By Amina Khatoon
Kudos to Venkatesh Films for financially backing a 'concept film' like Hemlock Society as this will encourage other filmmakers to experiment with their films rather than just play to the gallery. Never mind the cynics, filmmaker Srijit Chatterjee has pulled this off with élan. Away from the masala remakes of Hindi and south Indian flicks, this film is a whiff of fresh air.
The title of this film has been borrowed from the California-based Right-To-Die organisation.
What is it about?
The film is about a suicidal girl Meghna (played by Koel Mallick) and Ananda (Parambrata Chatterjee), who runs an organisation which helps individuals commit suicide. Meghna has broken up with someone who she had loved for 14 years and was going to marry in a week. She is also on the verge of losing her job. On top of that, he is heart-broken about her mother’s death and upset at the same time that her father (Dipankar Dey) is going to remarry. Ananda (Parambrata) walks into her room and advises her on how she should be committing suicide as most of the suicide attempts around the world are unsuccessful. Ananda also assures her that he will extend all kinds of support to ensure that she is able to end her life successfully and peacefully. He then convinces Meghna to attend a crash course in suicide but then there lies a twist in the tale.
The film is a faint inspiration from the Rajesh Khanna starrer Anand. The script is good, and has been complemented well with tongue-in-cheek dialogues. Director Srijit and musician Anupam Roy have proved themselves once again after ‘Autograph’. In the acting department, Parambrato and have both performed well but we would give more marks to Parambrata though. The roles played by Barun Chanda, Bratya Basu, Soumitra Chatterjee, Shabitri Chattopadhyay and Sabyasachi Chakraborty also leave a lasting impression.
Some portions of the film look very unrealistic. An intelligent, upmarket girl like Meghna cannot be so easily talked into attending a course – that part didn’t look convincing at all. The camera work leaves a lot of room for improvement. In one scene we see Meghna absconding with a man and Kolkata Police were clueless about her for three days -- that scene also looked very unconvincing. The DOP faltered when he had to simultaneously use the zoom, trolley and the hand-held camera. These shots are too jerky.
What to do?
Every lover of good cinema should watch this film.
in.com rating – 3.5/5
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