Tuesday, 9 October 2012

Dekha [2001]

Dekha (which means, 'to see'), directed by prominent Bengali filmmaker Goutam Ghose, is a nuanced, sensitively handled and competently made film dealing with interrelationships between individuals craving for emotional and spiritual fulfillment and companionship. At the heart of the film lies the complex personality of Shashibhushan Sanyal (Soumitra Chatterjee), an ageing and deeply lonely man. He was once a talented poet, noted for his angry and Leftist verses, but with the loss of his eyesight he has chosen a life of anonymity and seclusion, and lives in his huge, but dilapidated ancestral home. His existence is interwoven with two women – Sarama (Debashree Roy), a single mother who stays in his house with her young son, and the memories of his former wife (Rupa Ganguly) who had left him on account of his philandering ways; things get further complicated with the entry of Reema (Indrani Haldar), a smart and uninhibited young admirer of the ageing poet. The best part of the story laid in Shashibhushan’s understated relationship with the equally lonely Sarama, and his quiet yet internally turbulent existence in his inert environment, accompanied with his loyal secretary (Paran Bandopadhyay) and hounded by a local property dealer. Some of the subplots in the film, especially the one with the blind refugee could have been avoided; further, the fantasies and flashbacks were, I felt, the weakest sections of the film. Ghose nevertheless managed to evoke an excellent sense of sight and sound, and engaging mood and atmosphere, to complement the blind poet’s existence, memories and acquaintances, as also the strong sexual undercurrents. Chatterjee and Roy gave stunning performances, while the others too were noteworthy at the least.

Director: Goutam Ghose
Genre: Drama/Psychological Drama
Language: Bengali
Country: India

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