Kichu paltai ni - aar erokom paltabe-o na.
Chalo Paltai is the latest rip-off to hit Bengali screens, with a story and screenplay by N.K Salil, and directed by Haranath Chakraborty.
Chalo Paltai tells the story of Subhamoy (Prasenjit), who lives in what strongly resembles a Mumbai chawl with his two children, Gourab (Devdaan Bhowmik), and Munni (Tathoi). Shubamoy is a 'sadharon manush', who struggles to make ends meet, and takes on extra jobs, including cleaning cars and packaging incense sticks, and borrows money from the local money lender (Rajataba Dutta) to keep his family going. The problem Subhamoy has is the lack of interest Gourab has in studying - he's far more interested in playing cricket, and has the talent to match. This causes regular arguments between father and son, with Munni stuck between her brother's dreams and her father's aspirations. Also living in the chawl is Malini (Mouli Ganguly), a lady of questionable character, who Munni grows close to.
During an argument between father and son, Shubamoy beats Gourab to the extent that he ends up in a coma. After this incident, Shubamoy realises that it wasn't his son who was in the wrong, but it was the pressures of the educational system that has caused the situation the family are in now. Thus begins the one man crusade to reform the system.
Chalo Paltai is a fairly engaging film (despite some schizophrenic behaviour from Shubamoy in the second half). This can be completely credited to the performances and music. Prasenjit proves once again why he has managed to keep the top spot in the industry for so long, despite a very strangely written character in the second half. Mouli Ganguly is a breath of fresh air, and it is a pleasure to see the actress back on our screens. Rajataba Dutta has played similar comic/villain roles in the past, but still pitches in a good performance. But the real stars of this film are Devdaan and Tathoi. Both are completely natural in front of the camera, and create very real, relatable characters. There were plenty of chances for them both to go over the top, but this didn't happen. Look forward to seeing them both again very soon.
Music by Anupam Roy is extremely soulful, and fits into the film well, with Bariye Dao coming from the heart and being the pick of the lot.
However, this film continues with the trend of practically every recent commercial Bengali film, with having no credit for the story writer. This is because this time, N K Salil has copied the screenplay, scene for scene from Mahesh Manjrekar's Marathi film Shikshanachya Aaicha Gho. All the situations and characters are the same (to the extent of Prasenjit's and Rajataba's characters dressing the same as their Marathi counterparts. Salil has put some thought into naming his characters though - Mouli's character in this film is called Malini, as opposed to her Marathi counterpart, Nalini.
Whilst there is nothing wrong with remaking a good story with a new screenplay, it is disgusting to see films being shamelessly ripped off like this. I wonder if Mahesh Manjrekar (who is directing Aami Subhash Bolchi, for Shree Venkatesh Films, the producers of Chalo Paltai) knows about this copy?
For the sheer lack of imagination that has gone into Chalo Paltai, I'm giving it two out of five - one for the excellent performances, and another for Anupam Roy's fantastic music.