Review of the movie “Samantaral”
Director – Partha Chakraborty
Cast – Parambrata Chatterjee, Riddhi Sen, Surangana Banerjee, Anindya Banerjee, Tonushree, Soumitra Chatterjee
Overall Rating – 3.5/5
Partha Chakraborty directed “Samantaral” is not like the regular movies where we see a mentality retarded person getting ill treated and looking for sympathy rather this film gives respect to the different thinking of such people. Just because some kind of people are in minority compared to others that does not make them abnormal, they are very much normal and one should respect their parallel existence.
The film’s central character is Sujan (Parambrata Chatterjee) who is different from others. He is intellectual, soft hearted, have good sense of music but as per society he is abnormal, mentally challenged as he is different from others. Even his family members treat him like an abnormal person. They keep him locked in a room for years and he is not allowed to go outside. In his family there are five more members , his father (Soumitra Chatterjee) , his elder brother and daughter in law (Kushal Chakraborty and Aparajita Adhya) , his younger brother and daughter in law (Anindya Banerjee and Tonushree). Among them some has sympathy for him and some hate him completely but no one is bothered to treat him like a normal family member and no one is interested to give him any medical help. In such a situation enters a new member in the house Arka (Riddhi Sen) who is the grandson of the house and an orphan. He had spend most of his growing up years in hostel and has returned after long 12 years to complete his higher studies in Kolkata. Being out of home since childhood, he is not much familiar about the family members and don’t have any preconceived notion about any of them. Soon he becomes close to Sujan and realise he deserve to be treated much better. He tries to help him in his limited capabilities. In this effort he gets ample support from his girlfriend Titli (Surangana Banerjee). The more they take interest about Sujan, they realise everything is not as simple as it is looking from outside, there is some secret about Sujan which the whole family is hiding including Sujan. What is that secret and why everyone is hiding it that is disclosed towards the climax and you must find it out in theaters.
The story is very much fresh and engaging, such a story deserves to be told. But there are some problems with the screenplay written by Padmanabha Dasgupta. The film focuses on two different worlds, one is the world of Sujan and the other is about the rest of the people. One must say Sujan’s world and his character has been shown wonderfully. There is no typical clichés we see in such characters. Here Sujan is much confident character. He is not looking for your sympathy, rather he can teach you a lot about positive thinking and simple living. His views could have been expressed more clearly if his secret would have been told little earlier. In order to keep it a secret till the climax the film gets much lesser time to give the final message. Still the message is clear and loud enough to question our social taboos. The main problem is with the way the other world has been shown, the world of the majorities or so called normal peoples of society. There are many sub plots there which diverts attention from the main plot. The romantic track between Arka and Titli could have been shorted. Also the brothers and daughter in laws of Sujan are too cliché , either they are complete white or complete black, no one is grey which is not convincing enough. Plus the track involving the younger brother and his wife, their ambition for a successful life and then a sudden change of heart of one of them is totally out of track and not required. Because of this unwanted sub plots the film looks more lengthier and slow in pace, although it’s run time is less than two hours only. The big revelation at the climax is definitely shocking and unpredictable. But some section of people may have problems to accept it, but it is one brave attempt to touch such an issue in a mainstream movie.
Partha Chakraborty deserves praises for attempting such a story and talk about the things which are considered taboo in our society. He has worked well to make audiences invested to the film till the end. Only he could have worked more on the screenplay to remove unwanted sub plots and making the supporting characters more interesting.
Hats off to Parambrata Chatterjee for choosing such an unconventional character. He has played the character of Sujan with perfection. It is one of his best performances. Riddhi Sen is a complete natural performer and he has proved it once again. Surangana Banerjee looks pretty and shares a wonderful chemistry with Riddhi Sen. She has the potential to become a heroine in lead role in future. Tonushree is getting better offers in recent movies and in such a situation she could have avoid this insignificant character. She has been completely wasted in a typical vamp character. Same can be said about Aparajita Adhya, she is capable of doing much more than playing a soft hearted typical elderly housewife. Anindya Banerjee has done too loud acting to make his character more impactful in a negative role but it does not add anything. Kushal Chakraborty is doing same thing as he does in his daily soaps. Soumitra Chatterjee has also repeated himself in a similar character in which we see him in every other film. On a whole the supporting cast is not much impressive as they has nothing important to do as their character’s are not well written.
Indraadip Dasgupta’s music is very much there in almost every scene, sometime in lip sync and sometime in background. And it works for most of the part. The best among them are the songs “Tui Chhunli Jakhon” and “Dyakha Hobe Bowle“.
Overall it is a film which gives a strong message to respect every human being.Go and watch the film to witness a thought provoking story with some solid performance by the two leading men.