Kadambari is a film you shouldn't miss. Yes, it has its minor flaws, but when it comes to being an entertainer, it gets full marks.
Kadambari Devi enters the Tagore household as philanderer Jyotindranath's wife at the age of nine, only to find herself lonely and sidelined. This lays the foundations for her bond with young Rabindranath — a relationship that grows with them till others start noticing their closeness.
Kadambari is a pure entertainer. No, not the least mindless or illogical, but a rather intelligently made film that keeps you glued to the screen throughout its 90-minute-long life. But in showing the bonding and the inevitable romance between Rabindranath (Parambrata) and his sister-in-law, it does miss out on a distinct storyline. It kind of begins and ends with Kadambari Devi (Konkona), though it isn't really a biopic. I'm saying that because anyone trying to draw historical parallels with the series of incidents depicted in the film might be a mite disappointed. But yes, it's a wholly watchable film because every actor has lived his/her part; though Parambrata is a bit of a disappointment. Somehow, he sticks to his typical expressions and mannerisms — never really becoming the poet he is playing. But the same can't be said for Konkona, who is subtle, yet expressive. Kaushik Sen, too, look the part of a suave gentlemen with a colourful life. The show-stealer is, however, Titas Bhowmik, who breathes life into the character of Gyanodanandini. She manages to depict her subtle romance with Jyotindranath and her own ego clash with Kadambari with elan.
The biggest high in the film, however, is the music. Every sound, every song is mesmerizing, if not more. Hats off to Bikram Ghosh for such good work. Even the background score is soothing. But it's really jarring on the nerves when Parambrata sings in his own voice hardly a few minutes after lip-syncing to a playback by Ustad Rashid Khan! I'm not saying the actor doesn't sing well; but the contrast is too sharp to go unnoticed.
The cinematography, too, is great, creating just the right ambience for the period. The shots are tight and balanced — never revealing too much of the backdrop, especially in the mansion scenes. But the boat scene, especially the close-ups, seem a bit off-kilter, as nothing seems to move — not even the boat. It's a full moon night out in the middle of a river, and no breeze seems to blow and the boat refuses to rock! A bit odd...
Over all, Kadambari is a film you shouldn't miss. Yes, it has its minor flaws, but as I mentioned at the outset, when it comes to being an entertainer, it gets full marks. Watch it as you would any other romantic drama. You are bound to enjoy it.