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Hemlock Society review by Screen
Hemlock Society critic rating (Screen): 3

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Review of

Hemlock Society  (2012 - Bengali)

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Hemlock Society cumulative rating: 3.2 out of 53.2/5 (161 users)

My Rating


    Hemlock Society rating: 6 out of 10(Dipen Guha wrote on 28 Jun 2012)

    " To my friends: My work is done. Why wait?"----George Eastman, famous inventor ; " The future is just old age and illness and pain."---James Whale, eminent film director; " Dear world, I am leaving you because I am bored."---George Sandors, famous film actor; "It's better to burn away than to fade away."--Kurl Cobain, eminent musician. " I myself and my wife--in order to escape the disgrace of deposition or capitulation--choose death "---Adolf Hitlar, political tycoon. These are the snippets of suicide notes of a few, the world is apt to remember. Each of them justified the cause of acts in respective convictions. What might Meghna Sarkar have penned down, had she really committed suicide? If it were, " I quit, because I suffered break-up with my fiance", it would not hold good in justifying self-killing, especially by a modern , educated girl with cosmopolitan outlook. The institution called Hemlock Society was founded by Derek Humphry as a result of his being witness to the plight of his wife lying in a moribund state. Its primary mission was to provide information to dying persons and supporting legislation permitting physician--assisted-suicide.
    Srijit Mukherjee's " Hemlock Society" is contrary to such institutionalization of expert-assisted suicide. That is why, the note in the logo reads: " Amader kono sakha nei"( We have no branches). In a mock-institutional manner, Ananda Kar, literally the mouth-piece of Mukherji, runs the "Society" manned with professionals rendering specializations in various attempts of suicide, in fact, delivers and plants Living Will amongst the aspirant suicidals. Meghna is prone to her unrequited love and eventually undergoes the " crash-course" in effecting an uninterrupted suicide at Hemlock Society. She discovers , by and by,hers is not the worst case in the world ( as every suicidal may feel).It is without any sound connotation or denotation to hasten the unborn future, in which the warranty of substantial termination is pre-ordained. Life is a challenge and it has to be taken up with calm resignation.
    Let compliments be showered upon Srijit Mukherji for his novel enterprise. The theme is undoubtedly time-tested. To prove foil in romance, supports no ground to part with the dear life, when one delivers the cruelest blow to the actual dear ones.The treatments of humours and wits erect the cloister through which there runs a very serious and grave stream. Wit has whetted the dialogues.
    As for acting, Parambroto Chatterji comes uppermost. Innocence, nonchalance, indifference to seriousness, and an impishness that physiognomize him befit him to the portraiture. Koyel Mullick, bit deglamourised, is no longer a bubbly belle. The director has exacted the worth of her. Dipankar De, as Meghna's father deserves kudos. Sabyasachi Chakroverty, Soumitra Chatterjee, Bratya Basu, Raj Chakroverty, Sabitri Chatterjee in their cameo footage have done justice. Camera work by Soumik Halder is innovative, though prolonged zooming and sometimes, hand-borne camera shots could be disciplined. There should have been an attempt of shedding of calories in the second-half of the film. Anupam Roy's compositions are brilliant. Indradeep Dasgupta has scored background music, quite in consort with the sequences. Bodhaditya Banerjee's additions and substractions at the editor's table have proved his skill. The use of " fade-in and fade-out" has added a new dimension to the technicality.
    " Autograph" was his signature; " Baise Sraban" was his turn-over; and " Hemlock Society" is his make-over. This is how, Srijit can be attributed with. His enterprise is not, however, flashy to fall in the line, but he has tried his hand with a subject, very much household yet very much cast away from filmdom. More than a million are attempting suicide everyday. Some succeed and others fail in the attempts. Once suicidal is ever suicidal, and thus it has brought about clouds in the global horizon. It is a syndrome that surpasses the AIDS in view of its dangers. Whatever circumstances may lead one to become suicidal, the principal purport is to get rid of substantial calamities with a view to enjoying eternal peace. Like Meghna Sarkar in the film, there are many eponymous souls believe that their states are so wretched that complete non-existence would be decidedly preferable to it. Now, if suicide actually offered us this, so that the alternative TO BE OR NOT TO BE lay before us in the full sense of the words, it could be chosen unconditionally as a highly desirable termination. There is something in us, however, which tells us that this is not so, that is not the end of things, that death is not an absolute annihilation. Who has come back from the world of the dead to broadcast that there is perpetual bliss and peace in the life beyond?? If " To Be" is the life where some " Shantanu" betrays his lover Meghna, who solicits the life of " Not To Be", there lies little guarantee of relief in the realm wrongly sought after.

    About the Author:

    Dipen Guha

    Location: Kolkata, India

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