Enjoy the new set of Puja releases following the safety protocols of new normal
After a gap of almost seven months, finally Cinema halls have opened with 50% occupancy. In this pandemic situation neither film makers nor Cinema Hall owners are sure about how the audiences will react to it. Considering that fact most of the Bollywood producers are choosing not to release any new film immediately rather they want to test the situation by re-releasing the already popular films. Even most of the regional film industry is also following the same route, but the situation is very different in West Bengal. We all know Durga Puja is the biggest festival season to release Bengali movies, co-incidentally this year the much awaited festive season has collapsed with reopening of cinema halls. Despite of the uncertainty the producers in Bengal are ready to release their much delayed movies going by the track record of the festive season in previous years. Every year we see multiple Puja releases in Bengali film industry but it was expected that this year there may be lesser number of releases. On contrary to that the number has increased much more than any year with nine new releases and one re-release.
Drascula Sir, featuring Anirban Bhattacharya and Mimi Chakraborty in the lead roles, has been produced by Shree Venkatesh Films and directed by Debaloy Bhattacharya. Although Debaloy Bhattacharya is yet to make his mark as a feature film director but some of his recent works for OTT platform have been well accepted by the audience. Hopefully Dracula Sir which is his third film as a director will give him recognition as a film director as well. Although the film is associated with the concept of Dracula but from the trailer it is very much clear that it is not similar to those Dracula stories that we are used to see in Hollywood movies. This is much more than just a story of a blood sucking creature. With a refreshing story idea, efficient cast and good enough promotion by SVF, the film has a fair chance to perform better than the other releases.
Last year on Durga Puja Koel Mallick had ruled everyone’s heart with Mitin Masi, this year she is planning to continue the trend with her new release Rawkto Rawhoshyo. This is an emotional thriller that has been directed by much acclaimed director Soukarya Ghosal and produced by Surinder Films. Besides Koel Mallick in the lead, the film will also feature some talented actors like Chandan Roy Sanyal, Lily Chakraborty, Rwitobroto Mukherjee, Shantilal Mukherjee and Basabdatta Chatterjee in significant characters. After Rainbow Jelly, Soukarya Ghosal has made a fan base for himself. It is expected that his collaboration with the immensely popular actress Koel Mallick will definitely produce a positive outcome.
Brahma Janen Gopon Kammoti
Re-releasing Brahma Janen Gopon Kammoti is an wise decision from Windows Production House. It was already a hit in the first two weeks of its release before lockdown. Considering the amount of popularity it had received during that time, it has all possibilities to become a crowd puller once again. This film is about a female priest and her struggle to get acceptance in society. It has been directed by debutante director Aritra Mukherjee who was earlier an assistant director with Shiboprosad-Nandita duo. The film features Ritabharai Chakraborty and Soham Majumdar in the lead roles along with Soma Banerjee, Manasi Sinha, Subhasish Mukherjee, Ambarish Bhattacharya in supporting characters.
Saheber Cutlet directed by Anjan Dutt is an experimental film where Anjan Dutt has combined music and food together. It has been made in opera style where music plays an important part in the narrative as an alternative to dialogues in some portions. The interesting thing is the actors have sung their parts in their own voice. Anjan Dutt himself has written the lyrics and Neel Dutt has composed the songs. It features Arjun Chakrabarty in the lead role. Besides Arjun, the cast also includes wonderful actors like Suprobhat Das, Kanchan Mallik, Ambarish Bhattacharya. Anjan Dutt, Sumanta Mukherjee, Anindita Bose and Sritama Dey. Being an experimental film, it may not be an instant favorite among the audiences but in long run it has a possibility to grab attention with a refreshing subject, solid star cast and good music.
Director Arjunn Dutta who had received much accolades for his debut feature film Abyakto, is ready with his second film Guldasta. The film which has been produced by Ankit Das and Suresh Tolani under the production house Roop Productions & Entertainment, is the story of three women played by Arpita Chatterjee, Swastika Mukherjee and Debjani Chatterjee. Other than these three leading ladies, the film will also feature Anubhav Kanjilal, Anuradha Mukherjee, Abhijit Guha, Ishaan Mazumder in supporting characters. Although there will be too much competition among the Puja releases but hopefully the family audience friendly subject and the eminent cast will help the film to get attention of the cine-goers.
Doodh Pither Gachh
Doodh Pither Gachh, is a small independent film that has been crowd funded by around 930 families of a small village. When so many people have faith to contribute their hard earned money for this film then it has to be special. The film has already traveled to several festivals and have received much appreciation. It has been directed by Ujjwal Basu and features child actor Harshil Das in the central character along with Daminee Beny Basu, Kaushik Roy, Shibani Maity in significant characters. It will be difficult for the film to get shows in the overcrowded festive season but the truth is for such a small film it is very tough to get a proper release in any season. The problem can be resolved only if the audience support the film based on its content. Hope among the crowd of almost dozen of films this sweet little gem will find its way to the heart of its target audiences.
Among the dozens of movies that are releasing on this Durga Puja, the only action thriller is SOS Kolkata, directed by Anshuman Pratyush who has also written the story and screenplay for the film and co-produced it. It features Yash, Mimi Chakraborty and Nusrat in lead roles along with Sabyasachi Chakraborty, Shantilal Mukherjee and Ena Saha who is also the co-producer of the film. It is an espionage thriller that is very much inspired from the terrorist attacks of 26/11 in Mumbai only here the backdrop has been shifted to Kolkata. The story idea and plot is too cliche. Also from the trailer it seems there is nothing new or exciting about the action sequences. On top of that Yash lacks the charisma as a leading man to carry off a film on his own shoulders. In recent past we have seen mainstream Bengali movies are not getting much attention from the audiences. In such a situation, it is less likely that SOS Kolkata will find its own set of audience among the crowd of so many movies.
Love Story, featuring Bonny Sengupta and Rittika Sen, is a much delayed romantic film. The film has been produced by Surinder Films and directed by Rajiv Kumar. From the trailer of the film it is very much clear that it is a remake of 2014 Tamil film Amara Kaaviyam. From the trailer, it seems the story has nothing new to offer, several times we have seen such tragic love stories of two young lovers. It is not tough to predict that the film has no future in theaters. Hopefully this will also enjoy popularity after having its satellite release later, just like most the mainstream remake films.
Other than these movies there are three more new releases Shironam and Chalo Potol Tuli and last week’s release Ebhabei Galpo Hok. These are the movies with least awareness due to lack of promotion. In this tough competition situation along with the risk of pandemic, it will not be wrong to predict there will be no takers for these films. Also there are two more re-releases Srijit Mukherji’s Dwitiyo Purush and Indrasis Acharya’s The Parcel.
Due to the pandemic situation many things have changed this year in the new normal. For example there is no Puja release from Srijit Mukherji or Dev. Also after many years this time there will be no Byomkesh movie in theaters during Puja. But one thing that has not changed is the question if it is a good idea to release so many movies on same day? The answer will be no matter its a festive weekend or not it is never a wise decision to release so many movies together. It shows the lack of communication and egoistic competition between the film makers in Bengali film industry. We hope if not all at least some of the puja releases do well and help the film industry and cinema hall owners recover from the losses because of the lockdown. Also hope all the cinema owners and the audience ensures their safety and remain safe.