by Aneek Chaudhuri
Italian screenwriter Luigi Pirandello’s original artful culmination describes how six characters appear at a theater looking for a writer who can tell their story. Debesh Chattopadhyay’s introduction highlight discovers him taking the onus upon himself to portray a story that has accumulated dust in the records of Bengali theater since the late 70s – the tale of a splendid performer who was pitilessly detracted from the stage when she was at the top of her artist ability.
The worshipped and productive theater executive who has skilled us such diamonds in front of an audience as the authentic ‘Winkle Twinkle’, the way breaking “Phyataru” or the ethereal ‘Surjo-pora chhai’, Debesh Chattopadhyay’s incipient days as a theater laborer saw him distribute a unique issue on the life and times of Keya Chakraborty and it stays a standout amongst the most very much examined dossiers on the Nandikar on-screen character (who does not even have a Wikipedia page devoted to her) whose demise by suffocating in 1977 sent floods of stun and despondency all over the theater cooperative.
Natoker Moto (Like a Play), be that as it may, is not the official life story of Keya Chakraborty. The hero in this film is rather named Kheya Chakraborty while her spouse’s name has its well known prefix dropped and he is essentially ‘Prasad’; fabulous performing artist writer Ajitesh Bandopadhyay gets to be Amitesh.
The story takes after the examination concerning the secretive suffocating of Kheya amid the shoot of her lady celluloid spell, led by a man who is woefully ignorant of the workings and theory of gathering theater and the nature of workmanship being put in front of an audience. This target beginning stage slowly transports the viewers into the exceptional life and mind of the youthful stage performer, from her beset adolescence to her lovestruck school days; her relationship with gathering theater, turbulent wedded life and past.
Chattopadhyay gently separates the traditions of an ordinary life story by melding components of dramatic execution into arrangements essentially depicting ‘reality’. Kheya’s life is in reality a stage, as occasions apparently out of a dramatization script continue dabbing her life – whether it is her inalienable feeling of reasonableness that propels her to save a kid who is being pounded by a gathering of radical understudies, to her enthusiastic stand against her spouse whom she chooses to take off.
The inferences in abundance not just pepper the film with references for the energetic dramatization nerd however are leaked in profound symbology. Kheya’s execution in Anton Chekhov’s ‘The Proposal’ propels Amitesh to suggest that she ought to go to his gathering “Natakar” in the event that she ever plans to consider up theater important. The avocation of Kheya being impressed her by Prasad is rendered in a delightful unforeseen development as Kheya, trying Bertolt Brecht’s Polly Peachum (‘Parul’ in interpretation) from The Threepenny Opera, shows her barrier for going gaga for Mack the Knife. Antigone’s expressions of rebellion coordinated at Creon, insightfully tended to towards her chief Prasad amid a practice, is a moving attestation of her freedom and how she is not ready to settle for anything less. Her decided offer for freedom during a period when ‘autonomous lady’ was a confusing expression of the most aggravating kind, is communicated with balance and energy through the scripted words that have been doled out to her.
The imaginative screenplay and its characters have been appropriately enlivened by a devoted arrangement of on-screen characters from both stage and screen. Paoli Dam, a skilled on-screen character in her own particular right, has presumably conveyed the finest execution of her vocation yet, assimilating Kheya’s diagram like a second soul. Particularly excellent is her unaccompanied vocalizations and her agile follows up on stage, as Polly or as Shen Te & Shui Ta from Brecht’s ‘The Good Person of Szechwan’. The diligent work that she more likely than not put through to breath life into Kheya merits true adulation.
Saswata Chatterjee plays Prasad by the numbers, exchanging shades voluntarily, delivering the twin strengths of administration and shrewd pitilessness with elan.
Roopa Ganguly is shockingly well-suited as Kheya’s mom, playing the sadness with grand limitation. Sujan Mukherjee is critical as the Bengali educator Manoranjan as well, his downplayed feelings towards Kheya sufficiently inconspicuous to be left to the thoughts of time. Ushasie Chakraborty expositions the artist Sabita Sinha (an implication to artist Kabita Sinha) with guaranteed levelheadedness. The very stay of the film, Rajatava Dutta, depicting the character of the examination officer Bhabadulal, is immaculate to a tee. Dutta’s little bits of responses, whether amid the examination scenes or the awestruck miracle in the wake of seeing ‘Sher Afghan’, is inestimable.
The main glaring miscast is by all accounts that of Bratya Basu as Amitesh. As great a writer as he seems to be, Basu unquestionably has not been the best decision to draw off the overwhelming character why should gathered look like the relentless Ajitesh Bandopadhyay.
The music, a strong mix of Western neoclassic and Bengali film music of the 60s, has been handily executed by Debojyoti Mishra. The popular Moushumi Bhowmik number ‘Ami sunechi sedin tumi… ‘, a religion exemplary, goes with the cutting off credits and rounds the film perfectly.
A mind boggling cinematography by Indranil Mukherjee and the wise alter by Bodhaditya Banerjee has guaranteed that Debesh Chattopadhyay’s debut highlight is a consistent film encounter to be sure.
Sorting out the varying tackles the catastrophe from bunch perspectives, a “truth” with respect to the disaster has been touched base at that is absolutely not going to add any fuel to a current flame of tattle. Chattopadhyay’s aims are very clear. It is not to malign a foundation or any specific individual however to scrutinize the extremely propensity of killing legacy, an ailment our general public is especially defenseless to.
Bengali theater should perpetually stay obliged to Chattopadhyay for putting the formal soil on a grave that the “Ruler” has explicitly requested that be left untouched & overlooked. Regardless of Sophocles or Shakespeare, life is a stage for all: simply like a play – and it is encouraging to realize that it should stay in human memory the length of humankind (or craftsmanship) strives upon.