The flavour of Kolkata

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

Saturday, October 30, 2010

'Autograph' review

My Autograph review is live on Washington Bangla Radio. Please drop your comments here.

For the uninitiated, Autograph is a Bangla release in Puja 2010 directed by debutant Srijit Mukherjee, with Prosenjit, Indraneil Sengupta and Nandana Sen in the cast. It is a tribute to Satyajit Ray's Nayak.


  1. Read your review, buddy. It was more anticipated for me than the film you have reviewed. I mean it.
    Your review is indeed well-written; a labour of love. It covers extensively almost all the aspects of the film, and that itself is quite impressive.

    Now, coming to the film reviewed, "Autograph", I must say that it was a pleasurable watch this Puja. I saw it at Fame Multiplex on Ashtami evening. It was a packed auditorium, brimming with all kinds of viewers. I was irked by the presence of some amongst the audience who could be best described as whilers, they probably would have liked to check out the other new Bengali release ("Dui Prithibi") but couldn't get tickets to! They hooted, and booed and giggled all through and tried desperately to disturb others. Anyhow, I am used to minor irritants like these, and they couldn't stop me from absorbing all the finer aspects of the film. It hooked me. I liked it. But I do not have unqualified praises for the director, Srijit Mukherjee, I'm sorry to say. I loved that Prosenjit was part of the project. And no one else could have essayed the role of superstar Arun Chatterjee as convincingly.
    There are some problems with the film, some of them needed to be highlighted in your review. There is a certain oversimplification in the second half that shows the transformation of Shubho, the director protagonist, and the climactic scene at the roadside eatery (dhaaba) seemed a tad unreal and forced. Much of the exchanges between Shubho and Nandita are also immature and unconvincing. The film has a major handicap in attempting to be a joint tribute to Satyajit Ray's 'Nayak' and Ingmar Bergman's 'Wild Strawberries', and the same is true for the film-within-film (Aajker Nayak) as well. It seems Srijit tries as hard as his protagonist, Shubho. Srijit probably has no idea what a tribute film (and that too a dual tribute) should be like (I would suggest watching "The Dreamers" by Bernardo Bertolucci for the same, where Bertolucci pays twin tribute - in his very own style - to both Jean-Luc Godard and François Truffaut!).

  2. Wonderful! A very analytic take, just as it can be expected from you, Anindo.

    Well, a point here. I feel Subha's transformation has not been that abrupt, it had been hinted at earlier. Recall the dialogue between Arun and Srinandita on the sets, where he helps her perfect the line and Subha sneaks in at the end, with perfect timing, which suggests he had been all ears to all that were spoken between the two. It shows his manipulativeness and sense of ethics. Nevertheless, a gradual build-up would help, I agree.

    About the twin tribute, well, you are far more qualified than me to comment on. I am not much knowledgeable about world cinema. I haven't seen 'Wild Strawberries'. I write reviews as an audience member, not as a self-confessed film critic. But I have pointed out in my review that the tribute to 'Nayak' could be better handled, and put in an instance of the dream sequence.

    All said and done, I believe Srijit being a debutant (may be a little too ambitious), his flaws should be looked at a little indulgently. We must expect him to evolve in his next project.


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