Tuesday 8 June 2010

Galpo Holeo Satyi (Stranger than Fiction) [1966]

Galpa Holeo Satyi, directed by Tapan Sinha (who I like to call the “Fourth Musketeer” of Bengali cinema), ranks as one of the most popular and loved Bengali movies ever made, along with the likes of Goopi Gyne Bagha Byne, Saptapadi, etc. The movie is about a dysfunctional middle-class Bengali joint-family filled to brim with a plethora of petty issues, so much so that there isn’t an iota of peace, and compounded by the fact that no domestic help manages to survive the madness and chaos that rules in their home – if it may be called one. And then, as a boon from the heavens, there arrives a mysterious housekeeper who is Chaplinesque in the truest sense of the word – both in terms of his short physical stature, interesting moustache and comic persona, and where having dollops of humanism and a heart of gold are concerned. He doesn’t just do the daily chores – and what a job he does! – but also manages to unite the disparate individuals back into a family that cares for each other. The best aspect of the film is that its humour is never crass or saccharine; it’s subtle, witty, intelligent and ageless, and wonderfully masks its social message, ensuring that it never interferes with the narrative. The film boasts of exemplary performances from its ensemble cast, led by the extraordinary talent that was Rabi Ghosh, arguably one of the greatest comic actors that Indian cinema has ever had.

Director: Tapan Sinha
Genre: Comedy/Human Drama/Family Comedy/Ensemble Film
Language: Bengali
Country: India


Omar said...

This looks excellent like most of Bengali cinema. As for the book it was difficult narrowing down to 14 chapters but on reflection I would have loved to have included sections on tapan Sinha and mrinal sen but this book is aimed at the general reader.

Shubhajit said...

Thanks Omar for sharing that. I'm really saddened to know that you aren't covering Mrinal Sen (one of my favourite directors) or Tapan Sinha. However that aside, I'm really looking forward to reading your book as soon as its published.