By Amina Khatoon
Produced by Rose Valley productions and directed by Goutam Chose, 'Shunyo Awnko' is a film for everyone to watch - from young filmmakers to learn the art, to politicians who promise the backward class a life that they hardly want and industrialists who think they can tamper with nature in the name of development. The film portrays a sharp contrast between the wasteful abundance of urban life and the penury of rural India and the nationalistic feeling that prevails in these two worlds.
What's it about?
Agni Bose (Priyanshu Chatterjee) is a strategic head of a company which intends to extract rich mineral deposits from a tribal area. The corporate husband hardly has any time for his wife Jhilik (Priyanka Bose), an ex-air hostess who feels her wings have been clipped, in spite of living in luxury. During one of his trips to the tribal area, he meets a journalist Raka Biswas (Konkona Sen Sharma) who was also there, working on a report. She is accompanied by a tribal minister’s son and activist (Arijit Dutta).
Agni then takes two weeks off from work and goes on a holiday to Manali with his wife. But with the project playing on his mind, he keeps in regular touch with Raka who was at the proposed mining site. At Manali, they put up at a holiday home run by a retired scientist Dr Chowdhury (Soumitra Chatterjee). The doctor's wife Laila Chowdhury (Lalita Chatterjee) has a psychological disorder after having lost their son. While the corporate house wants urbanisation of the jungle, the inhabitants don’t want to give away their land. The film shows how all the characters have, at some time or the other, lost something – be it a son, daughter, boyfriend, girlfriend, freedom, land, et al.
Good direction, stellar acting and the gripping tale. The gong before every act sets the perfect mood to what follows. The six lead characters are well define and the actors do justice to their roles, including filmmaker-turned-actor Arijit Dutta. The music is good and so are the sets that depict the holiday home in Manali. It has been very well researched and is topical and we hope the government doesn’t find it offensive and throws the maker behind bars.
At some points, it drags for a bit too long, especially in the second half
What to do?
A must watch for every adult.
in.com rating: 3.5/5
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