Sometimes there are even low budget films which have qualities and have a social message but go wrong somewhere in the middle. Zameen which is one such film featuring Supriya Devi,Dolon Roy and Dulal Lahiri is one such film.
The film begins in the village of Palashpur showing Shiben living with his mother,wife and son. He runs a local grocery shop and has high hopes for his son when he grows up. There are an extremely happy and content family. Things go wrong when Shiben goes to Kolkata one day to pick up stuff for his store and buys a bat for his son. He gets run over in an accident and passes away. The entire family is devastated. His wife Basanti starts looking after the shop and prevents all attempts from people who want to take advantage of her situation.
30 years pass and her son grows up and gets married. A local promoter, Pramod eyes their property, but Basanti refuses to sell it. The promoter is in constant touch with the family, but Basanti refuses to give in. When Basanti falls unwell and is admitted to a hospital,the promoter’s men come and take her away before her family come to fetch her. They pressurize her to sign on a document but when she refuses, she is packed in a bag and left to die on the railway tracks where she gets run over. Amal, her son is forced to take a step backward even after complaining to the S. P as he fears for his life and family and eventually decides to get the plot promoted by Pramod.
The film decides to become a social film from the beginning, but then backtracks and then doesn’t offer a solution. It tries to tell us how we are forced or pressurized by bad influences to give in to their demands and eventually we do give in. The character of Basanti is initially shown to be strong, but the character doesn’t remain strong or assertive as expected to do so. Had the ending been different , the film would have been different and maybe a little better. The film doesn’t help us to overcome odds, but rather shows how to rather go with the flow.
The two main characters Dolon Roy and Supriya Devi have acted well. Dolon is good particularly in the first half, but in the second half, just like the film, everything including her accent changes. Also it is taken for granted that Supriya Devi has expired in the film, but how and when that happens is not shown. Dulal Lahiri as usual does his bad man act very well.