Review of “Kedara” – An ode to solitude
Director – Indraadip Das Gupta
Cast – Kaushik Ganguly, Rudranil Ghosh, Bidipta Chakraborty, Moushumi Sanyal Dasgupta
“Loneliness adds beauty to life. It puts a special burn on sunsets and makes night air smell better.” These lines by Americal musician and actor Henry Rollins, sounds very true while watching the film Kedara. Music composer turned director Indraadip Das Gupta’s debut directorial Kedara is an ode to solitude. He has beautifully captured the psyche of a lonely man and the world around him which is an amalgamation of imagination and reality.
More than a story, the main focus of the film is on its central character Narasingha (Kaushik Ganguly). He is a middle aged man who lives alone in his ancestral home. He is separated from his wife (Bidipta Chakraborty). He is almost detached from the outer world around him and prefers to spend most of his time alone inside home. He is a ventriloquist and for him it is more of a hobby than profession. He can create voices of different animals, humans and he uses this talent to create a virtual world around him in his lonely home where he keeps talking in imaginary conversation with his grandmother. She used to be very close to him during his childhood days. In fact Narasingha is a grown up man who still posses the innocence of childhood and prefers to find solace in childhood memories. In the outer world mostly he is treated roughly. Even the local boys of half of his age makes fun of him. Be it his maid or his neighbors no one hesitate to insult him. His only companion in the outer world is his neighbor Keshto (Rudranil Ghosh) who is in the business of selling old used items. Narasingha feels comfortable to share his emotions freely to Keshto. One day Keshto gifts him a royal armchair (Kedara) which brings a huge change in his attitude. The way the character has been created with uttermost care and honesty that one must feel connected with Narasingha.
With his debut attempt, Indraadip Das Gupta has surprised everyone with his strong visions as a story teller. It seems he has seen the world of his protagonist from very close and that reflects in the film. In a very minimalistic way he has expressed a lot. There are several instances where he has intentionally kept many things unsaid which shows his trust in the intellect of his audience. He has definitely set high expectation for his next movies as a director.
One must admit, without Kaushik Ganguly’s effortless acting it was not possible to give life to the vision of Indraadip Das Gupta. It is so far the best acting performance by Kaushik Ganguly. In fact it wont be exaggerating to say it is one the finest acts by any actor in the history of Indian cinema. It is so natural and so effective. Probably no other actor would have looked this much convincing in this character. Aldo, the rest of the cast have given a tremendous support. Rudranil Ghosh’s portrayal of Keshto is very authentic. Although he has played similar characters in few other movies but such characters really suits him well. May be that is why directors repeat him in these characters. Bidipta Chakraborty is there only for two or three scenes and she is absolutely brilliant in those scenes. It is really sad that we do not see her much on big screen. Moushumi Sanyal Dasgupta as the maid is impressive in her limited scope.
The technical team is also in top form. Subhankar Bhar’s cinematography is exceptionally well. Most of the film has been shot with very limited light sources in a closed room and Subhankar Bhar has done a fantastic job to give the audience an authentic feel of this confined space. Sujoy Dutta Roy’s skillful editing has helped for a smooth merger of the real and virtual world of Narasingha. Anirban Sengupta’s sound design has played a crucial part in the film. Being a ventriloquist, most of the fictitious elements in the central character’s imaginary world are the different sources of sound. So for this film perfect sound design was a must and Anirban Sengupta has left no scope for any complain. His sheer brilliance can be experienced in the whole film but one particular scene deserves special mention where we can see Narasingha enjoying an airplane ride sitting on his armchair in his room. There is a very minimal and subtle use of background score that has been composed by Arijit Singh. Unlike most of the movies it is not manipulative or suggestive.
On a whole Kedara is an example of film making as a true art form made by a creative cast and crew who consider film making as an art not consider it as a business. Their genuine passion for this art form is visible in each and every frame. This film is not made for each and everyone and it will appeal to a limited section of people only. But those who will be able to connect with it, they will cherish it for a longer time for sure.