WBRi Movie Review: BEDROOM (Bengali, 2012) - Realistic Urban Relationships Delivered with Smart Dialog
Calcutta, Jan 6, 2012 (Washington Bangla Radio / Penning Creations) Films relating urban tales have always been a favourite among the average Bengali moviegoers. While Srijit Mukherjee’s ‘Autograph’ and ‘Baishe Srabon’ wowed critics and audiences alike, Aniruddha Roy Chowdhury’s ‘Anuranan’ and ‘Antaheen’ were unanimously liked by viewers as well. Anjan Dutta successfully tried his hand in making movies of this genre, with the immensely popular ‘The Bong Connection’, ‘Madly Bangalee’ and ‘Ranjana Ami Aar Ashbo Na.’
‘Bedroom’, the latest offering from the stable of DAG Creative Media, treads the same path and makes an attempt to highlight the complicacies of modern day human relationships. The film also marks the comeback of director Mainak Bhaumik, who had earlier made the critically acclaimed ‘Aamra’ (touted as the first Bengali urban sex-comedy). While the young director does come quite close to delivering the goods this time, the film somehow is just short of the high bar he himself has set.
Bedroom (Bengali, 2012) Film Trailer
The movie relates the story of three couples and the emotional trials and tribulations that affect their relationships. First, there is ‘Anando’ (Abir Chatterjee), the upright, workaholic corporate executive and ‘Priyanka’ (Paoli Dam), the bored housewife, who craves for (in vain!) her husband’s attention. The latter, however, is way too busy with his job to ‘waste’ time frolicking with his wife.
Marital relations between the two become increasingly strained over time and things come to a head when ‘Anando’ (the sole bread-earner of the family) loses his job. The reason, you ask? The sudden firing of ‘Anando’ from office is because he had refused to, well, supply girls (!) to his lecherous boss.
Next up, we have the aspiring actor ‘Joy’ (Rahul), who is into a live-in relationship with the ambitious fashion photographer ‘Ritika’ (Parno Mittra). While the two are, of course, deeply in love with each other (no live-in relationship can last four years without love, right?), the quintessential male ego of ‘Joy’ is hurt as he watches his partner achieve professional fame and success, while he fails to land even a single acting assignment. ‘Joy’ vents his frustrations on ‘Ritika’, the duo trade verbal volleys and this relationship also seems to be on the verge of a breakdown.
Finally, there is ‘Dev’ (Rudranil Ghosh), the talented and successful Bengali mainstream actor, who is dead against the idea of love and marriage (in that order!). He scoffs at the idea of getting hitched up with someone and makes fun of the plights that his friends ‘Anando’ and ‘Joy’ are facing in their relationships. But, as fate would have it, the cocky and debonair ‘Dev’ finally falls for the charms of journalist ‘Ipshita’ (Ushashie Chakraborty). Both of them are, however, haunted by the fear of rejection, and do not express their true feelings to each other.
Matters take an unexpected turn when the frustrated ‘Joy’ starts having a fling with a part-time prostitute, ‘Tanisha’ (Tanushree). ‘Ritika’, on her part, starts having casual sex with one of her fashion models. The mundane daily life of the bored ‘Priyanka’ also goes for a toss when a former crush of hers (with whom she had a 10 day-relationship in college) resurfaces and old flames are reignited. The movie is all about how our main protagonists deal with the problems and challenges that life has thrown at them. Will they come out unscathed (emotionally, that is!)? That is for the audience to find out!
‘Bedroom’ is built on an interesting premise, with the plot dealing with common, everyday problems of life that the audience can relate to. The movie is, however, let down by a disjointed narrative and performances that vary from the ordinary to the disinterested. The glaring loopholes in the storyline do not help the cause of the movie either. Almost all the characters are half-baked, as a result of which the viewers are often left clueless about the motives of certain activities of the lead characters. For example, when ‘Anando’ loses his job, he keeps it a secret from his wife and feigns that he is still going to office everyday. The reason for this rather surreptitious behaviour is never explained in the movie. Also, while it is evident from the inbox of ‘Priyanka’s mobile phone that she is exchanging romantic (and probably, lewd, judging by her husband’s reactions!) messages with her former paramour, the lady in question staunchly maintains that she is in love with only ‘Anando’ and no one can ever replace him. What drives the successful ‘Ritika’ to sleep with a model is also a mystery.
Every self-respecting movie tries to steer clear of one thing – unintentionally funny moments. ‘Bedroom’, however, has some of those too. Sample this: ‘Ritika’ kisses the fashion model goodbye before dumping him and going back to ‘Joy’. The model starts to cry helplessly. Surely, a poignant moment in the film? Nothing of the sort! Instead, all viewers start laughing their heads off as one. Now, this was certainly not something the director was looking forward to!
Performance-wise, ‘Bedroom’ offers a mixed bag. Abir Chatterjee, as ‘Anando’ plays the part of a husband going through a troubled marriage rather well. Paoli Dam, as his wife ‘Priyanka’, delivers a commendable performance too. In fact, the lazy drawl in her style of dialog delivery helps to emphasize that hers is an incident-free, bored life. Rahul, as ‘Joy’ is strictly okay. His altercations and exchanges of snide remarks with his partner, ‘Ritika’ are, in fact, portrayed on-screen quite nicely. There are, however, considerable scopes of improvement in Parno’s emoting skills. Rudranil Ghosh, arguably the most talented actor on show in ‘Bedroom’, gets the rawest deal. His romantic track with Ushashie is distinctly undercooked and while the two do not confess their feelings, steamy scenes between the duo keep scorching the screen! One would have loved to see more of Rudranil and Ushashie in the movie. The climax is a partial letdown, a mixed bag of predictability and open-ness in the ending.
There are a fair few factors going for the movie too. For starters, the dialogs in the movie are uniformly smart, witty and natural. While the lead characters often become too contrived, the dialogs help to keep the viewers hooked for major portions of the film. The musical score of the movie (by Rupam Islam and Allan Ao) is excellent too. While ‘Who am I’ (sung by Rupam himself) and ‘Arekta din’ are the standout tracks in the album, the other songs are hummable too. A major disappointment, however, comes in the form of Somlata Acharyya Chowdhury’s ‘Mayabono Biharini Horini’, which is not a patch on her brilliant rendition of ‘Jagoroney Jaay Bibhabori’ (from ‘Ranjana Ami Aar Ashbo Na’).
Director Mainak Bhaumik deserves a round of applause for his courage to select an innovative yet realistic topic for his movie. However, sketchy character development, an extremely slow narrative (particularly in the first half) and ordinary performances put ‘Bedroom’ at risk of becoming bland, routine fare. Bhaumik is a young man and he has already shown enough glimpses of his storytelling expertise in his debut film itself. However, he leaves us wanting better execution of the plots of his films.
Oh, and by the way, in the movie, ‘Anando’ finally does ‘supply’ a girl to his boss. Just in case you were wondering ...