Bengali Movie Review - Mahanagar@Kolkata (2010) - A film by Suman Mukhopadhyay
Mahanagar@ Kolkata, a story by Nabarun Bhattacharya (who had also written Herbert for Suman Mukherjee) has written the story for the same director showing us a different side of the metropolis called Kolkata.It shows us how despite class differences people of the city can still come together and shows us their joy, sorrow, insecurities and frustration yet it seems to be part of one big circle.
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Manmatha who spends the night at a city state hospital as his distant relative Rohit is admitted there is befriended by Jagadish, a Lower middle class man whose son is admitted there. A violent street conflict makes Manmatha and Jagadish spend the night in Manmatha’s car where we see the terror that strikes at night. We also see the state of healthcare in our state when we see a patient (actually a goon) consuming alcohol and having sex with a prostitute arranged by one of his men where a man is gasping for breath on the next bed. Who knows maybe we are used to seeing such things in this state of ours. This is what you call a state hospital.
Biren, a jobless, elderly man is always suffering from a fear and is extremely insecure. He lives on dole and always asks every person he meets-‘I have nothing to fear, have I’? Strange as it may seem this fear actually converts into reality when a bullet from a gun kills him.
Rohit and Rongili who are an upwardly couple are currently separated as their marriage is completely loveless and they have their respective issues. When Rongili goes away one day, Rohit goes off in his car and starts drinking in his car by the maidan. When a goalkeeper gets injured in a football match and his friends come and ask Rohit to help, he speeds off without bothering to wait. He goes home, continues drinking and has a blackout. He is admitted to hospital and is later released. It turns out that the young goalkeeper whom he refused to help was actually Jagadish’s son who passes away.
Anjan Dutt who has been seen after a long time just as an actor in someone else’s film other than his own is good as Manmatha as is Biplab Chatterjee as Jagadish.Rituparna and Srilekha have short roles and they don’t have much to do. Though the director has tried to give Srilekha a new look and new identity with this role, she simply can’t do justice simply for the fact that she need to lose a lot of weight before she can take on such roles. She just does not fit in. Considering this is ‘Kaminey’ Chandan Roy Sanyal’s first role in a Bengali film, the role of Rohit , an extremely frustrated young guy who drowns himself with his sorrows by drinking due to his loveless marriage is excellent. But the star of the show is definitely is theatre veteran Arun Mukherjee as Biren.He is so natural and spontaneous as Biren that he completely stand out from the rest. Though there were a few people in the audience who thought that his character was not really interesting and that was when the film was dragging, however all agreed that few people could bring life in to the character of Biren like him.Rupam’s numbers are appropriate as is the background score though it is very negligible.
Overall Suman Mukherjee (or Lalada as he is better known) again delivers!