The movie feels like an ad film forcibly turned into a feature.
Baari Tar Bangla
raises all these pertinent questions and tries to answer them through byango, or satire, that is considered our second nature.
The story is quite unique. Roopchand (Saswata Chatterjee), a 40-something Bengali guy, faces a peculiar dilemma in his life - he has forgotten to write in his mother tongue. When he consults foreign-educated psychiatrist Abanti (Raima), we get an insight into Roopchand's colourful life and what may be a solution to this bizarre problem. From this moment, the director begins a celebration of absurdity. Like any other quintessential Bengali son, Roopchand's life gets moulded by his zealous mother who tries to realize her unrequited dreams through her son. But these glimpses of Roopchand's past give you a jolt when you realize from a four-month-old Roopchand to the teenager Roop - all the characters have been played by a fully grown Saswata Chatterjee. This would have been a surreal cinematic experience if you could have fought the urge to look anywhere but at the screen to avoid a nappy-wearing Saswata!
However, the film does not maintain this theme of absurdity throughout. The director, maybe with the intention to please everyone, has succumbed to commercial trappings. The mushy picturization of the songs contradicts the film's satirical mood. Moreover, the director's advertising background has been reflected largely in the script and the storyline. The funny punchlines that Roopchand delivers get a bit repetitive at times. So much so, the movie feels like an ad film forcibly turned into a feature.
Performance-wise, Saswata is brilliant as usual. It takes guts to dress and act as a four-month-old or a toddler in kindergarten, which he does with ease. Raima Sen, with her accented Bengali, utters the psychiatric jargon quite confidently, but that's about all. It's Sumit Samaddar who'll surprise you as the unbeatable Photik. However, Debojyoti Mishra's background score is appreciable. The director also gives an accurate take on the political situation of Bengal, which is entertaining to watch.
PS: Though in-film branding is common in Bengali movies now, the way jewellery and paint brands have been advertised here, takes the cake. We understand there are financial commitments in the 'business' of filmmaking, but the blatant manner will make you cringe in your seat.