Tuesday, 10 April 2012
Jukti Takko Aar Gappo 
The last film of the perennially misunderstood and mercurial genius Ritwik Ghatak (he made only 8 feature films in his life), Jukti Takko Aar Gappo was a complex and fascinating synthesis of the various themes, ideas, obsessions and stylistic preferences that marked his life and work – thus making this deeply autobiographical film a definitive crystallization of all that he stood for and believed in. Not one to shy away from his personal demons, Ghatak himself played the role of the central protagonist Nilkantha Bagchi, an alcoholic, disillusioned and washed out intellectual who, upon being left by his wife and young son, has now become a happily destitute vagabond. Giving him company are his young protégé and a young refugee girl (Shaonli Mitra). Over the course of his journey he meets an assortment of unique people – a former contemporary (played by Utpal Dutt) who has made it big unlike him (an underhanded reference to his legendary rival Satyajit Ray), a penniless Sanskrit teacher (Bijon Bhattacharya) who joins him in his journey through rural Bengal, a poor village handloom worker (Jnanesh Mukherjee) forever reminiscing about loss of old traditions, and a young and fearless Naxal rebel (militant Leftist). The film abounds in the various themes and ideologies that regularly recurred in his films – undivided Bengal and the horrors of Partition, Leftism and politics, homelessness and familial alienation, fascination with Tagore’s music, and vanishing rural traditions, all presented through his unique melodramatic style filled in equal measures with poignancy and darkly humorous content. No one but Ghatak could have played the role of Nilkantha, a stand-in for Ghatak himself, with terrific supporting turns provided by Bhattacharya and Mukherjee.
Director: Ritwik Ghatak
Genre: Drama/Rural Drama/Social Drama/Experimental Film