Out Of Theatre

Goynar Baksho

Out Of Theatre
12 Apr, 2013 2 hrs 21 mins U/A
Moushumi Chatterjee, Konkona Sen Sharma, Saswata Chatterjee, Paran Bandyopadhyay, Srabanti, Kaushik Sen
Moushumi Chatterjee, Konkona Sen Sharma, Saswata Chatterjee, Paran Bandyopadhyay, Srabanti, Kaushik Sen
Aparna Sen
4.5
3.3
Synopsis
It's one of the funniest, smartest movies of the year and a viewer's delight
4.5
3.3
Share

Showtimes Goynar Baksho

There are no showtimes in your city.

You may change your location and check showtimes in a nearby city.

  • Critic's Review
  • Times of India
It's one of the funniest, smartest movies of the year and a viewer's delight

There's a scene towards the end of Goynar Baksho , where the mercurial pishima's ghost, played by Moushumi, asks her granddaughter Chaitali — a dewy fresh, understated Srabanti — to join her for a smoke on the terrace. The two women sit there — bidhaba and kumari — talking about their shared dreams and memories. Pishima draws on her hookah; Chaitali strikes a match and lights her cigarette.

This scene, in many ways, captures the essence of Aparna Sen's latest offering. Past encounters present, old meets new and two visions of Bengal, pre-Partition and Bangladesh War, face up to each other. And this is just one of many juxtapositions in the film. Goynar Baksho succeeds because it operates at many levels. There are intensely personal vignettes: pishima asking a blushing Somlata — Konkona in an endearing, nuanced performance (honestly, Daayan or no Daayan, why can't we offer her more such roles in Tollywood?) — about her first night of lovemaking with her husband; pishima talking about the taste of shuntki maachh in her native Faridpur. But Aparna flags each such moment for her commentary on Bengal's changing fortunes over much of 20 th century.

The film opens with Somlata's entry as the new bride into the decadent zamindar family presided over by the imperious Chandranath (Paran). The expenses for the wedding are paid off with an old Burma teak four-poster and a luxurious carpet. But no man of this family has worked for a living, so his two sons — Chandan (Saswata) and Chanchal (Pijush) — while away their time fishing and marking time at their favourite courtesan's. Everyone in the extended family eyes the goynar baksho — a jewellery hoard of 500 bhari — that's guarded by the hawk-eyed, foul-mouthed, venom-spitting pishima. Once she croaks, the treasure can be divided. But pishima has other plans. Within moments of he death, she entrusts the box to Somlata, with the rider that she has to safeguard it. But Somlata uses her native intelligence to convince pishima to pawn the jewels and use the capital to set up a sari shop. Thus the landed gentry enter the realm of commerce. Inevitably, the wheels of industry and industriousness turn, as do the fortunes of the family.

Through the tale of this one family and it's members, Aparna deftly captures the grand sweep of history. The trauma of Partition, of lands and inheritances lost, of unfamiliar adjustments after years of zamindari grandeur — it's all there. But the men are in some ways the paraphernalia of this film. At the centre stand the three women — Pishima, Somlata, Chaitali — as they fight against patriarchy and social mores in their unique ways. Pishima is vitriolic, Somlata quiet but intelligent, Chaitali couldn't care less about societal norms — or the goynar baksho . Mind you, the feminism is not heavy-handed, but dovetails smoothly with the comic elements. Somlata calls Chandan "purush singha", but manages to send him scouting for the best saris across the country.

What do you say about the acting of these three women? Moushumi is superlative. Beneath all her expletives is a lonely, unfulfilled woman, rejected by society, consigned to the periphery of familial existence. At the same time, she's straight out of a Sirshendu Mukherjee book, comical, unpredictable, sharp as nails. With Konkona, you always expect something special, and she doesn't disappoint. Timid yet charming, fearful yet strong-willed, she's so 1950s that you almost forget that her last Bengali release was Shunyo Awnko , where she plays a fearless journalist. She's the bridge between pishima and her own daughter, Chaitali. Srabanti — both as the younger Moushumi and as Chaitali — holds her own against the other two. The men, of course, turn in stellar performances, from Saswata to Paran, Pijush and the others.

A word about the music and camerawork. Debajyoti Mishra has done a lovely score, the high point being the soulful Sakhi re by Subha Mudgal, which tugs at your heartstrings long after it's over. Soumik Halder does brilliantly again, working in tandem with Aparna, to create a lush, small-town Bengali landscape.

A few pointers in an almost-perfect film: the genesis of Somlata's nebulous affair with Rafique (Kaushik) seems under-explored; the special effects — the shower of rose petals, the flying utensils in the kitchen — are a bit amateurish; and did Chaitali, growing up in the mofussil s of the '70s, have to have a layered hair cut? Aparna, who works on the minutest details — during the Bangladesh war, even the cover of a mag lying casually on the table has a Sheikh Mujib photo — could have given this more thought.

But these are minor quibbles. It's one of the funniest, smartest movies of the year and a viewer's delight. If you think otherwise, as pishima would say, kochupora !
SEE MORE
Avg Users’ Rating 3.3/5 ( 4 users )
M
Mauli Agarwal
nice
R
Rupai Bhadra
good movie
MOVIES, REVIEWS,
SHOWTIMES AND MORE.
Download the app today,
Easily access movie trailers, reviews & showtimes.
Find nearby theatres and movies when they are now showing.

New releases, Trailers, Filmy Gossips! Welcome to the World of Movies. Subscribe now. Stay updated.

Notification No worries!! In case you want to enable it in future you can do it by clicking on lock icon in the address bar and enabling notification