PREMLILA (2012) Goutam Majumdar Delivers a Watchable Debut Film: WBRi Bengali Movie Review

By Jyoti Prakash Mandal

Trambak and Priyanka Premleela

Kolkata, Nov 12, 2012 (Washington Bangla Radio) Goutam Majumdar marked his directorial debut with ‘Prem lila’ and he showed that ‘morning does not always show the day’.

The film starts as a hilarious comedy with endless humor, both witty and naughty, make the audience laugh their heart out until they are out of breath. But as the film progresses, the climax moves away light-years apart from the comedy genre.

The plot of the film fulfills the needs of a typical commercial film. Two intimate friends Pratap (Biswajit Chakraborty) and Animesh (Rajatava Dutta) become enemies as circumstances lead them to marry one another’s girlfriends. Years later, in the present film's time, Pratap’s daughter Manisha (Priyanka Banerjee) falls in love with Animesh’s son Akash (Trambak Roy Chowdhury).

The film opens with a scene where police chase and round up a man. Pratap (Biswajit Chakraborty) the police officer leading the team rounds up Animesh but his efforts went vain as he had no specific charge or proof against Animesh. Moments later, in a fun-filled sequence, the film reveals that Animesh’s wife secretly keeps contact with Pratap, her former boyfriend while Pratap's wife also does the converse.

Next comes the well known co-incidence or rather celluloid destiny. Manisha and Akash both head to the beaches of Mandarmani where they come across each other. Manisha was on a fun tour with friends in the name of an educational excursion while Akash landed at the place with a couple of friends (Lama and Manjil Banerjee) to look over the accounts of his father’s hotel situated there.

It was no ordinary kind of introduction of the leads of the film (the film was never intended to be an ordinary one) as Akash saved a drowning Manisha (though it seemed more like he took her out of sand from an ankle-high wave). But what could have been an immediate excuse for falling in love does not work as Akash’s long speech to Manisha immediately after saving her pours in some bitterness and simultaneously some spice in the story.

Quarrels, fights, bets, drama and war of words followed. It ends with Akash falling seriously ill when he becomes the victim of Manisha’s practical joke. Manisha felt sorry for him and Akash pardoned her immediately, though again with a long moral speech.

Akash also relieved Manisha and her friends of the hefty bill which they had run up at his father’s hotel. Manisha falls in love with Akash. The love story took a few moments more to take off as Akash initially rejected her but when Manisha force-kissed Akash, the lad gives in.

This ‘Love at first kiss’ ( good for a change after the long run of traditional ‘first kiss after love’) grows stronger with every passing moment when reality struck. Their parents came face to face and the real face-off begins. Manisha was locked up in house and Akash soon got thrown into the lock-up. Amidst all this came the elder brother of Pratap or ‘Jhetu’ of Manisha into the scene. This senior police officer and an amateur poet (Manoj Mitra) helps in every way he could as he wanted to see the love birds together. He even puts his granddaughter in lock-up with Akash to bring the two love birds together (that’s what how we are used to see love birds, i.e. in a cage).

The film goes on to see the couple eloping and getting married, but only after a hilarious drama of rescuing Manisha from her house where she was locked in by her father. The couple flees to the hill station of Kalimpong where they celebrated their union and freedom with a romantic song among the picturesque scenario of the Himalayas. After a long spell of drama, humor and romance, it was definitely time for action. Pratap sends a dreaded criminal named ‘Shiva’ after them. Shiva along with his gang reached Kalimpong in no time and hunt down Akash. After a deadly fight Akash was beaten up mercilessly and was taken as a captive. Manisha returns home and makes a deal with his father to save her love. She vows never to meet Akash in return of Akash’s release. Akash senseless body was dumped in front of his house. While Akash was battling death at a hospital, Manisha slits her vain and places herself in mortal danger. It was felt that only the presence of Akash near her is the only drug that can save her life. Pratap, at this point surrenders to the love of Akash and Manisha and finally gives a positive nod to their relation. Akash, who was almost dead, gets will immediately with full vigor as soon as the news of the peril of his love reached his ears. He reaches his lady love and makes her fit too. The film reaches its happy climax with the re-union of the love birds.

But no incident was devoid of funny factors. The dialogues are sure to make a long-lasting mark and thus get full marks. Debutant director Goutam Majumdar has shown the potentiality to make it big in the industry, specially with commercial films as he seems to know what to cater to make the audience feel well fed. He can make people laugh at the gravest moment and loves to be unpredictable. He often pours on audience a dose of happy confusion with fusion of humor and tragedy, keeping both on the same spoon. Goutam has quite a good knowledge of cinema aesthetics. The camera movement, angle and cut shots speak for him and the minute errors in background detailing can be overlooked, at least in his first directorial venture. Thus he also provides newcomer Trambak Roy Chowdhury a decent platform to launch himself. Trambak’s hard efforts to perform well were clear but he needs to work on body language and his expressions need to be more accurate. Anyhow judging a new and inexperienced actor, his performance is okay. Priyanka has shown that she has a flair for acting and has expressions but she needs to learn how to control them before they cross into over-expression zone. Rajatava was at his usual best. Rajatava’s role can functionally be best described as an ‘Angry Comedian’. Biswajit also has done justice to his known talent of acting. The supporting cast also has done their job well. Outstanding among them was Manjil Banerjee. Apart from writing the screenplay of the film, he also enacts the role of Akash’s friend. The trademark call of his character, i.e. ‘Chete ne’ is all set to be the new vocal trend among youngsters. Manoj Mitra is also worth watching. Biswanath though do not get much screen time to unleash himself.

Trambak and Priyanka Premleela

The music of the film is one of the more positive aspects and of course Kishor Chatterjee, the music director deserves a lot of credit for that. The songs were designed to be loved. Just the names of the singers on board are enough to make one realize that. The list of singers comprising of  Shaan, Sadhana Sangam, Javed Ali, Sonu Nigam, June Banerjee, Kunal Ganjawala, Mamta Sharma and Hema Sardesai is far more than impressive.

Atish Dey Sarkar, the editor of the film has really done a brilliant job. There was rarely any mismatched conjoining of sequences. Also the editor has not wasted much shots and many shots from the dumped ones has been used as cut shots, especially in collage flashback shots. As a result the flashbacks shows many new shots which make the audience surprise that when did those exactly happened. But in no case those shots seems out of the world.

Overall the film by a new cast and crew is worth watching. If one wants to celebrate a day in the festive season with laughter and love, then obviously heading to a theater to catch this movie must be there in his options.