Bengali Movie Review: BEDENI (2011) - Get charmed by Rituparna and the snakes

By Aditya Chakraborty

Calcutta, Jan 9, 2011 (Washington Bangla Radio) Not too many films have been based on novels by Tarashankar Bandopadhay.’Bedeni’, Anjan Das’s latest film is based on his novel starring Rituparna, Indraneil Sengupta, Rajesh Sharma and Rimjhim Gupta. Do not forget to check out our exclusive interview with film-maker Anjan Das here.

It is the tale of a snake charmer, Radhika who deserts her husband and starts her life with Sambhu, a snake charmer. Both Shambhu and Radhika start showing their tricks to the villagers, but Shambhu starts losing his charm due to his illness.

BEDENI Bengali Movie Press Meet
Anjan Das, Rituparna, Indranil, Supriya Devi and others at Princeton - Images © Aditya Chakraborty / WBRi

The villagers start getting attracted to Pyarelal Circus whose various tricks and games fascinate them. Sambhu and Radhika completely lose business and Sambhu hatches a plan to malign Keshto, but that plan in fact brings Radhika closer to Keshto as she saves him from being maligned .She seduces Keshto one night and asks him to elope with him. He agrees to leave everything and go away with her .What happens thereafter shocks everyone as Radhika sets fire to the tent where members of Keshto’s are sleeping and they are actually burnt alive while Radhika prevents Keshto from doing anything and in fact both of them are making out with each other while people are getting burnt alive. Ultimately both parties are completely ruined.

This film is a complete women centric film and is in fact Ritu’s film. She is the ‘Bedeni’ where to get even with other people who are ruining her and her husband indirectly; she even seduces him and in fact even destroys him completely in the end. The acting and the make up of Ritu is excellent though the make up might seem to be a little loud at times. She gets her accent right for the role and her dusky, sultry, seductive Radhika is top notch. The weak link is maybe Rimjhim Gupta who does not much of a role and isn’t too great in whatever she had done.Indraneil as Keshto has limited scope and is okay. In fact his voice has been dubbed by Spanker Chakrabarty for some reason. He does get show his completely toned muscular body and must say that he has maybe the physique in Tollywood among lead actors since one knows him as a lead actor from Tollywood.Along with Rituparna one has to mention Rajesh Sharma as Shambhu.He is brilliant as the man who is completely finished when the new circus comes to town and takes to drinking and thinks of finishing his rival. A man in despair who will even think of selling illegal liquor if required to stay alive. He and Rituparna complement each other very well and even though the film belongs to Rituparna as Bedeni, he manages to amaze people with his performance.

The film also tells about the lives of people in villages. For them the only source of entertainment is maybe the snake charmers like Radhika and their skills or Keshto and his circus as they don’t have access to any other form of entertainment specially in places like Purulia where there is miles and miles of only barren land but they are as normal as other people as they soon switch their liking to additional forms of games/entertainment once Keshto arrives there with his Pyarelal Circus. We also get to see some amazing tricks on screen in a Bengali film. The cinematography of the film is excellent and the amazing dry beauty of the land of Purulia has been captured beautifully. The music by Jyotishka Dasgupta is good and so is the sound.

This is a much better effort from Anjan Das after his last film ‘Banshiwala’.