Review of “Sweater” – A heartwarming story knitted with wool
Director – Shieladitya Moulik
Cast – Ishaa Saha, Sreelekha Mitra, Kharaj Mukherjee, June Malya, Anuradha Mukherjee, Saurav Das, Farhan Imroze
Overall Rating – 3.5/5
Debutante director Shieladitya Moulik’s film Sweater tries to give some wonderful socially relevant messages through a simple narrative. It works for most of the part because of the simple narrative and the relatable characters.
This is a story of young girl named Tuku (Ishaa Saha). She is an average looking girl with no excellence in any extra curricular activities. She do not know how to cook, not skilled in song or dance or any other art form, neither she is bright in academics. For obvious reasons she keeps getting rejected from every suitor who comes to see her for marriage.Her parents are worried about it and their tension is more because Tuku also has a younger sister Sree (Anuradha Mukherjee) who is old enough to get married and have all the qualities which every groom’s family want but she is in queue waiting for Tuku to get married. This constant rejections have made Tuku, too much under confident. She has almost zero self respect for herself. Even she is okay to accept rough behavior from her boyfriend (Saurav Das), just in a hope to get acceptance from him. In such situation a twist comes in their life when a prospective groom’s mother (June Malya) puts a strange condition, if the girl can make a perfect sweater for her son within one month then she is okay to accept that girl as her daughter in law. Although Tuku do not know how to knit a sweater but her father (Kharaj Mukherjee) agrees upon the condition. To make Tuku eligible for this condition her father sends her to her aunt’s house to learn knitting from her. Her aunt (Sreelekha Mitra) who lives in Darjeeling, gives lessons on how to knit a sweater. In this one month course she not only teach Tuku to the nitty-gritty of knitting wool but also makes her relasize about her self worth, boosts her self respect and self confidence. Whether she learns to knit sweater and gets married, to know those answers one have to watch the movie.
The story which is based on a short story named Wool Kata by Joeeta Sengupta offers a refreshing idea and have a noble intention. It gives a wonderful message that until you love and respect yourself , you can not except the same from others. It also raises voice against the evaluation process of girls in the arranged marriage situation. But the weak screenplay has failed to utilize the potential of the refreshing story idea. The film opens with lot of promise but then comes the strange condition which brings the turning point in the story. Such a strange condition needs a good enough reason in its support but the reason which has been given in the film is not convincing enough. In the second half when Tuku’s aunt gives her lessons she sounds like a motivational coach who is too preachy. In the knitting learning class, there is group of students where almost every student has an unnecessary emotional back story of their own to justify their purpose. Not only that there is a young over enthusiastic musician (Farhan Imroze) who helps the students to learn knitting wool with music therapy. The particular idea of music therapy may sound good in writing but does not provide the expected effect in execution although the violin piece played by Rohan Roy is really nice. Besides all these there is a half baked sub plot about Sree and her boy friend which serves no purpose apart from adding length. But all these shortcomings have been compensated to some extent with the impressive climax which is predictable but still gives a satisfactory feeling before leaving the theaters.
In spite of the poor writing the film works mostly because of the excellent cast and crew. Ishaa Saha has wonderfully portrayed the transformation of her character from an under confident girl who thinks herself as a looser to a confident enough girl who knows her self worth. Sreelekha Mitra has a very cliched character but she has make it impressive with her acting. June Malya has nothing much to do in an one note character whose intentions are not very clear to even the writers. Anuradha Mukherjee has made a promising debut. She has the spark to make her presence felt even in presence of senior actors. Kharaj Mukherjee, Arindol Bagchi and Saurav Das has played their parts with conviction. Farhan Imroze fails to impress in his big screen debut.
Among the technical team, it is cinematographer Uday Singh Mohite who deserves all the praise for capturing the scenic beauty of hill areas in North Bengal. Ranajoy Bhattacharjee’s music (along with Anindya Chatterjee as guest composer) and background score has enhanced the emotions on the screen.
On a whole Sweater offers a fresh story with some well intentioned message. Despite of the weak and predictable writing the film manages to win our hearts for the sincere performances by the lead cast and some soothing music. This Sweater definitely gives the required warmth and satisfaction.