The flavour of Kolkata

The flavour of Kolkata
The bridge, the river and kids' play. Brilliantly captured by Sujay Kumar Das.

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.