Original Review of CHO-E-CHUTI (2010) Bengali Movie

CHA-E-CHUTI (2010)
Original Bengali Movie Review

By Anirban Halder

Cha E Chuti Bengali Movie

The life of an actor, actress or director of big screen has been made into a film a number of times. And a subject like that has often got enough takers in audience mainly because there is an unending curiosity about the life behind camera- in studios and beyond.

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Interestingly, similar subjects in the backdrop of television industry have hardly interested filmmakers. Many Bengali television actors have considerable fan following, especially in the suburbs and rural areas. Yet not much glamour is associated to their lifestyle for their wide daily exposure and being at the mercy of the remote control, and this may have been a major reason why their lives have not been explored in cinema.

The only memorable work I recall is by a filmmaker though, but on television- Bahanno Episode- the television series by Rituparno Ghosh made in his early years. It was about making a television series, with a director and an actress in lead roles.

Chhoy-e Chhuti, hence, offers a mint fresh premise as it is about a slice of life of a bunch of television actors and actresses whose holiday at a sea beach goes wrong. An ‘accidental murder’ takes place. A hush-up and police investigation follow. How the group gets bailed out is what forms the last part of the story.

The film candidly shows elements of the industry- the easy camaraderie among actors and technicians- senior and junior- on the surface and breaking family relationship, extra-marital affair, casting couch in the inner layers. The actors’ private lives are often not unknown or hidden from their peers and deviation from social conventions is dealt with liberally among them. In the second half when an incident throws the holiday spirit off gear, the film chronicles the changing inter-personal relationships of some of the actors.

But neither the storytelling nor the screenplay helps the subject. The fun and frolic with songs is used a little too much for comfort before the group reaches the travel destination. The second song (at the dhaba) follows the first closely and is redundant from the storytelling point of view. And why it is only Shilajit who must oblize a song request when Kharaj is around? Having Kharaj sing would have added to the variety in the entertainment quotient.

Dialogue is one particularly weak area. It is flat and predictive and doesn’t aid the characterization. It failed to add any punch to any of the relationships shown, particularly that between Shilajit and Sonali. In the Kunal-Anjana track it is marginally better. The lesbian leaning of Locket looks forced. Her publicized kiss with Dona had no effective build-up.

Technically there’s not much to write home about. The colour scheme in some of the early scenes, the dhaba song in particular, is a little over-the-top.

The comic element is somewhat the saving grace and it is largely carried by two trusted performers- Kharaj and Rudranil. Kharaj unabashedly plays to the gallery and evokes the most laughs in the audience with his antics that include mimicking his pet subjects- Ranjit Mullick, Anil Chattopadhyay and Chhobi Biswas. Of the others, except Debshankar in his limited scope nobody really gets to leave a mark. Dona needs to hone up her acting seriously to hold attention.

The ending is interesting though and has the perfect precision. It reminded me of an ending of a similar kind in Biplab Chatterjee-directed Abhimanyu years back.

Overall Chhoy-e Chhuti can be remembered as a promising idea and a fresh and honest attempt, falling short in execution. The producer RP Techvision and the director deserve a big hand respectively for risking its money on and debuting with such an unconventional subject.

Chaw E Chuti
Director: Aniket Chattopadhyay
Cast: Sabyasachi Chakraborty, Kunal Mitra, Kharaj Mukherjee, Rudranil Ghosh, Shilajit, Rajesh Sharma, Locket Chatterjee, Sonali Choudhury, Debshankar Halder, Anjana Basu, Milan Roy Choudhury, Kunal Padhi, Dona Das.

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