The film holds you, glued not only to your seat, but also to the screen, wondering what could possibly happen after the interval. Don't miss Ek Nodir Galpo.
It's a heartbreaking tale of a village postmaster, Darakeshwar (Mithun), who dedicates his sunset years to getting the Keleghai river named after his only daughter, Anjana (Shweta), after her sudden death.
Ek Nadir Galpo
is a visual masterpiece. The use of light, or the lack of it, to such spectacular effect creates an ultra-real template for the actors to add the dynamics. And they shine. Each character is as real as it gets, not one actor faltering or straying while portraying their simple village life and that touching emotional bonding.
Samir Chanda has truly lived up to his reputation as a meticulous art director, be it through his attention to the most trivial of details or through the play of light and shadow that leaves no room for any make-believe. From body language and mannerisms of the characters to their apparel, ornaments and even toys — everything is taken care of. Not one character is out of place, not one gesture loud or meaningless. The whole film seems to have been shot in natural light, though a few night scenes employ really subtle use of artificial lighting. For instance, a scene where Darakeshwar reads by the light of a lamp, or the next scene, in which he interacts with Anu in the light of two lamps. Though the light doesn't flicker as it should, the texture and the ambience are almost perfect. One can imagine the amount of thought that has gone into creating this poignant yet beautiful masterpiece.
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Then, the twist that snatches happiness away not only from Darakeshwar, but the entire village — Anu's death — is sudden and unexpected. Nothing can be closer to reality than that suddenness — no warning, no telltale signs, just an abrupt turn of events. It's this masterstroke that shows Chanda's calibre as a director. He makes it quite difficult to separate cinema from reality. And it holds you, glued not only to your seat, but also to the screen, wondering what could possibly happen after the interval. What's left to happen?
Bolly biggies gather at Ek Nodir Galpo premiere
A lot, trust me. For one, you get to see Mithun in, perhaps, one of his career's best performances. His world revolves around the river, which he starts considering his daughter, and making rounds of the district magistrate's (Krishna Kishore) office to get it renamed from Keleghai to Anjana. The way he portrays a broken man, going about life, stubbornly refusing to deal with reality, is very moving. The other actors, including, of course, Shweta, have put in fine performances too. Right from the simple village folk to the district magistrate, his seasoned personal assistant (Anjan Srivastav) to the police officer (Jisshu) investigating Anu's death, everyone has put in balanced, studied performances. Shweta, especially, has played her character of a bubbly, intelligent and outspoken village lass to the hilt. But it's the new perspective to the storyline that takes the cake. The second half sees the village taking a backseat and focus shifting to the investigation into Anu's death and Darakeshwar's relentless struggle to get the river named after her. And suddenly an emotional tale turns into a murder mystery, of course, without a hotshot sleuth, but a homegrown cop who refuses to give up despite hitting dead end after dead end. And Chanda has kept even this half as real as the first, never slipping when it comes to detail.
The background score, too, is subtle and understated, adding to the rustic reality of the visuals. And though there are just two songs in the film, one being a traditional number, the original song is a treat to listen to. And it takes nothing away from the visuals; rather, it adds to them.
Ek Nodir Galpo
. It will remind you why cinema is the child of art and reality.