Prasenjit Chatterjee is extraordinarily good...
Goutam Ghose’s latest Bangla film “Moner Manush” is based on the novel written by Sunil Gangopadhyay of the same name.
The story revolves around the life of great rural poet-philosopher Lalan Fakir. In the novel Sunil has clearly started that the novel is not at all a biography of that great man. Because apart from a few songs created (not written) by Lalan, no concrete and definite information about Lalan are available, though there are enormous myths about his life, especially about his birth religion and then the transformation of a common man to a legendary Baul Fakir and about his ‘aakhra’ at Cheunria village at Kushtia district of the then East Bengal. In his novel apart from Lalan Fakir, Sunil has brought in five real characters: Harinath Majumdar (knowns as ‘kangal Harinath’), Mir Musarraf Hussain, Duddu Shah, a disciple of Lalan, Jyotirindranath Tagore and Gagan Harkara all other characters are fictitious and created by Sunil to build-up a dramatic life of Lalan.
Goutam in his film has followed the novel partly. In the film the entire story comes in a flashback-Lalan telling his story to Jyotirindranath Tagore, who has requested the Fakir for a sitting for a portrait. In reality, only this portrait of Lalan tells no about the existence of him. But Sunil’s novel we can’t find such a long discussion between Lalan and Jyotirindranath Tagore.
The major deviation from the original novel is the ‘Sadhana’ part of the Bauls, which is totally absent in Sunil’s writing. Sunil has stressed only the philosophy of Lalan about religion. But Goutam has correctly shown us how an ordinary man has been transformed by his ‘Guru’ to a ‘Sadhak’ Baul, and doing so he has elaborately described the ‘Purush-Prakiti’ relationship and how to attain the power of performing ‘Nishkam Prem Leela’.
The films locations and its beauty is the major attraction of the film and the songs. At least 36 songs, some full and some part, are used to describe the philosophy and the life of the Fakir. The stunning camera work is the key point of the film.
Prasenjit Chatterjee as Lalan is extraordinarily good, but his diction are affected and seems at times forced. Also his voice doesn’t match with the playback singer. But in spite of that this is by far his best performance till date. The younger Lalan is also very good.