By Priyanka Dutta / WBRINN
Kolkata, April 2, 2013 (Washington Bangla Radio): Noted journalist Rhitobrata Bhattacharya turns film director with “Basanta Utsav”. True to it's title, the film is set around the festival of Holi as celebrated in Santiniketan. The film comprises of five stories that run in parallel.
In the first story, Abhishikta (Arunima Ghosh) visits Shantiniketan during festival time. She meets university student and sculptor Neel (Priyam) there. Neel gladly offers to act as her guide. Clueless of the real identity of Abhishikta, Neel starts to understand his developing love for Abhishikta over the next three days.
In the second story, Trina (Piya Munshi) is a college student in a relationship with her professor Anargha (Pijush Ganguly). Trina and the professor plan a trip to Basanta Utsab, over which Trina realizes the professor is more interested in sex, and also is married to Sumitra (June).
Story #3: Lina (Laboni Sarkar) goes to Shantiniketan to meet with an old friend, but finds out from Professor Abinash that her friend moved out many years ago. Lina and Abinash develop a bond, and the professor is shocked to learn of Lina's cancer.
In Story #4, Writer-director Rhitobrata Bhattacharya puts on the hat of an actor and plays Ritrin, a journalist covering Basanta Utsab. He meets video store owner Abirlal (Subrat) who requests Ritrin's assistance in investigating the murder of a neighbor's wife (Mousumi). It turns out the murdered woman was not unknown to Ritrin.
The film does retain interest for the most part in spite of insufficient development of the characters. The plots start off with great promise, but are challenged with lack of content and gradually lose steam.
The seven songs in the film have been performed by Tulika Mondol, Debojyoti Mishra, Somlata, Nachiketa and Mohon Singh. The songs Hrid Majhare, Momo Chitte and Rakho rakho re are pleasing to the ears and quite likeable.
The actors disappoint the most in this film. Arunima is passable with her accent. Mousumi does justice to her role. June is good as the wife who is neglected by her husband but the audience expects much more from her. Seasoned actor Pijush is adequate as the professor, but falls short of outstanding. Rhitobrata is known for his impressive journalism and is okay in his role, in spite of betraying a bit of camera shyness in his debut Bengali feature film.
Basanta Utsab has a good premise but may come across as falling short of spreading color in the hearts of the audience. A stronger directorial vision and more powerful acting performances would have taken the film to the next level.
Watch Basanta Utsab Bengali Movie Official Trailer
Basanta Utsab (Bengali, 2013)
Star Cast: Priyam, Arunima, Pijush Ganguly, June Maliah, Piyali Munshi, Pradip Ghosh, Laboni Sarkar, Subrata Dutta, Mousumi, Rhitobrata Bhattacharya, Gargi Roy Choudhury, Piya Larisa
Director: Rhitobrata Bhattacharya
Writers: Rhitobrata Bhattacharya, Anjan Banarjee
Screenplay: Amit Ghosh, Suvro Bikas Nanda, Rhitobrata Bhattacharya
Music Directors: Debojyoti Mishra, Nachiketa
Lyrics: Rabindranath Tagore, Dwijendra Das, Radharaman, Nachiketa
Singers: Debojyoti Mishra, Tulika Mondal, Somlata Acharya, Mohan Singh, Nachiketa