Review of “Uronchondi” – A journey towards a new begining
Director – Abhishek Saha
Cast – Sudiptaa Chakraborty, Chitra Sen, Rajnandini Paul, Amartya Ray
Overall Rating – 4.5/5
At one point in the film Uronchondi, one character says when one road closes, car does not stop, it finds another road. That line summarizes the whole concept of the film Uronchondi directed by debutante director Abhishek Saha. Our life is like a journey , when we face a roadblock ahead we have to make a choice, whether to stop and wait for the roadblock to be resolved or try a new alternate route. Trying a new route may be full of risk but at least there is a possibility to move ahead in life which is better than surrendering to the problems. The protagonists in the films resonates the same thought.
The film begins with a young runaway bride Meenu (Rajnandini Paul) who is running away from her marriage as her father and step mother was trying to get her married forcefully. She has run to meet her boyfriend in a nearby village. To reach there she takes lift in a truck. In the truck she discovers another woman Bindiya (Sudiptaa Chakraborty). Bindiya is also running away from her home to escape from domestic violence by her husband. She has run away along with Chhotu (Amartya Ray), taking the truck of her husband. Chhotu is the helper of her truck driver husband and more like a son to her. Soon after a unwanted twist another co-passenger joins the journey. She is Sabitri (Chitra Sen), an aged widow who is completely dependent on her sons who don’t love her at all. To survive she has to work like a domestic help in her own son’s house. All these three ladies are from different background and of different age but one common thing unites them. They all are women who are victim of male dominated society and they all have the courage to come out of it and live their life on their own terms. Their road journey is not too smooth always, there are many obstacles but they are strong enough to face it.
This is probably the first ever full length road movie made in Bengali. Being true to the road movie genre it follows the rules literally, like through the journey the protagonists rediscovers themselves, find new bonding, deals with their past which they were trying to escape. At the same time it brings so many problems which women have to face even in 21st century. It talks about the world where a women is blamed for not having a child, where a woman has to prove her dignity if she spends night outside, where a woman is treated like a servant in the name of motherhood. But the good thing is the film brings all these issues without being preachy. There is no lecture on women empowerment rather the script believes more on act than talk. The screenplay is written carefully to keep the journey engaging throughout. Only a twist before climax looks less convincing. But it does not impact much as by that time we have already lost our hearts to the characters. Also the local elements of Purulia has been skill fully incorporated in the script. Like a bahurupi dressed as goddess Kaali or the use of Chhau dance or the beautiful handcraft of Purulia.
Director Abhishek Saha has made a courageous debut with such an unconventional subject. The way he has narrated the story is praise worthy. Shooting a full movie on a road journey is not an easy task and he deserves credit for making it look so authentic.
His technical team has given their cent percent support. Soumik Halder has captured the landscapes of Purulia so beautifully. He has painted his every frame with an earthy flavor of rural area. He deserves special mention for the song Meethi Meethi. The way he has captured the song its pure magic. Tanmay Chakraborty’s art direction and Anirban Sengupta’s sound design has given an authentic feel to the road journey. There is minimal use of background score to keep the original road journey feel intact. But even for limited time the background score is impressive and sounds fresh. There are three songs in the film and all the songs have been used in perfect situation. Although the makers could have included the song Chutche Jibon Uronchondi in the end credits in stead repeating same song Saiya Re, in opening and end credits. Music composer Debojyoti Mishra has done a fabulous job. He has bring the feel of folk music in the songs which suits really well with the narrative. It is undoubtedly one of his best music albums. He has also worked as a lyricist along with Srijato and the two have written some really nice songs being true to the situations.
Apart from the skilled technical team the cast is the other best thing about the film. It’s already accepted fact that Sudiptaa Chakraborty is one of the finest actress in current time but she mostly gets supporting characters only. In Uronchondi she has played the main lead and she has proved her acting prowess in every scene. Her look, dialect , body language everything is perfect for her on screen character Bindiya. This will be remembered as one of her career best performance. She is impressive in every single scene but there is one special scene where she dances out of frustration being drunk, this one scene proves her capabilities as an actors. An actor needs courage to shed all inhibition and perform like that. It’s refreshing to see veteran actress Chitra Sen on big screen after so long. She has comparatively lesser screen time as she enters after interval but in the limited time she makes her presence felt. She brings smile in our faces at the same time she brings tears in our eyes. Along side of these two established actors, the two newcomers Amartya Ray and Rajnandini Paul have made confident debut. They have shown courage to choose such an unusual characters for their debut where they have to play a person exactly opposite with their real life. Amartya Ray is a natural performer, he has made Chhotu a completely believable character. Unlike the female characters Chhotu has lesser dialogues but he has emoted very well with his expressions. Rajnandini Paul has a charming screen presence, even in less makeup and messy hairstyle she looks pretty. She has acted well too but she has scope to improve herself specially in the emotional scenes. Among the other Pranay Narayan, Satish Sau impresses in supporting characters. Other members in the cast has given able support.
On a whole Uronchondi a well made film by a skillful cast and crew. It highlights some socially relevant issues and encourages women empowerment. Also it gives important life lessons without compromising with the entertainment. This is one road journey that should not be missed.