Rishi Mukherjee's PUNARUTTHAN (2011) With Ensemble Tollywood-Bollywood Cast Celebrates Resurgent Bengal (Bengali Movie Review)

By Aditya Chakraborty

Bengali Actresses Sreela Majumdar and Rituparna Sengupta
Sreela Majumdar and Rituparna Sengupta at Premiere of Punorutthan

March 5, 2011 (Washington Bangla Radio) The film 'Punorutthan' has been produced by Pailan Group, a leading player in eastern India having interests in education, sports, FMCG, real estate etc headed by their Chairman Apurba Saha who has also written the story for the film.

Raza Murad in Tollywood Calcutta Bengali Movie Punorutthan
Raza Murad at premiere of Punorutthan - images © Aditya Chakraborty / WBRi

Punarutthan is directed by Rishi Mukherjee. The film features songs with lyrics by Chiranjit Basu and music by Ravindra Jain. This is the first production from the house of Pailan and they have plans of producing more films in the future.

The film is about the saga of the Mullick family and how someone from the family later on saves the family from being completely ruined. In fact that person saves the entire prestige and honour of the family.

Mahendra Mullick who has a flourishing business in potato flakes loves Sujata and she even gets pregnant, but Mahendra gets married to her elder sister Sabitri. In due course of time they have two sons, Kuntal and Kanchan. They can't manage their business and gradually they lose everything and even their house 'Mullick Villa’ goes up an auction.

Siddharta, Mahendra’s son from Sujata comes forward to save the Mullick family and stops the auction with the help of the family solicitor. How the family saga gradually unfolds into a tale of love, power, greed, honour and prestige is what the film is all about.

The film is a complete potboiler and a masala film with all the right ingredients like romance, drama, songs (including a item number), a little comic touch, double crossing and what have you. It has a huge star cast of actors and character actors from Bollywood and Tollywood and everyone has performed at their best. The family saga has enough pace so as to not to bore anyone. In fact it has enough twists and turns in the screenplay to make it interesting.

Apurba Saha, a successful businessman himself has tried to establish a very hard hitting fact in the film. The Marwari community of Calcutta has dominated the area of business as nearly every big industrialist or business in Kolkata is Marwari-owned. Over the years, with hard work, ambition and business acumen, the Marwari community have decimated the Bengali businessmen and women who were also a successful business community years back.

Of late however along with Apurba Saha, a few other Bengalis have emerged who are dabbling in various businesses at the same time and doing well. Apurba Saha has made it very clear in this film that the Bengalis are back in a big way and he shows how a single Bengali plays three Marwaris against each other and takes the upper hand.

In some ways, the film also portrays ruthless corporate warfare - it shows that the Bengalis can be equally scheming, manupulative, cunning and destructive. HM! We like it very much! Thanks Apurbada!

Among performances, Kunal Padhy as Mr.Agarwal is brilliant. Victor Banerjee fits the role of the patriarch Mr.Mullick very well. Sabysachi Chakrabarty as Ambika Das, the solicitor, is also very good. All the actors chosen are appropriate including Sanjoy Mukherjee as the young Mahendra Mullick though he hardly has any dialogue. Only Sumanta and Rinka, complete freshers who have emerged from a talent hunt show are below par and the film could have even been done without them. Raza Murad is, of course, spectacular. The music is okay though the film could have done without a few songs. Rituparna and Priyanshu look very convincing and perform well.

There is no reason why the film should not do average business if not fare well, as it is better than most other commercial Bengali movies and has an impressive star cast to draw in the crowds.