Update of Bengali movies in the Second Quarter of 2018
The second quarter of 2018 is already over and one must admit it was very much satisfactory for Bengali movies. It has several good films released and few big hits too. Once again the audience gave a clear indication that south remakes are not here to stay anymore. Also it get confirmed not only crime thriller and franchises but any good concept can get audiences at theaters. Let’s have a month wise recap of each month of the second quarter of 2018
The month of April begin with positive response to last quarters last release Ghare And Baire. This Jisshu Sengupta Koel Mallick starer rom-com enjoyed a good run at theaters in the beginning of April. Apart from that, like every year there was several big releases during Bengali new year weekend and the following weeks.
Aami Ashbo Phirey
After making some commercially successful Byomkesh movies, Anjan Dutt made a comeback to his roots with Aami Ashbo Phirey. It was a multi starer musical about the positive impact of music in the life of the listeners. The film was not strong enough in terms of story and script but it had some fine performances by Dutt himself along with Swastika Mukherjee, Anjana Basu and new find Suprobhat. The biggest USP of the film was it’s music composed by Neel Dutt and songs written by Anjan Dutt. All the seven songs were the biggest gift for the listeners who were missing the wonderful music by the father son duo.
With Kabir, Dev once again showed his interest for meaningful subjects as a producer. This one was a crime thriller dealing with terrorism. It was very refreshing subject for Bengali cinema before this we have never seen terrorism, suicide bombers, special task force in Bengali movies. Director Aniket Chattopadhyay had worked well to make it a gripping thriller. Only the climax was little let down as it was too simplistic and unrealistic. Dev was okay in the film and Rukmini Maitra proved her acting capabilities once again. Theater actor Arna Mukhopadhyay made his film debut with this one and his performance was very much appreciated.
Director Sayantan Ghoshal’s Alinagarer Golokdhadha was much more than just a regular treasure hunt thriller. It take us to a historical tour of Bengal. It reveals lots of historical facts about different landmarks of Kolkata and Murshidabad about which a larger section of people are unaware. All credit goes to story and screenplay writer Sougata Basu, his extensive research was visible in the script in form of the riddles which were placed as the clues to the hidden treasure. Anirban Bhattacharya played yet another character with ease. The movie get big thumbs up from the audiences but the release of the film was wrongly timed. It was released in middle of four big releases from big production houses as a result it could not get proper shows. Otherwise it had the potential to be a big commercial success too.
With Guptodhoner Sondhane, production house Shree Venkatesh Films started a fresh treasure hunt franchise. So far all the successful franchises which are ruling box office in Bengal are adopted from written materials. But Guptodhoner Sondhane was made with original script written by debutante director Dhrubo Banerjee along with Shubhendu Dashmunshi. A hunt for the hidden treasures from Moghul era lead by History professor Subarno Sen aka Sona Da. People of all ages loved this thriller embedded with bangaliyana. Abir Chatterjee and Arjun Chakraborty’s performances were also liked by the audiences. The film was a huge commercial success which also encouraged the makers to announce it’s sequel with the same team.
Master story teller Kaushik Ganguly working with the much loved couple Prosenjit Chatterjee and Rituparna Sengupta for the first time, this news was big enough for everyone to be curious for the film since it was announced. When the film released, it lived up to everyone’s expectations. The mesmerizing chemistry between Prosenjit and Rituparna had been wonderfully showcased in this mature love story revolving around a extra marital relationship. Apart from the love story there was an gripping murder mystery too which was unfolding in parallel. Besides the lead pair every other actor was in terrific form specially Kaushik and Chunri Ganguly. The added attraction was the superbly composed songs by Anupam Roy which blended nicely with the narrative. The film got big thumbs up by each and everybody and became a box office hit too. It was the first big commercial success of Kaushik Ganguly.
The month of May is normally dedicated to the director duo Shiboprasad Mukherjee and Nandita Roy for their annual summer vacation special family entertainer. No other big movie releases around this time. So the month was mostly dominated by Shiboprasad Nandita’s Haami.
Director duo Shiboprasad Mukherjee and Nandita Roy has made it a habit to deliver a hit every year during the summers. With Haami they continued this trend. Haami was a film about school kids and their parents. It was a well made film which gave good message with solid dose of entertainment. It focuses on some relevant issues like kid’s safety in school campus. The performances by the whole cast was impressive specially the kids in the film won everyone’s heart. There is no doubt the director knows the pulse of their audience and once again they were successful to connect with their audience. The film got positive feedback from everyone and that reflected on the box office performance too. It is the biggest hit of the year so far.
Apart from Haami another movie that stood out taller in May was Rainbow Jelly. A small film made with a big heart, directed by Soukarya Ghoshal. This was a film inspired by the fantasy fairy tale stories written in Bengali literature. A modern day fairy tale story of a differently abled orphan boy who is suffering from marginal IQ and a tyrant uncle. This boy has lot of pain in his life but he has own fantasy world to escape the sufferings. Talented actors Kaushik Sen and Shreelekha Mitra gave superb performances. But the star of the film was debutante Mahabrata Basu in the central character. Most inspiring thing about the kid is, he himself is a special child having some neurological problems. But he did not allow it to stop him from giving a solid performance. The film was released in a very small scale so obviously it was not opened that well. But later people started noticing the film with positive word of mouth publicity and good reviews. Although being a small film it managed to leave its impression to a larger section of people which proved the power of good content once again.
The success saga of Bengali movies in quarter 2 continued in the month of June too.
Srijit Mukherji was continuously giving commercial success but some of his loyal fans were not so happy with some of his recent films. With Uma, Srijit make a comeback with a bang. This emotional drama about a father and daughter was appreciated unanimously. It was loosely based on a real life incident from Canada. Srijit Mukharji had wonderfully adopted that incident to suit with Bengali sentiments by adding the flavors of Durga Puja in it. It was not only a huge box office success but was well received by every member in the audience. The film also get recognition at several international film festivals. With this film Jisshu Sengupta’s daughter Sara made her acting debut and both the father and daughter won hearts everywhere. But the show stealer was Anjan Dutt who was in a terrific form. Rudranil Ghosh and Anirban Bhattacharya also grabbed attention with their powerful acts. The melodious music by Anupam Roy was the icing on the cake.
Pratim D Gupta’s Ahare Mon was a combination of four stories about love, longing, companionship, hope. Some wonderfully written moments , truly adorable characters and superb acting by the lead cast make it a favourite among the audiences. Anjan Dutt, Mamata Shankar, Paoli Dam, Rittwick Chakraborty, Parno Mittra got rave reviews for their performances. But the biggest surprise among the whole cast was Bollywood famed Adil Hussain who impressed each and everyone with his heart warming act. Debutante Chitrangada Chakraborty made a promising debut. Once again the director choose to tell an unconventional story in an entertaining mainstream format. Neel Dutt’s melodious music added extra charm to this feel good film. Being a release from comparatively new production house the film did not get a large scale release but still the film is winning hearts everywhere.
In between Uma and Ahare Mon there was Eid weekend which is still reserved for massy mainstream movies (read south remakes). This year it was a face off between Jeet’s Sultan The Saviour and Shakib Khan’s Bhaijaan Elo Re. Once again Jeet emerged as the clear winner and proved he is the only crowd puller star for this genre.
On a whole the second quarter of 2018 was the best phase of Bengali cinema in a long time in terms of both quality and quantity. We hope the same performance will continue in the next quarter too with the movies like, Shonar Pahar, Maati, Pupa, Bidaay Byomkesh, Happy Pill, Uronchondi, Flat No 609,Crisscross, Generation Aami, Finally Bhalobasha.
Best Film of Quarter 2 – 2018
- Alinagarer Golokdhadha
- Rainbow Jelly
- Ahare Mon
Best Directors of Quarter 2 – 2018
- Sayantan Ghoshal – Alinagarer Golokdhadha
- Kaushik Ganguly – Drishtikone
- Shiboprsad Mukherjee & Nandita Roy – Haami
- Srijit Mukherji – Uma
- Soukarya Ghoshal – Rainbow Jelly
- Pratim D Gupta – Ahare Mon
Best Actors of Quarter 2 – 2018
- Anjan Dutt – Aami Ashbo Phirey / Uma / Ahare Mon
- Anirban Bhattacharya – Alinagarer Golokdhadha / Uma
- Prosenjit Chatterjee – Drishtikone
- Shiboprasad Mukherjee – Haami
- Ritwick Chakraborty – Goodnight City / Ahare Mon
- Jisshu Sengupta – Uma
- Mahabrata Basu – Rainbow Jelly
- Adil Hussain – Ahare Mon
- Kaushik Ganguly – Drishtikone
- Rudranil Ghosh – Uma
- Kaushik Sen – Rainbow Jelly
Best Actresses of Quarter 2 – 2018
- Rukmini Maitra – Kabir
- Swastika Mukherjee – Aami Ashbo Phirey
- Rituparna Sengupta – Drishtikone / Goodnight City
- Gargee Roychowdhury – Haami
- Mamata Shankar – Ahare Mon
- Churni Ganguly – Drishtikone
- Arunima Ghosh – Goodnight City
- Sara Sengupta – Uma
- Shreelekha Mitra – Rainbow Jelly
- Paoli Dam – Ahare Mon
- Parno Mittra – Ahare Mon
- Chitrangada Chakraborty – Ahare Mon