WBRi Movie Review: Bhorer Pakhi (2011) Bengali Film Does Not Fly in Spite of Sreelekha Mitra & Rajatava Dutta

Sreelekha Mitra & Rajatava Dutta at Premiere of Bhorer Pakhi (Bengali, 2011)
Sreelekha Mitra & Rajatava Dutta at Premiere of Bhorer Pakhi (Bengali, 2011)

Calcutta, December 17, 2011 (Washington Bangla Radio / Penning Creations) A lower middle class family, a redundant lamp factory worker who can hardly provide his family with the bare minimums, an elder brother who astonishingly disappears without a trace, a younger brother who despicably turns into an addict (alcohol/marijuana/drugs – take your pick!) as soon as he clears his Madhyamik (middle school exams), an unmarried (hardly educated) sister betrayed by her cowardly boyfriend on grounds of social and economic differences – end result – the sister (Pakhi) chooses the profession of an escort to save her family from the distressful situation.

Why couldn’t the girl be given any other profession but that of an escort? Is it just to pull the crowds and spice the film up? If this was the intention then it couldn't have been done worse, or should we say, better!

Debutant writer-director Tapan Dutta has handled an extremely pertinent and burning social issue in an amateur fashion. There are still thousands of families in rural India who struggle to make their ends meet and are forced to let go of their daughters helplessly just so that they can fend for the rest of the family.

Priya Cinema in south Calcutta hosted the film’s premiere show in the presence of lead actors Sreelekha Mitra and Rajatava Dutta along with members from the supporting cast Shankar Chakraborty, Premjit and others. The attendees greeted the film with claps and acclamations, probably acknowledging the efforts of the start cast.

The cameo by child singers-turned-anchors-turned-actors Sangram and Debasmita was refreshing. Sreelekha and Rajatava, both noted for their acting abilities, unfortunately had little opportunity to demonstrate their prowess. We are not unaware of Sreelekha's ability to powerfully portray a character like Pakhi - seen eight years ago in Buddhadeb Dasgupta’s Mondo Meyer Upakhyam. Tapan Dutta, however, left little opportunity for her to act, leave alone experiment or put in personal touches.

The director wanted to narrate the story of one night in a distraught girl’s life. The main plot starts with Sreelekha, playing Pakhi here; egged on to reveal her past to her client for the night, Rajatava (who we come to know later could have been Pakhi’s father in law, had things gone the right way). The introductory frames of the movie are best-left-unsaid! The flashback frames are all haywire in the absence of careless editing. A better preview to the script may have been possible if only the script could have been clearer.

Too many plots, subplots, mini plots and micro mini plots (if there’s any such term) and a inconsistent narrative confuse the viewer. We can only give the lead actors Rajatava Dutta and Sreelekha Mitra some credit for their noble endeavor in supporting a debut director.

Tapan Dutta's directorial abilities remain to be seen, notwithstanding his debut film which should not have been attempted.

Here are some more pictures from the premiere of Bhorer Pakhi.

Bhorer Pakhi (2011) Bengali Film Poster

Bhorer Pakhi (2011) Bengali Film Poster

Bhorer Pakhi (2011) Bengali Film Poster

Bhorer Pakhi (2011) Bengali Film Poster

Bhorer Pakhi (2011) Bengali Film Poster

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