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Times of India
Tarun Majumdar’s Bhalobashar Bari is a film that deals with all that a Bengali lower middle-class family goes through in everyday life. From their little joys that make the family a happy unit to their days of hardships that threaten to break them but instead cement the bond further, the film is a story that the single-screen audience in Bengal will relate to. As such the script, which is based on a Pracheta Gupta story, is in line with the family values and the Bengali culture that need some serious upholding. But the fact that the filmmaker is back after a hiatus, makes the projection of his views behind the times.
With rapid urbanisation taking place since the last decade, a family oblivious of the ways of the modern times is a little hard to believe. When the elder daughter of the family Buli (Rituparna Sengupta) is offered a job at a travel desk, she hesitates. She is dumbfounded to discover how the man who promises her a playback singer slot wants to exploit her. She, at this age and time, is projected as one of the first women who fights for her economic independence. Her father (late Dwijen Banerjee) loses his jute mill job to start a business with a former colleague. Here, the director infuses scenes where a social commentary on the usefulness of joint family, why lack of money is the only factor that keeps the middle-class from rising, how Bengalis are not known for their business acumen and what makes political parties tick despite corruption seem dated. There are theories and counter theories that have discussed such issues for long now.
The director touches upon such varied emotions, discussing once-upon-a-time burning issues but with utmost sincerity as he is known for. It is only that the time he has chosen to make the film doesn’t coincide with the social scenario. Had it been made two decades back, it would have garnered the appreciation he deserves. With a storyline as this, the actors apparently toed the director’s line. They did their part but mostly appeared too melodramatic for contemporary cinema.