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Direction : Anjan Dutt
Released: July 6, 2007
Review by: Nikhat Kazmi, The Times Of India
Long years ago, Apu left his impoverished village and moved to Kolkata in search of sustenance. Today, he leaves a not-so-happening Kolkata for vibrant videsh , once again for sustenance. Only this time, it isn’t for bread, but for the proverbial cake: the yankee dollar that makes the American dream come true for the great Indian middle class.
Director Anjan Dutt seems to be paying his tribute to Satyajit Ray and his seminal character, by taking the story of Apu forward in his own way. And like Ray’s unforgettable character, this New Age Apu remains Aparajito, the Unvanquished, taking up the cause of freedom at the cost of his cushy future. But that’s just one — and rather inconsequential part of the story.
What makes the film a document of its times is its gentle satire and its encapsulation of the mindset of today’s youth. Torn between tradition and modernity, this smart young generation is gradually setting down a new equilibrium, one which is neither completely Indian nor completely firang . And yet, it is completely global.
The film is essentially a documentation of two GenNow journeys. On the one hand, young Apu sets out for the US to go rollercoasting on the great IT wave. And on the other, Andy, the young NRI musician, comes down to Kolkata in search of the muse. And all along this grassroot hunting, there is an attempt to mirror the archetypal Bengali mindset and laugh gently at it’s oddities. So you have the Bong ghetto in America which confesses that the quintessential Bengali can never decide whether Subhash Chandra Bose is dead or alive and the bhadralok in Kolkata which still hasn’t moved out of the Tagore time warp.
It’s a delightful canvas of introspective comment which captures the psyche of the young Bengalis, even as it brings forth stirring performances by all the characters. The film deserves a special mention for bindaas Haas, the Bangladeshi cabbie man who dreams of getting back someday...
Music and Songs from The Bong Connection:
02. Majhi Re - Shaan
03. The Bong Connection Blues - Pervez Quadir & Rupankar
04. Sujan Majhi Re [Club Mix] - Dibyendu
05. Tumi Na Thakle - Anjan Dutt, Usha Uthup
06. Sujan Majhi Re - Swapan Basu
07. Apu's Theme Music - Instrumental
08. Majhi Re [Karaoke Lounge] - Instrumental
09. Sujan Majhi Re [Karaoke Club] - Instrumental
Tumi Na Thakle