Review of “Basu Paribaar” – A family get together gone wrong
Director – Suman Ghosh
Cast – Soumitra Chatterjee, Aparna Sen, Rituparna Sengupta, Jisshu Sengupta, Koushik Sen, Sudiptaa Chakraborty, Sreenanda Shankar, Saswata Chatterjee
Overall Rating : 3.5/5
As the name suggests Basu Paribaar directed by Suman Ghosh, tells the story of the family members of Basu family what happens when they all meet for a get together to celebrate a family function. The format is not much new, we have seen such concept of family get together where some secrets from past spoils the party in many movies. But what actually works in favour of the film is the excellent star cast having some extremely talented actors from current as well as previous generation.
The film begins with the preparations for a family get together on the occasion of the fiftieth wedding anniversary of the head of the family Pranab (Soumitra Chatterjee) and his wife Manjari (Aparna Sen). Their son Raja (Jisshu Sengupta) has came from abroad along with his wife Roshni (Sreenanda Shankar) to join the party. There is also the daughter of the family Mamoni (Rituparna Sengupta) who is dealing with some problems with her husband so she has came alone to celebrate with her family. In the invitee list there are some relatives from the extended family also, like Pranab’s sister in law (Lily Chakraborty) and nephew Tublu (Saswata Chatterjee) and his another nephew Tonu (Koushik Sen) and his wife Pompi (Sudiptaa Chakraborty). All the family members are excited for this nostalgic trip to their ancestral mansion named Komolini , except for Tublu as the place reminds him of some tragic memories from past.
In the first half the film unfolds through the curious eyes of the new bride Roshni who is visiting the mansion for the first time. Just like the audience she is also unaware of the closely guarded secrets from the past related with the house and its members. In the first half the film progresses in a gentle pace with introduction of the family members and their casual encounters. The narrative becomes more serious in the second half when the dark secrets keeps coming out one after another leading to the big revelation in the climax.
The big revelation in the climax is definitely unpredictable but it is not convincing enough to justify with the expectations built around it through the film. Also another weak point about the writing by Suman Ghosh is that in the film, every family member has some secrets of their own so when everyone starts creating a mess around them the focus gets diverted from the main secret hidden under the carpets of the mansion. But there are some good things also in the writing like the scene where Pranab and Manjari revisits their memories of how they get married or the way the uncomfortable distance between Tonu and his wife has been portrayed without saying much those things are praise worthy.
The whole ensemble cast consists of some excellent actors and director Suman Ghosh has done full justice with all of them giving almost equal importance and screen time to their characters. As expected every actor in the lead cast has given solid performances except for Jisshu Sengupta who is surprisingly not much invested into his character and that has affected his performance. Rituparna Sengupta is good but she has repeated herself with a similar character that she had played in Belasheshe. Although Soumitra Chatterjee has played similar character several times but we can never feel tired to see him on screen revising the nostalgic moments from 60’s and 70’s. Veteran actors Paran Bandopadhyay, Lily Chakraborty, Subhashish Mukherjee are very impressive in their limited scope. But the actors who shine the most are Aparna Sen, Saswata Chatterjee, Koushik Sen and Sudiptaa Chakraborty. Aparna Sen has played her character with such a grace that only she can pull off. In the climax she is just too good. Saswata Chatterjee has captured the inner turmoil of his character Tublu wonderfully. Koushik Sen and Sudiptaa Chakraborty has complemented each other exceptionally well, the uneasiness between their characters has been captured very well by these two. Sreenanda Shankar has surprised everyone with her flawless performance. Technically it is her second film after Ek Je Chhilo Raja but actually it was the first film she had acted which released later. She is very impressive and has manged to grab attention in spite of being surrounded by so many talented senior actors.
Besides the lead cast the technical crew is also in good form. The production design is very authentic as well as the look and costume of the characters which looks appropriate. Cinematographer Joy Supratim has shot the film very well, specially the night outdoor sequences and the sequence in an abandoned house where Roshni enters by mistake has been captured nicely. Bickram Ghosh deserves a special mention for his refreshing background score and the excellent recreation of the song Bhramor Koio Giya which is one of the best versions of the popular folk.
On a whole Basu Paribaar has a predictable plot and the writing has scope for improvement. But the ensemble cast saves the day with their powerful performances. It is okay to meet the members of Basu Paribaar for at least once.