Saturday, 24 May 2014

Shabdo (Sound) [2013]

Shabdo is bound to evoke memories of the British film Berberian Sound Studio that released a year before and the brilliant De Palma thriller Blow Out, though, from tonal and stylistic standpoints they were all very different films. Like the latter films, it had at its epicenter a Foley artist and sound designer who is enraptured by the minutest sounds around him and is completely obsessed with his work and world. Tarak (Ritwick Chakraborty) is in the profession of creating ambient sound for movies, and he is very good at his job. However, as a result of his immersive nature, his mind has started losing grip of the real word and conversations. It was presented through 2 parallel narrative strands – while one focused on him, his work, his marital and familial life, and the increasing concerns of his loving wife (Raima Sen) as he’s always in a state of absent mindedness, the other focused on a doctor (Churni Ganguly) who is hell-bent on curing Tarak and bringing him back to the real world. The former strand was easily the better of the two – Ritwick’s intense and layered performance was nicely complemented by the brooding tone, moody photography, juxtaposition of real with reel, evocation of his claustrophobic world, and deliberate pacing; Raima, too, fit in very well in her character’s silent frustrations. Unfortunately, the latter strand spoilt the mood and dampened the good work – it was often preachy and resorted to over-explanations; Churni’s performance was incorrigibly over-dramatic, while Srijit Mukherji’s, who played the role of a director, was wooden. Hence, in the end, it ended up being a film worth noting but held back for not using the scissors more appropriately.

Director: Kaushik Ganguly
Genre: Drama/Medical Drama
Language: Bengali
Country: India

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