By Amina Khatoon
Muktadhara is an acknowledgement to the efforts of former IG (prison) BD Sharma who introduced culture therapy in jails and brought out the real meanings of what a correctional home should be. It is one of the films where Rituparna is all covered up and attracts audience by pure performance.
What’s it about?
The film portrays the efforts of an inspector general, Brij Narayan Dutta (Debshankar Halder) who initially didn’t like his posting as IG (prison) but later went on to make revolutionary changes in the prison to make it a correctional home. It shows the resistance that the officer faces in his efforts – internally and externally. He takes the help of a dancer wife Niharika (Rituparna Sengupta) of a reputed criminal lawyer Arindam (Bratya Basu) to give the jail inmates a dance therapy that transformed the lives and minds of the goons.
The picture of jail has been very well portrayed. How the number of undertrials ghastly outdo the number of convicts, how the new inmates are extorted and tortured in jail, how you can get better food if you are ready to pay, how cell phones and SIM cards are smuggled inside the jails, how gangsters operate within and how the union leaders of jail employees rule the roost, everything has been very well researched by the director duo Nandita Roy and Shiboprosad Mukherjee.
In the department of acting, Rituparna has not resorted to skin show and displayed talent for a change. Debutant Nigel Akkara playing a killer and extortionist Yusuf Md Khan was impressive with his looks and acting. Bratya Basu proved he is much better in acting as a lawyer in front of the camera than as the education minister in real life. Good music and cinematography are plus points.
The film’s length of a little over three hours was a bit of a drag at some points. Dubbing for Niharika and Arindam’s deaf mute child Spriha was not done well enough.
What to do?
Muktadhara is a good film overall and is worth a watch if you are not expecting Rituparna to break into a steamy rain dance sequence.
Rating – 3/5
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