“This Penance Is Not Imaginary”
Amidst breakdown of national health standards, corruption within every tire of rural bourgeoisie bureaucrats and deprivation of billions of rural population in areas like Lalgarh, Chhattisgarh and Jharkhand, comes in the much awaited surreal saga of Rituparno Ghosh. As the title informs that “all characters are imaginary”, so remains the narration of this film. But some fundamental facets are essentially required to be discoursed.
After this venture, it would not perhaps be an exaggeration if Rituparno Ghosh is tagged as the filmmaker with the most abstract aesthetic sense in contemporary Indian cinema. The man (?) has elements. He turns out to be a master blender of film and aesthetics in every frame of this creation. After foraying into this film for more than hour one feels as if he is experiencing master maker Robert Bresson and aesthetician Benidretto Croche walking hand in hand through a painting created by Vincent Van Gogh or may be Salvador Dali. Rituparno has achieved what he was searching for so many years… “the apparent perfection of cinematic art.” But yes, this achievement remains “apparent”. With all the good in the world of art, he fails to quench one quotient, the abyss of honesty, groundedness and responsibility. As Ritwik Ghatak rightly yelled out for future film makers… “without honesty towards an art work, a work of art has no value.” So thus remains. Pomp, style and splendor never account to become something eternally artistic. What’s artistic can never be explained in mere words… it’s a feeling, a psychological ride far away from the catastrophe of this world of sin and penance. Here, we discover that Rituparno and N. K Salil are the same. The paths and procedures may be heavens apart but in the domain of integrity all make the thespians morbid, stoic and paranoid.
Technically the film remains next to perfect… a potion for the sunken eyes. Arghya Kamal Mitra’s editing is a delight to watch with every frame being blended to perfection. With that the majestic camera operation of Soumik Halder. Though more than often he and his maker gets infatuated by western topographies, the angles, the lights, the shades and the backgrounds compliment the integral message of the film straight to the brain. Indranil Ghosh’s art work churned up with Rituparno’s ideas becomes a sublime surrealist creation. The recitals by Joy Goswami and Pallab Kirtaniya create pathos, but embark us upon a question, “what was the use?” The neo-realist treatments involving Bipasha and Paoli (especially the out door shot on the foggy highway where the camera pans almost 180 degrees) remain ethnic, atleast on screen and the shaving sequence culminating between Prosenjit and Bipasha haunts us about the styles of Bresson (may be occasionally Antonioni). Prosenjit, Sohag Sen and Jisshu give stellar performances which makes one ask Prosenjit… “What type of films do you actually deem to be real films?”
Bipasha’s dubbing proves the artificialism centered within Rituparno. He betrayed art. He has made a creation for the sake of it. And this dubbing incident is the most glaring aggrandized example. Sob Choritro Kalponik ventures into the most mystic, unspoken and unexplained pastures of human psychology. This is good. Kudos for that. But sadly the makers defy the devastation all around us, the rampage, the penance, the battering… and all for such remorse reasons. Ritwik Ghatak, Nabyendu Chatterjee or Purnendu Patri had a word for the audiences. Rituparno has perhaps forgotten that something must be done and said for them. A shake, or maybe a jerk…?