Film Preview: Anasuya Samanta's ALO CHAYA (2011) - In The Darkness of Light Brings Saratchandra & Rabindranath together

Alo Chaya: Tollywood Kolkata Bengali Movie

Calcutta, August 6, 2011 (Washington Bangla Radio) Phoenix Films International's Bengali movie "ALO CHHAYA" is scheduled for a release date of September 16, 2011, marking the birthday (Sept 15) of the great Bengali novelist Sarat Chandra Chattopadhyay whose story has been adapted for this film directed by Anasuya Samanta. "My knack for creativity brought me to the doors of Tollywood, where I got admitted in Film Institute and learned about Acting and Direction while in parallel I continued my education and passed B.Sc. In Botany. I directed my first feature film Blood, a thriller, at the age of 22." says Anasuya. "I believe when your hobby, your passion, becomes your profession then your job is not a burden but a relaxation, just like a walk in the park; where one remains much more honest one’s job. The best side of direction is it is the best way I can live forever and create a new world with my thoughts. It is an opportunity share my views and raise my voice wherever necessary. I believe that a good director should always teach us about the society and make us aware, and this I always try to do through my movies."

Trailer: Alo Chaya

The star cast of Anasuya's new film includes (see synopsis below for an introduction to the lead roles) Soumitro Chatterjee as Jogyo Datta’s spirit, Ramaprasad Banik as Jogyo Datta’s uncle, Sumonto Mukherjee as Aranyo’s father, Bibhu Bhattacharyya as Nayeb of the Zamindari, Manojit as Jogyo Datta, Riwk as Suresh, Anasuya as Surama, Riya as Protul, Anamika Saha as Jogyo Datta’s aunt, Sanghamitra Banerjee as Jogyo Datta’s aunt, Chhobi Talukdar as Suresh’s aunt, Jaysree asJogyo Datta’s aunt, Mou as a friend of Surama, Indrani as Arko’s mother and more.

The music of Aalo Chaya features Rabindrasangeet and original Bengali film songs penned by Manojit Goswami. The music director is Kalyan Sen Barat who makes a cameo appearance as a Baul in the film. The songs have been performed by playback singers Srikanta Acharyya, Sraboni Sen, Monomoy Bhattacharyya, Shubhankar Bhaskar, Shubhomita, Emon, Rai and others.

Synopsis of "Aalo Chhaya"

Aranyo dreams frequently about a big mansion and a girl, as if he had been there before. These dreams begin to haunt him.

After some investigations he finds out that the Nayeb of that mansion was his great-grandfather. So, he and his four friends embark on a journey to unveil the secret behind his frequent dreaming of that place. On reaching there they meet with an old man. Thinking him to be the caretaker of the mansion they enter the place with him. Upon entering the house, they have an eerie feeling that they are being followed by a lady, clad in white. To drive away their fear, the old man starts telling them the history of the mansion.

“Zamindar” Jogyo Datta bought Surama, a widow from childhood, from Brindaban and brought him to this house. Gradually, Surama’s dazzling beauty and charm, her education and sharp intelligence made her the favourite of everyone in the family. Soon she became both the Empress of not only that mansion but also of Jogyo’s heart.

But to spare the both of them from the criticisms of others, Surama, a child-widow herself, compels Jogyo to marry Protul, an orphan. But Jogyo remains reluctant. Surama pressurizes him a lot and eventually Jogyo gives up for the marriage and sets out with his friend Suresh to marry Protul.

However, Suresh falls in love with Protul at first sight. But because Jogyo was marrying her, Suresh could never ever speak his heart out to Protul. Though Jogyo marries Protul, he could never give him the position of his wife, and always craved for Surama’s company.

To distance Protul from his life, Jogyo takes Protul with him to a village in Barddhaman, to his paternal aunt’s house and tells his aunt that Protul is unlucky for him and his astrologer has told him that if he stays with her, he will die. So his aunt agrees to keep Protul with her in the village. Jogyo comes back to mansion and tries to make his relation with Surama normal again. But Surama, out of pity on Protul, snaps all relations with Jogyo; and tries to erase all her memories of Jogyo as her beloved and tries hard to accept Jogyo as her brother and Protul as her sister-in-law.

After a few months, Jogyo’s aunt dies and he is forced to bring Protul back with him in the mansion. Gradually, Protul realizes that Jogyo and Surama were in love with each other before her marriage and they still love each other. So, she decides that she would go away from their lives. So she loses all her will to live and eventually dies after becoming infected with malaria.

Jogyo could never forgive himself for what he did to Protul and leaves all his possessions and his “Zamindari” and goes away into oblivion. All the four characters of the story find them entangled in a rising action of their likes and dislikes, love and betrayal, desires and heartbreaks and reach a dramatic climax where they fall prey to their own doing and meet their tragic ends in an agonizing denouement.

After the storytelling is over Aranyo and his friends find out that the man who was telling them the story is ?

The director Anasuya Samanta writes, "Every literati while creating a masterpiece focuses upon the prevalent society, its norms and bindings. The maestro intends to picturize all the facades of personal life which are often illuminated with light and sometimes obscured by darkness. This story is based upon the short story of an eminent literati of Bengal, Sarat Chandra Chottpadhyay, and we visualize his perspective through the eyes of the youth of today.

The malpractices prevalent in the society in the early twentieth century bring a calamitous denouement in the lives of many, giving a satirical outlook to the film. The feelings of the two female characters of this film reflect the pains and oppression suffered by the sect of women; they represent the women of India as a whole. The film portrays the scenic beauty and panorama of nature which is absent in our lives amidst the present day’s concrete jungle. Also the three main genres of that period, “Tagore Songs”, “Baul Sangeet” and “Kirtan”, is also depicted in this film which soothes our mind and takes us back to the age of classics.

This film takes the youth of today on a voyage down the memory lane to the era when the tide of modernism had still not taken over the society. And at the end, it illuminates the path of life in the obscurity of darkness.

This story showcases the tragic drama unfolded though multilayered relations feeling the pangs of love, sacrifice and betrayal.

Sarat Chandra’s “Aalo O Chhaya”, on which our film is based, has certain sequences where the elements of Tagore Songs fit in perfectly and in a picturesque manner. Another reason for using the lyrics of Tagore is that it preserves the time frame that we have intended to use in this movie.In the starting of the movie, the part that we have added for the sake of the script, we have used a modern folk song along with the lyrics of Tagore, this I hope, would serve as a bridge between the modern days and that classical era."

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