The flavour of Kolkata

The flavour of Kolkata
The city is known for its old alleys. One such is shot by Atanu Pal.

Friday, January 01, 2010

A look at Bangla cinema 2009

1. The year of Shri Venkatesh Films: 5 releases (Jackpot, Challenge, Saat Pake Bandha, Poran Jaye Jwoliya Re, Prem Amaar), 2 superhits, 1 flop.

2. Emergence of Screenplay Films: With the success of Antaheen, they proved that they can make their kind of films (that fall in the alternative cinema space), yet have a strong audience connect. Antaheen brought a new slice of audience to theatres, among others- middle-aged, urban, educated, upper middle class housewives in groups. In the coming years this house seems set to move from strength to strength, with all eyes currently on their under-production Ekti Tarar Khoje that brings back Shayan Munshi after his impressive debut in The Bong Connection in 2007 and Arpita Chatterjee (erstwhile Arpita Pal) in a delightful comeback after her marriage with Prosenjit.

3. Rise of Raj Chakraborty: He consolidated his position this year with the blockbuster Challenge that took Bangla cinema a few notches up in the entertainment quotient, and Prem Amaar, after last year's thunderous debut Chirodini Tumi Je Amaar, and skyrocketed to the top slot of directors. The entire industry is watching him and audience expectation is rising with every release. His mantra is: Never repeat yourself.

4. The copyright suit: The makers of Namaste London taught a lesson to the makers of Poran Jaye Jwoliya Re and their peers that indiscriminate remaking can be dangerous. It resulted in acknowledging 7G Rainbow Colony in the opening credits of Prem Amaar as the original film.

5. More success in alternative cinema: Antaheen, Madly Bangalee and Cross Connection have had a good to decent run at the box office, injecting more promise in sensible cinema.

6. Fading out of Rituparno Ghosh: The erstwhile toast of the educated urban Bengali had just one release- Shob Choritro Kalponik- that failed to make a mark. In the last few years audience waited too long to watch his films to hold patience and stay interested. All his films are lying in the post-production stage or in the cans for too long leading to a substantial loss of interest in him.

7. Comeback of Jee-Ko:The most successful pair of the last decade, Jeet-Koel, came back in Saat Pake Bandha to hit the screens after they parted ways two years back.

8. The magic of DI: DI or Digital Intermediate- a special effects tool- transformed 'Dujone' and lent the film a never-seen-before gloss that hooked the audience.


  1. A nice post. And a timely one too.
    I am glad that you have higlighted the plus-es and not the minus-es which also rule the roost, whether we want it or not.
    Just a word on Rituparno Ghosh, one of our hot favorites for the last ten years or so,
    do NOT yet give up on him...
    I am sure his best is yet to come, and 2010 should also see him bounce (pun unintended) on the big screen as the protagonist in Kaushik Ganguly's film 'Arekti Premer Galpo'.

  2. I love to feel good about and project the pluses. Too many people anyways know the minuses.

    About Rituparno, well, a hardcore positive person like me don't really love to feel that he's fading away. But I can't turn a blind eye to reality, buddy. I'm grossly disappointed with the way my favourite director, for whom once I shot a strongly-worded mail to the Calcutta Times editor in response to his take on Ritu's 'Shubho Maharat' which was just released (and the mail got published), is opertaing these days. How can he be so detached with his under-production films?

    And 'Arekti Premer Golpo' will definitely reveal a new facet of his talent- acting, that is. But what about the director in him? Does anyone talk about his last shot film 'Noukodubi' produced by his friend actor Jisshu Sengupta?


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