Review of the movie “Parineeta” – Not a love story but a story about love
Director – Raj Chakraborty
Cast – Subhashree Ganguly, Ritwick Chakraborty, Gaurav Chakrabarty, Adrit Roy, Laboni Sarkar, Samiul Alam
For a long time Raj Chakraborty has been criticized for doing copy of south Indian movies but it is not his fault as a director, rather it is the lack of good story writers in Bengali cinema. All he need is a good story to prove his abilities as a story teller, he has proved that earlier also and he has proved that again with his new film Parineeta. With the help of a refreshing story written by Priyanka Poddar and Arnab Bhowmick, he has made an emotionally connecting film with some relatable characters.
The story is about a girl named Mehul (Subhashree Ganguly) , a carefree teenager who is not so focused about her studies or future. The main focus of her life is her neighbour and tutor Babai Da (Ritwick Chakraborty) with whom she is deeply in love. She is too immature to care whether Babai also feels the same for her or not. Her whole world is around Babai only but one day her dreams get shattered when Babai commits suicide. This tragedy changes her life upside down. How she will face this biggest tragedy of her life and how her love for Babai Da, will act as the driving force of her life that forms the rest of the story.
The story idea is really refreshing and the plot is very much relatable. Most of us are familiar with such young age crush of teenagers for their seniors in neighborhood. Screenplay writer Padmanabha Dasgupta has developed this interesting plot with some wonderfully written scenes with which one can easily identify. For example Mehul’s fun moments with her best friends or her banter with her younger brother or her immature affection for Babai da all these moments look very familiar and engage the audience to invest into these characters. But unfortunately the charming story of an innocent girl turns into an unnecessary suspense drama in the second half. It is okay to show the girl being mature and handling her responsibilities but the way it has been shown is not convincing at all. The corporate culture and office politics that has been shown in the second half is very naive. It is full of every possible cliches, for example a corporate house has to do marketing for ad campaigns only, no matter if a civil engineering graduate is working there. The biggest strength of the first half is the realistic narration, on contrary to that the second half is far away from reality. The big revelation in the climax looks very much hurried and have so many logical loopholes. Although it has been explained elaborately using flashbacks but it does not help to fill the logical gaps
Whenever it comes about showing characters from middle class background, Raj Chakraborty does it skillfully. He makes the characters and their world so authentic that everyone can identify with them. In Parineeta also Raj has done that efficiently. But in the second half he has failed to create that authentic ambiance. The new characters that have been added in the second half are not at all in sync with the narrative and none of the new characters have been developed properly.
Among the cast, undoubtedly it is Subhashree who has get the best written character. The whole film rests on her strong shoulders and she has managed to carry this huge responsibility effectively. Earlier in most of her commercial movies she has been wasted just as a glamour factor but in Parineeta she has proved that she is capable of doing more than just glowing up the screen with her glamour. Only in the portions where she is supposed to play a teenager her physical transformation is not up to the mark. She has tried to cover it hard doing some over acting which was not required. Ritwick Chakraborty is one actor who can play any character with same ease and he has done that here also. He does not have much screen time but for an actor of his caliber, screen time does not matter at all. The good thing is both Ritwick and Subhashree has shared a cute chemistry. Among the others, Laboni Sarkar who mostly does very loud acting in mainstream movies has done a decent job as Babai’s mother . She is good specially in the emotional scenes. Samiul Alam is completely natural as Mehul’s younger brother. Gaurav Chakrabarty has tried to do something completely different from his on screen image but this risk has not paid off properly. He has looked a misfit in this character. Also the character has not been developed properly and that has acted as a roadblock for him as an actor to portray the real emotions of this guy. Adrit Roy has a charming screen presence but he has nothing significant to do in this film.
On a whole Parineeta is a good attempt to tell a refreshing and engaging story in mainstream movie format. It has some well written moments and characters with which audience can feel connected. But it could have been a much better film with a better written second half.