This was something different from what’s normally churned out by Tollywood directors. The cinema came like a blitzkrieg, captured our hearts and swept through. Don’t know how Saron Datta waved his magic wand while directing but he did work magic with Thana Theke Aaschi, the third and most definitive film, until now, to his name. Saron, it appears, is a multitalented director, who’s a lyricist as well. He not only created the scenes for and directed Thana Theke Aaschi, but he also wrote the lyrics for the one song of the motion picture, which was a heart-stopping melody sung by the mellifluous voice of Shreya Ghoshal. Of course, Jeet Ganguly, one of the best music directors of India, was behind the song and the music of the cinema. Jeet, who was the music director of Thana Theke Aaschi, displayed his well-talked-of genius in the single song of the cinema, and in the various tunes that depicted happiness, pride, fear and horror.
If you’ve seen Sabyasachi as Feluda in Sandip Ray’s creations, you’ll have come to at least one conclusion about his acting - that he’s a versatile actor whose performances are never stereotyped, that he alone can carry forward a motion picture. Your conclusions will be vindicated when you watch him in Thana Theke Aaschi. Apart from his mature and inimitable acting, things that you can always expect when you go to view a cinema in which he’s starred, he’s imparted a mysterious quality to his performance in Thana Theke Aaschi. As Sub-Inspector Tinkari Haldar, somebody apparently tangible but actually abstract, he’s managed to create a mystical aura around himself to the point that if you ever feel guilty of hurting someone, you’ll probably think of Tinkari Haldar. As the guilty conscience, obscure and enigmatic, but solidly present, something that’s to be wished away, but is always nagging and tagging along, an unbearable oppression, a constant reminder of past misdeeds, Sabyasachi’s been outstanding.
Poor Rudranil Ghosh. I feel sorry for the guy. A brilliant actor cast in the role of the worst villain on earth. Or should we say ‘hat’s off to Rudranil’ because he performed his part so graphically and with complete savoir-faire? I guess that’s what we should say. Because as the anti-hero in Thana Theke Aaschi, a heinous criminal, he’s been simply fantastic! His style of speaking, his Iago-like attitude, his lustful nature, his malicious grins, and his chronic leer sent shivers down the spines of the audience and also made them want to literally kill him. That’s how powerful his acting was. Kudos Rudranil! You were mind-blowing!
Paoli’s pulled off a surprise in the film. She’s shown her spectators with élan and poise, how silence can speak volumes. Silent through the film, except when the characters recall her in past circumstances, Paoli, the tragic heroine of Thana Theke Aaschi manages to convey the trials and tribulations of the underprivileged far better than political parties that proclaim themselves to be ‘champions of the poor’. As the victim, the wronged person, she rents the hearts of her viewers and makes eyes well with tears. Her acting is so poignant, so strong, so feminine, that it urges the spectators to seek justice on her behalf and therefore, the last scene, when the Inspector really comes calling, is welcomed as the final and inevitable decree of fate.
Parambrata, who plays the role of the well-meaning but somewhat indecisive and spineless Arin, has correctly and accurately portrayed the confusion in the minds of successful men who are controlled by their parents. As the young and rebellious filmmaker Arin, Parabrata clearly shows his seasoned acting skills in Thana Theke Aaschi.
Guilt gnaws Mrs. Mallick, Mr. Mallick and Miss Mallick, played by Alokananda Roy, Dulal Lahiri and Srabanti Banerjee respectively, no end, till their imaginations run riot. If you’ve seen Satyajit’s Ray’s Kanchenjunga, you’ll notice one major difference between the Alokananda Roy of 1962 and the Alokananda Roy of 2010 as rendered in Thana Theke Aaschi. And that’s the actor has grown from a slim, comely young lady to a matronly and dignified woman, from a blooming debutante to a skilled and experienced actor. As Mrs. Mallick, Alokananda performs her part to perfection: a loving mother, a socialite, someone who professes compassion for the underdog, someone who can be cruel to preserve her social rank and position. The prototype of a successful and domineering industrialist father, Mr. Mallick, played by Dulal Lahiri, makes you want the stock market to crash, if only just once, so that he topples from his position of power and wealth. Yes, that’s how well Dulal Lahiri has acted. As for Srabanti Banerjee, she’s all set to create waves in the world of Bengali cinema. Thana Theke Aaschi has been a feather in the cap for this young actor. Though she’s still young and has a long way to go in tinsel town, her portrayal of Rinita Mallick has been very expressive and has made her the recipient of many compliments and accolades.
All told, Thana Theke Aaschi is a ‘different’ cinema, a major deviation from the conventional and the common. It’s thought-provoking, thrilling and chilling. The loves scenes, the rape scene and the scene of the suicide inspire a series of good and bad emotions but none are as emotive as the ‘abstract’ which looms through the entire film. The ‘abstract consciousness’, or rather ‘conscience’, which drives the plot of the cinema forward, is exciting, scaring, horrifying and all-encompassing. It’s this ‘abstract consciousness’ that lingers in the mind after the cinema’s over, that remains with us long after we’ve seen the film, that makes Thana Theke Aaschi an eternal film.