Sankhachil is a film every Bengali, whatever be their religion, will connect to. It's a film that celebrates all things Bengali, while showing the irony of the region's divided existence.
a film that celebrates all things Bengali, while showing the irony of the region's divided existence. Do watch it.
Shankhachil is the moving journey of a man, who is forced to question his belief in all things Bengali. It's a cinematic treat that bombards a viewer with sights and sounds we miss so much in cities — of verdant fields and forests, village ponds and meandering rivers, and the pristine beauty of rural life. But somewhere, in the midst of all this beauty, the films seems to veer away from its core subject. After all, it starts with a scene that focuses purely on illegal immigration from across the border. Hence, the impression made is that of a storyline that focuses purely on that subject. It does, by questioning the very basis of the bifurcation of Bengal, but I feel it somehow fails to make a strong point, as it gets too busy with one man and the drama in his life. The camera hardly ever leaves Prosenjit after he comes into the picture. That, by itself, is not unpleasant, as the actor has put in quite a stellar performance. But in doing so, the storyline veers away from the border issue.
After establishing the border turmoil through visuals of BSF patrols and even a firing, all that's left in the picture is one man, his family and the drama that ensues when he beloved daughter falls ill and is diagnosed with a serious heart disorder. With no other option in hand, he sneaks into India with his family where his daughter is diagnosed with a congenital heart disease. The cure — an open-heart surgery — lies in Kolkata. He continues his illegal journey right into the heartland of Bengal. He is even provided with a voter ID card, which declares him to be a Hindu resident of India. But there begins his inner turmoil. Can't his identity be just that of a Bengali? Why does he need to lie about his religion to get his daughter treated?
The drama, however, sees all the actors putting in moving performances, especially Prosenjit and Kushum, who plays his wife. Every character is so grounded and well thought-out that each manages to connect with the audience.
But it's the technical brilliance of the film that really makes it stand out. All the visuals have been captured so beautifully that it brings alive on the screen the lives and experiences of the characters. Even the music is touching, with its pure Bengali essence.
Over all, Sankhachil is a film every Bengali, whatever be their religion, will connect with. After all, it's a film that celebrates all things Bengali, while showing the irony of the region's divided existence. Do watch it.