kudos for the director, who made the effort to tell a simple tale with such conviction
Ei shiksha byabastha take palte din sir, that's "Chalo Paltai" . Manush ho. Sottikarer ekjon purush hoye oth, that's "Chalo Paltai" . Ami cricket khelbo, roj khelbo, that's "Chalo Paltai". The education system that imposes itself on young minds, thus, restricting them from following their hearts, the desperation of parents, who want their wards to bring home the merit card rather than the medals of a match well-played , the disillusionment of children, who are trapped between pursuing their dreams and surviving peer pressure, "CP" is all this and more.
The promos give more than a peek into the storyline, but what still makes you want to catch the film is the desire to know how the story unfolds and what holds in store for this cricket crazy youngster who can rattle away Sourav Ganguly's cricketing history but stammer when it comes to 13's table. Gourab (Devdaan) is the pride of his cricket coach but the shame of his father, Subhomoy Chatterjee (Prosenjit), a corporation clerk. Textbooks fail to make sense with him, tutorials make his eyelids heavy, but he refutes when called mathamota. "Ami mathamota noi. Ami cricket bhalobashi.
Cricket chhara amar mathaye kichu dhoke na" . For his dad, however, cricket is a game for the rich. Subhomoy's "Doshta panchatar swapnera sadharon" . He wants his son to not turn out to be his shadow. Subhomoy "Rasta par, pareni korte du pa amar, Chinta gulo bhasha paye ni ar" , but "Ja kichu bhebechhi ami jibone, toder kothai prothomei mone" .
Haranath's film, in the first half, is a treat to watch. Gourab's madness about the game, the love-hate relationship between father and son, for whom his dad is a "Taliban, khali fatwa jari kortey jane" , the sister, who goes all out to cover up for her brother's incompetence and is understanding enough to realize her father's plight, the pace, the mood matches your expectations. Subhomoy's predicament reminds you of the many occasions when you too have erred.
Sadly, though, post-interval the film falls a tad flat. While the father's talk of cricket sitting by his son's hospital bed, his fervent pleadings to his son to come back from his coma, his thoughts when alone and watching other kids play cricket are touching, Subhomoy's fight against the system, his strapping a bomb on to himself and threatening to blow up the CM's place, could have been handled otherwise. As a result, what started off on a classy note for a short while, at least, meanders into the melodramatic . But that becomes just a speck because Subhomoy's lone battle against the system do win appreciation from the audience.
What also clicks well with the viewers are the stellar performances by Devdaan and Tathoi. The boy stuns with his stint before the camera. The scene where he stands up to his dad and argues that he WILL play cricket and even asks Subhomoy to say 17's table make you want to hug Devdaan for an amazing delivery. Tathoi, on the other hand, spells magic in every frame that she appears in. Her constant efforts to cover up for her brother, her concern for her dad, who washes cars and sells incense sticks just for that extra buck are praiseworthy.
And then, there is Bumbada . Perhaps, he is the best Subhomoy that one could have had onscreen . His blatantly asking for some price from his colleagues for bailing them out, his helplessness on being unable to meet his son's medical expenses, his blank expression when told that Gourab has slipped into a coma, Prosenjit proves that he IS the boss.
"Chalo Paltai"'s success is also because of its music. And herein, too Anupam Roy has left his "Autograph" with each of his compositions. Rich in lyrics and melodious in harmony, this musician has made a priceless contribution in popularizing "CP" much before its release.
Finally, there is kudos for the director, who made the effort to tell a simple tale with such conviction. At a time when the commercial routine abides by the tried-and-tested , Haranath took the risk of taking up a burning issue, a concern that is there in every home where there is a kid and force parents, teachers and the education system to rack their brains for answers. It's time we too said chalo, paltai.
Soumik Halder's cinematography and Rabiranjan Maitra's crisp editing Rajatava as Ibrahim Haranath in a cameo