Kanoj Das who has made certain social films like Rangamati, Thikana Rajpath, Chabiwala has made Mahanagari –a film again with a heavy storyline. All his films are dramas and this is no exception. The story which is also by the director is interesting, quite unusual but the lack of strong performances and the pace makes it look like an okay film.
Ranjan Mukherjee, the noted author has won the Sahitya Akademi award for his novel Mahanagari.When the press ask who is the actual inspiration behind the novel or whether the characters are actually real , Ranjan tells them the truth behind the novel.
There was a village head master called Harendrananath Chakrabarty who lived with his wife and two daughters Chitralekha ad Sathilekha.There also lived a young man called Nabin who used to earn his living by providing tuitions and had dreams of becoming a renowned author one day and stayed with his mother.Chitralekha used to love Nabin and she was the inspiration behind him writing novel after novel.Nabin had not been able to publish any of his novels due to lack of publishers. One such novel was 'Jhoro Kaker Itihas' which Nabin took to the publishers in Kolkata , but the publishers demanded money from him. Over there Nabin met Ranjan who offered him money to buy his work, but he refused and went back to hi village.Chitralekha who had dreams of becoming an actress in Mumbai left her home and went to Mumbai, but fell into wrong hands and became a sex worker. Her father disowned her and decided to perform 'Shradh' observing all the rituals, but while performing it, he had an heart attack and he expired.Certian circumstances brings Ranjan in contact with Chitralekha and she stays in his bungalow as his mistress. Meanwhile Nabin decides to come to Kolkata after his mother passes away and that is the first time when Sathilekha tells him that she loves him , even more than her elder sister.Nabin comes and stays in Ranjan’s house.Ranjan comes to know under certain circumstances that Chitralekha knows Nabin.Chitralekha has AIDS and is in the last stage.Nabin goes to Chitralekha with his 'Jhoro Kaker Itihash' which was Chitralekha’s dream as well of getting it published when she would become a big actress.However at that moment right after meeting him, she passes away.Nabin decides to go away and is shattered.
Mahanagari was Ranjan’s tribute to them.
The performances of Rimjhim Gupta and Firdaus are good.Sangeeta Sanyal isnt great in the beginning, but towards the end , she improves a lot.Rajatava Dutta as Ranjan is good as usual. There are too many songs which spoil the tempo of the film and make it a little too slow.Sreela Majumdar has a very small role, however the song sung for her by Anwesha stands out. It is quite good. This film is about hope, dreams, love, emotions and yet actually about tormented souls. This film is also about honesty as Ranjan’s character is one character which becomes close to our heart right from the beginning becomes the character is all about honesty and he actually keeps his word till the end to either Chitralekha or Nabin whatever he had promised them.
Incidentally Sangeeta Sanyal is the director’s wife.