Chaar is a cinematic adaptation of four short stories by Parashuram, Satyajit Ray and Saradindu Bandopadhyay highlighting extraordinary dimensions of ordinary human lives
When a film has a good storyline and good actors, half of the director's job is done. But when it has an excellent storyline and a super-talented cast, along with appreciable cinematography and cutting-edge dialogues, we've got a winner. On this count, Sandip Ray's
was a sure-shot winner long before it saw the light of the day. Reason: The director has very astutely chosen four brilliant stories of three great Bengali authors — Parashuram, Satyajit Ray and Saradindu Bandopadhyay, each capable of creating myriad images and emotions through a single sentence — and delivered these through some of the best actors in the Bengali film industry. The result has been more than satisfactory.
The four stories explored four different facets of human life. The first,
, is a masterpiece by Parashuram that tells the story of a popular novelist and how profoundly his literary creations affect the lives of his fans. The second and third,
(adapted from Kisohrilaler Bondhu) and
by Satyajit Ray, weave a sweet tale of friendship and a poignant tale of betrayal with a touch of the supernatural. The last of the lot,
, is a romantic tale by master storyteller Saradindu Bandopadhyay. The director, with considerable help from cinematographer Sirsha Ray, has been successful in retaining the essence of all these literary masterpieces. And that is quite an achievement, considering the fact that all the authors had written about a world we no longer live in.
The cast has worked together to create magic. If Paran Bandopadhyay was born in Hollywood, he would've got himself at least a couple of Academy Awards by now. He has different and accurate expressions for every situation and has the capacity to light up every scene he is in. Saswata Chatterjee is the only actor Sandip Ray has cast in two stories and, as usual, he never ever disappoints. Same can be said for Rajatava Dutta. But Piyush Ganguly's talent is still underrated and largely unexplored. His role as a writer and Rajatava's friend proves that. That leaves us with Abir Chatterjee and Koel. The latter's delicate features and luminous eyes look perfect in black and white, but the effect dissolves as soon as she opens her mouth. After so many years of acting under so many good filmmakers, her accent and diction still scream for improvement. Abir, however, is in his element as the charming and suave Binayak. He is convincing, adorable and makes the last story worth watching. Needless to say, the actor has come a long way from his
Go watch this delightful culmination of four simple stories, simply told. It's just a one-and-a-half hour watch, but it's capable of lingering in your heart long after that.