After a long time Tollygunge has again produced a film entirely dedicated to the sex-workers of Kolkata.
Nilanjan Bhattacharya’s latest film “Lal Ranger Duniya” is based on Rupak Saha’s novel which deals the daily lives of the sex workers in the famous Sonagachi Area.
Around this area there is goonism, there is politics, there is love-affection and greed- these are both in the novel and in the film, but ultimately everything boils down to the same old statement which is: the lives of sex workers are pathetic. This same statement in different form we have seen in other films made on the sex workers. So, we don’t get any thing new from this latest venture.
There is a central character in this film around whom the story revolves. He is Hiran Chatterjee. He is young, he is honest, he thinks for the others- just like a Bengali film hero of the early 50’s.
When he was just a kid, before ten years, from now, he found his only sister had become a sex-worker. He was badly beaten by a local goon (Rajesh Sharma) when he was searching for his sister in the brothel area. But that time he was rescued by a “maashi” (Anamika Saha). She gave Hiran a shelter. Since then Hiran is a habitant to Sonagachi.
But as he is the hero, he passes school, he passes college and he passes M. Sc. and stood first class first. Even twin sister, his class mates, (both played by Locket Chatterjee) fell in love with him. But he never leaves the area where he has been brought up became he wants to do something which may one day change the lives of the sex workers of the locality.
The lanes, the housing complex, the ambience- all have been created beautifully in the film, but the behavioural acting of the actors are so poor and the floors are so clean, the light is so bright- no body would believe the misery of the sex workers.
If Hiran is one pillar of the story, the other pillar is a sex worker played by Debasree Roy. This part of the story has a little bit similarity with the story of “Nishipadma” where a rich married man became of his disastrous family-life comes here and falls in love with a sex worker. Here Mr. Guchait (Kunal Mitra) who is that rich businessman and he falls love with the sex worker played by Debasree Roy. She is one of the pivotal Characters, Through whom lots of inner facts of this area are known.
But the problem of the film is that the director has blindly followed the novel. He never thought from cinematic point of view. He has never focused on any particular thing, his screenplay tells the story of so many things at a time, and that makes the film dull and unimaginative.
But inspite of that Geeta Dey brings out life in her ‘Sex Worker of the past’ role in just 5 minutes of presence. This actress par excellence deserves a salute. She has proved her class.