequences. All the same, something seems to be missing in his directorial ventures. The film within film approaches have not been crafted smartly nor meticulously. There ought to have been more subtlities in the screenplay. The length could have been abridged to lop off the superfluous twigs. The live-in relationship has been given unwanted footage through impish acts, frolic funs and friendly addresses, as if, college campus had been domesticated.They may be normal. But every normal, when shown,sticks in one's throat.But, the director has left stamps of his sound education, social awarness and elegance.
A prima facie of the review may stress that "Autograph" is, by no means, a remake of "Nayak", but even a grim-jawed and tongue-tied critic can help referring to "Nayak", as the characters of Ray's film like Sankar Da,Jyoti, Biresh, the producer, the late night stranger woman(Sumita Sannyal) have come up here in different cloisters.Some scenes are very much reflexive and resonent.In "Nayak" Arindam Mukherjee(Uttam Kumar) was the nucleus and other characters were the protoplasms revolving round. This film does not have that nulear protagonism. In " Autograph" Subhobrota Mitra is making a songless film, Srijit Mukherjee has made his film with some catchy numbers. " Amake amar moto thakte dao" penned and sung by Anupam Roy may be voice of the director himself. Of the present youngstars those have not seen "Nayak"may come out of the multiplexes opening with their mouths with " bhalo"(good), but one doubts if the certification is an issue of their comprehension? As for rural areas, the young audiences will bring their within without.