Thursday, 17 September 2009
Bappaditya Bandopadhyay’s Houseful is a difficult movie to appraise, for the simple reason that it IS a difficult movie. I haven’t seen any other movie by the director (his Kantatar earned him respect if not popularity). Nonetheless, it wasn’t difficult to realise that the movie, about a film director who neither manages to lure people to the theatre not impress the critics, and who is being incessantly coaxed by his loyal sidekick to play to the gallery for once by plagiarising a formulaic movie, has strong autobiographical touches. But that’s only the short of it. The movie, mostly about his making of yet another “unsuccessful movie”, has, with fair amount of élan, blurred the line between fact and fiction, between dreams and reality, and hence between cinema and life. The protagonist might be a miserable failure in his personal and professional lives, but that never deters him from living in his own world – a parallel existence of sorts. Prosenjit Chatterjee, in the challenging role as the dour-faced intellectual, might have given the most accomplished performance of his career, while Nitya Ganguly, as his jovial and ever-optimistic Man Friday, was also exceptional. The luscious Sreelekha Mitra, too, was impressive in her cameo as a successful heroine. While on one hand this experimental movie has a difficult subject matter and relies on complex narrative techniques, on the other it also has a fair amount of black irony and insider’s jokes that would make one smirk in appreciation. The cinematographer deserves special mention for the fine use of textures and colours to accentuate the specific moods of every situation.
Director: Bappaditya Bandopadhyay
Genre: Drama/Showbiz Drama/Social Satire/Experimental