Saturday 31 March 2012

Baishey Shravana (Wedding Day) [1960]

Baishey Shravana, Mrinal Sen’s third feature film, was a simple and simply told human story where the protagonist’s emotional experiences cover the entire arc from happiness and bliss to pain and devastation. Priyanath (Jnanesh Mukherjee), the descendant of a rich zamindar family and resident of a small village in Bengal, makes his living by selling various items on the train. His loving mother gets him married to a nice looking girl (Madhabi Mukherjee in her first major role) who is much younger to him. Theirs becomes a happy closely-knit family with the soft-spoken Priyanath’s love for his demure wife increasing with each day. However, before long, tragedy strikes in the form of his mother’s death on one stormy evening while they were happily whiling their time at a local fair. The guilty-conscience that he starts suffering from starts affecting his work, and before long, courtesy a debilitating accident, he finds himself jobless, and soon enough penniless too. The film’s most noteworthy aspect was in being able to capture Priyanath’s changing nature and behavior, and the consequent disintegration of his marriage, once tragedies start taking its toll, has been nicely portrayed; Jnanesh Mukherjee gave a stellar performance to superbly capture the sad but inevitable transition. Though set at the backdrop of the setting in of the 1943 Bengal famine, that seemed rather incidental (and hence irrelevant) to the storyline vis-à-vis Akaler Sandhane which he made two decades later. Though at times the film appeared to be going through the motions, it does merit a watch as an early Mrinal Sen effort.

Director: Mrinal Sen
Genre: Drama/Rural Drama/Family Drama
Language: Bengali
Country: India

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