By Amina Khatoon
There is a difference between 'Bhooter Bhobishot' and 'Goynar Baksho'. While the former is pure fun with double meaning dialogues and spooky one-liners that tickle you, the latter mostly comprises of dark humour. This film is about strong women and spineless, profligate men. The story spans across three generations with a goynar baksho (jewellery box) that keeps them linked. Aparna Sen had bought the rights of this novel by Shirshendu Mukhopadhyay way back in 2003 and makes this film a decade later, taking cinematic liberty at some places, but always keeping the essence of the original novel intact.
What's it about?
Pishi (Mousumi Chatterjee) belonged to the Mitra family of Zamindars. Widowed at 12, she had died long ago but her spirit hovers around the Mitra mansion. Cut to 1949 where Somlata (Konkona Sen Sharma) steps into Mitra family as the newly-wed of Pishi's younger son (Saswata Chatterjee). Pishi entrusts Somlata with her jewellery box containing 500 bhori of gold jewellery and asks her to safeguard it from people especially from her nephew (Pijush Ganguly) and niece (Aparajita Adhya). What follows is a series of humorous events when Pishi helps Somlata to keep the goynar baksho safe. Somlata gives birth to a daughter, Chaitali, in 1953 and we fast forward to 1971 when Chaitali (Srabonti Chatterjee) makes an entry, with the Bangaldesh Mukti-juddho in full swing. What happens to the treasure at the end is worth seeing in the theatres.
Mousumi’s OMG acting. The ghost pishima will make you smile, laugh and cry and she delivers a power-packed performance. She had outdone everyone else, by far. Konkona comes second in rank. Srabonti shines as well, even in a relatively smaller role. If the reaction of pishima when she comes to know that Somlata had named her saree shop after her doesn’t move you to tears, nothing will. Saswata proves his mettle yet again, in this women-centric movie, playing a proud, spineless, yet simple son.
Kudos to the director Aparna Sen for taking care of little details in the frame in the three eras that have been shown in the film. Photography had been spic and span and smart editing keeps the film going at a decent pace. Music by Debajyoti Mishra is in sync with the mood.
The end appeared to be too abrupt. Kaushik and Konkona's on screen chemistry has no spark and the Mukti-joddha episode could have been better handled, going by Aparna’s standards.
What to do?
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in.com rating: 4/5
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