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Review of

Dahan  (1998 - Bengali)

Dahan movie review, and Dahan critics rating, comments on Dahan

Dahan cumulative rating: 4 out of 54/5 (9 users)

My Rating

  • Dahan rating: 0 out of 10(Dipen Guha wrote on 20 Jul 2009)

    "Dahan"( Crossfire or Thereafter, 1997) has been inspired by one of the commonest news items reported in the press--is a superb film, centered on women , One evening, newly married Romita, a pretty young woman belonging to the good "Westernised" middle class, and her husband Palash, are returning from the city center where they had gone shopping . They are attacked--it is she who is targetted obviously--by a gang of teasers. Her husband is beaten senseless and Romita is seriously manhandled. Jhinuk, a young unmarried teacher who is passing in an autorickshaw, rescues Romita when the lotus are on the point of abducting her on their motorcycle with the intention of raping her. Jhinuk persuades the couple to lodge a complaint with the police ; she is then glorified by the press for her courage and appears on the front page of all the newspapers. It is not so much on the attack---commonplace in India and denounced by the press--or on the trauma caused to the victim that the director dwells with finesse, but, as a good Bengali filmmaker, on the ontological insecurity of the educated middle-classes in Kolkata which paves the way for a hypocritical compromisng with principles. The unanimity of the close relatives and friends of Romita to get the attackers punished, gives way to disagreements, doubts and suspicions. The parents -in -law of Romita, at first totally in favour of proceeding against the criminals, are soon frightened by the embarrassing questions of friends and neighbours and by fear of reprisals by the rowdice. Palash himself, pushed to the limit by the insinuations of his office colleagues, comes to suspect, to the great despair of his wire, that she might really have been raped, while he was unconscious . As for Jhinuk, she finds herself reproached by her colleagues---all of them women--for having saved a "too pretty" young woman, implying that the latter "had asked fo it". Even a journalist , wants to get a "scoop" from her under the guise of a "civic" process. During the final hearing at the court, Romita and Jhinuk are present . But Romita is not able to resist the pressures of her family, of her husband first and foremost, and she pretends not to recognise her attackers. While Jhinuk is determined to continue her battle, the film ends with Romita announcing a visit to her sister who lives in Canada. Rituparno Ghosh has upheld one of the most crucial problems faced by urban women who are not only haunted by the strret-scoundral but also persecuted by the nearest kins. They are spotted with irrational stigma, despite their innocence. Ghosh has analytically dealt with the issus.

    About the Author:

    Dipen Guha

    Location: Kolkata, India

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