Review of “Borunbabur Bondhu” – Simplicity at its best
Director – Anik Dutta
Cast – Soumitra Chatterjee, Paran Bandopadhyay, Ritwick Chakraborty, Arpita Chatterjee, Koushik Sen, Bidipta Chakraborty, Sreelekha Mitra
In current generation of Bengali film makers, no one can make a satire better than Anik Dutta. His narrative style is so subtle yet so effective. His latest offering Borunbabur Bondhu is also not an exception. The writing of the film is its biggest strength and it has been well enhanced by an awesome ensemble cast.
The story is about an elderly man Borun Chakraborty (Soumitra Chatterjee), patriarch of a middle class family. He is a man of ideologies who never took advantages of his connections in his whole life. This is the reason that most of his family members and relatives are not too fond of him. He has a big family which includes his two sons, one daughter and his grand children. But most of his family members and relatives are not much bothered about him. His life suddenly takes a big turn when one of his old school friend who is a huge influential person now, sends him a letter that he is coming to meet him on his birthday. This news makes Borunbabu a celebrity overnight. Everyone in his known circle including his family, friends and neighbors start paying more attention to him knowing about his friendship with that person.
The story is inspired from Ramapada Chowdhury’s story “Chhad” and one must give credit to screenplay writers Anik Dutta and Utsav Mukherjee for converting this one line idea to such an interesting screenplay. The screenplay touches so many issues varying from basic human nature to current socio-political situation but it never feels over stuffed with too many topics. Because all these points have been incorporated very organically in the script through various characters. One must give credit to the writers for writing such interesting characters also. They are different in nature, age, profession and upbringing so they represent a wide variety of people from our society. Most of them need favour from Borunbabu’s friend but everyone’s purpose and approach is different so it never looks repetitive. In some cases some supporting character are there only for two or three scene but the way they has been presented that an audience will get good enough idea about the character by their dialogues and behavior. It shows how much clarity the writers have in their minds about the background and purpose of each and every character.
As a director Anik Dutta has done a commendable job. His simple and realistic narrative style has made the movie easily acceptable to the audience. Handling so many actors giving almost equal importance is not an easy task for any film maker but he has done that effortlessly. Earlier also he has shown that skill with some of his multi starers. The technical team is also in sync with the director’s simplistic vision. Art direction, sound design, costumes, make-up everything is very realistic but never too loud to ask for attention. Despite of being shot in same interiors for most of the part it never looks monotonous because of the smart camerawork by Avik Mukhopadhyay. Debojyoti Mishra’s background score is very much apt with the emotions on screen. Although the editing by Arghyakamal Mitra has some room for improvement. Transition from one scene to another is very abrupt and it is distracting sometimes.
Besides, the impressive writing and direction the cast is the other big strength of the film. Everyone in the ensemble is in very good form. Of course the heavy lifting has been done by Soumitra Chatterjee. He has played the main protagonist with the maximum screen time. It is good to see that at this age, leading man’s character has been written for him. No need to say he has done full justice with the character. In supporting cast every one has played their part exceptionally well but those who deserves special mention are Paran Bandopadhyay, Ritwick Chakraborty, Koushik Sen, Arpita Chatterjee, Bidipta Chakraborty and Sreelekha Mitra.
Overall Borunbabur Bondhu is a pleasant watch that gives many important life lessons in a simple story telling format without being over the top. It brings smile on your face at one moment on the other it makes you teary eyed also as you can easily identify with the characters and their emotions. Moreover it gives an opportunity to see some wonderful performances by a very talented cast that includes some of the finest actors of Bengali cinema at this moment.