Review of “Jyeshthoputro” – Simple narrative about complex emotions
Director – Kaushik Ganguly
Cast – Prosenjit Chatterjee, Ritwick Chakraborty, Sudiptaa Chakraborty, Gargee Roychowdhury, Daminee Benny Basu
Overall Rating – 4/5
Kaushik Ganguly’s Jyeshthoputro takes a closer look about the personal life of a popular public figure, a super star. This film tells how his growing popularity has actually taken him away from his own roots, his own family members. Through a simple narrative Kaushik Ganguly has captured many layers of complex human emotions.
The film revolves around a short span of three days only when super star Indrajit Ganguly aka Indra (Prosenjit Chatterjee) comes back to his native, a small town named Ballavpur, for his deceased father’s funeral and last rites. In his ancestral home there is his two younger siblings, his brother Partho (Ritwick Chakraborty) and his sister Ila (Sudiptaa Chakraborty) who is mentally unstable and kept locked in a room for most of the time. Also there is Partho’s pregnant wife Rai (Shreya Bhattacharya), a distant cousin Parul (Daminee Benny Basu), an old servant Makai and few relatives who has came to attend the funeral of the patriarch of Ganguly family. Returning home after almost ten years Indrajit realizes how far he has moved ahead leaving behind the people who used to be closer to him. Now his own home has became his Desher bari (ancestral home), his own neighbors and relatives are treating him as a superstar. Even his own brother is not happy to see him back.
One may complain that the story is sort of incomplete with an abrupt ending. The film has focused more on the characters than developing a story. But this can be overlooked considering the efficiency in developing such layered characters. The film has tried to capture the complex emotions of human mind through the equations between the characters. Intentionally the script never gives any flashback references of how the equations were there earlier rather it has tried to give a glimpse of past of the relationships through some dialogues only. It may create an ambiguity as verbal communication can be subjective based on who is saying the lines and that is the intention of the film maker to avoid being judgmental to any of these characters.
Indra shares different equations with Ila, Sudeshna and Parul and all defines different sides of his character but the most complicated is his relationships with his younger brother Partho. This is not a typical concept of jealousy or ego clash it is more like a misunderstanding that has been piled up through years because of communication gap. Biologically Indra is the Jyeshthoputro, the elder son the of the family but he has chosen to ignore his responsibilities towards his family to achieve his dreams. On the other hand Partho has taken care of all these responsibilities as an elder son as he had no other option. He considers himself as a better actor than his brother but he remains a local playwright only as he was not fortunate enough like Indra. Despite of that he has never complained against anyone and have only suffered silently. All these have created a massive dissatisfaction inside his mind for his brother. So he feels uneasy in the presence of his elder brother and gets irritated with all the attention he is getting. His emotional outbursts have been well captured in two very well written and executed confrontation scenes between the two brothers. The relationship between Indra and his ex-lover Sudeshna has been handled in a different way. Like Partho, Sudeshna too has complains against Indra but unlike Partha she does not choose to outburst rather she is more defensive to guard her feelings. She is mature enough to maintain the dignity of both her and Indra.
The talented cast of the film has helped to bring life to the complex characters written by Kaushik Ganguly. Prosenjit Chatterjee has well captured the aura of a super star who is more conscious about his star image than his personal grief. Behind this star persona there is a human side also of the character who is guilty of not being responsible enough towards his close ones and that emotions also has been well portrayed by Prosenjit Chatterjee. Ritwick Chakraborty has surely the most challenging characters among the others and he has sail through this challenge with ease. It had high probability to turn into a selfish negative character but he has managed to restrain it from going to that direction. Sudiptaa Chakraborty has done an excellent job as the mentally unstable woman. She has bring the required innocence and simplicity in her character without making it look gimmicky. One wish her character would have been more substantial to the plot. After a point the character almost disappeared from screen. Gargee Roychowdhury has done a fabulous job with her expressions without saying much dialogues. She has proved a lot can be expressed through silence also. Daminee Beeny Basu is very energetic and impressive as the talkative cousin Parul. She has taken her performance to another level in her last scene which completely reconstructs the character that has been portrayed so far.
The technical team is also in top notch form. Tanmoy Chakraborty’s art direction is very authentic. There is nothing new to talk about Shirsha Ray’s cinematography, it is splendid like always. Prabuddha Banerjee’s background score has intensified the drama. Editor Shubhajit Shingha has done a good job to highlight the void between the two brothers belonging to two different worlds.
Overall Jyeshthoputro is a film where performances have over shadowed the story. It may not be remembered as one of the best films made by Kaushik Ganguly but it will be certainly remembered for the finest performances by all the actors. One must watch it just to experience the sheer joy of watching two extremely talented actors of Bengali cinema sharing screen space together.