Kagojer Bou (Bengali, 2011) - A well-done story of love, lust, riches, betrayal by Bappaditya Bandopadhyay: Bengali Movie Review

By Aditya Chakraborty

Actress Paoli Dham, Actor Joy Sengupta and Director Bappaditya Bandopadhyay at Kagojer Bou Kolkata Bengali Film Premiere
Bappaditya Bandopadhyay, Paoli Dham and Joy at Premiere of KAGOJER BOU in Kolkata

Gabu Gaurav Chatterjee KAGOJER BOU Bengali Film Songs Audio Music OST Soundtrack Album Launch
Gaurav Chatterjee (Gabu) Launching the audio album KAGOJER BOU Soundtrack
Pictures © Aditya Chakraborty / WBRi

Calcutta, Feb 4, 2011 (Washington Bangla Radio) Bappaditya Bandopadhyay’s (interview) last film ‘Housefull’ had been an outstanding piece of work which reflected upon the trends being followed in Tollywood in order to make a film a success and how Bengali films were being remade from South Indian films scene by scene without any originality being maintained and it was a beautiful film and the way he mocked the system was worth admiring.

Song promo: Shunno Theke Shuru Kore, from Kagojer Bou

Well, he has decided to turn sort of commercial instead of only making films for the festival circuit though his current film also is somewhat arty. However it is extremely interesting. Kagojer Bou (The Paper Wife) based on a story by Shirshendu Mukhopadhyay is another brilliant portrayal of love, lust, riches, betrayal, need and the character of humans. It is basically a study of human behavior.

The film is centered on the main character Upal, who is in dire straits and can’t even get a job though he is educated. A chance encounter with Subimal, a wealthy businessman changes his life. He uses Upal by paying him money and asks him to get him (Subimal) close to Preeti, a young girl who he is in love with, but she loves another man. By playing tricks Upal manages to get Preeti close to Subimal, but then the actual fun starts. Subimal asks Upal to fall in love with Shreya to make the divorce case stronger. Upal succeeds. On a trip to Mondarmoni when both parties (Subimal and Preeti/Upal and Shreya) stay at a resort, Preeti sees Upal and understands the whole story. All relationships are shattered. Preeti asks Upal to marry her for which she would pay him some money and also take him to the United States. Right after marrying him, she dumps him, divorces him and goes away to the U.S. Upal realizes that he has been used again!

The film gets better and better as it progresses and towards the last, it has it’s share of twists and turns which make it very, very interesting till the very end. The film is about values and ethics or the lack of it, treacherous characters and also about moral degradation, ruthlessness and about dreams of getting rich quick. Every character has played his part very well. Rahul who appears in a film directed by a non-commercial film-maker for the first time is excellent. You sometimes feel for him, you sometimes don’t as you think he has got what he asked for. The same goes for Shreya played by Rimjhim Gupta.You do feel for Priyanka, Rahul ‘s wife who is not opposite him in this film playing Ketaki. She is the only true character in the film and delivers after Jodi Ekdin. Paoli Dham as Preeti again is very good and her character till the very end is a revelation.

Joy Sengupta as the conniving, scheming, Subimal who will do anything to get what he wants is brilliant. The music by Gaurab Chatterjee (interview) who makes his debut as a music director with this film (and Necklace which also released on the same day) is very good and especially the background score is very apt. Since Preeti plays the cello in an orchestra, we get to see and hear the orchestra even in the background score at times which one feels Abraham Mazumder (interview), founder of the Kolkata Music Academy is responsible for and is also seen in a couple of scenes. In fact the orchestra where Preeti plays most probably is the Kolkata Music Academy. Gabu (Gaurab Chatterjee) also appears with his band members in a couple of scenes. This in fact is a new trend in Bengali film in recent times.

The set details, the framing and the particular shots which reflect Upal’s get-rich-quick dream where the currency notes appear to be falling magically out of nowhere says it all. One name also needs to be mentioned! Bratya Basu (interview) who appears in a guest appearance as Moni Saha, the fisherman who used to marry women at will , but then fate had turned against him one day is brilliant. He is becoming a more and more accomplished actor as each day passes!

Kagojer Bou well, might just remain on paper, but it is much more than a film thanks to Bappaditya!

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