Many young viewers today may not have read Shesher Kobita, but that won't be much of a handicap while watching this film. Suman portrays a love that is almost transcendental, its language eternal.
The film is an adaptation of Rabindranath Tagore's iconic novel Shesher Kobita. When Rabindranath Tagore penned Shesher Kobita, he gave a new definition to love and longing. Down the years, readers have argued whether Amit and Labanya's love achieved fulfilment through separation and revelled over the how the author had taken self-criticism to another level. So, when Suman Mukhopadhyay decided to make a film on this literary classic and chose Konkona Sen Sharma and Rahul Bose as Labanya and Amit respectively, the choice gave rise to certain doubts. Could Rahul, with his slightly-accented Bengali, be 'The Amit Ray'? What if Konkona didn't capture Labanya's strength in simplicity? What if the poetic essence of the story got lost in translation?
But Suman's on-screen adaptation puts all these doubts to rest. His
can be termed as an apt tribute to the Bard, as the film is well-made and has been able to retain the essence of a love story well ahead of its time. Rahul becomes Amit from the very first frame — rebellious, opinionated, suave, but at the same time, a romantic with a heart of gold. He represents the well-read and wealthy Bangali babu of pre-Independence Bengal, a charmer whose strength and intensity amaze everyone as soon as he meets his soulmate, Labanya. Rahul's acting seems a wee bit forced sometimes, but Konkona looks like this character was written keeping her in mind! Understated and strong, yet vulnerable and emotional, Konkona's Labanya is a delight to watch.
In Pics: Rahul, Konkona, Swastika attend Shesher Kobita trailer launch
is as much DoP Sirsha Ray's film as it is Suman Mukhopadhyay's. Through his camera, we find ourselves in the midst of the misty, green valleys of Shillong. Almost all the outdoor frames are visual delights and stand as a brilliant backdrop for Amit and Labanya's poignant story. Debajyoti Mishra's music and Dev R Nil's costumes successfully transport the audience to a bygone era.
Swastika Mukherjee as Ketaki is a very good choice. She is haughty but helpless in her love for Amit that ultimately makes her a different person. Debdut Ghosh as Shovonlal is a revelation. Reading the novel, one may not visualise him as the silent admirer of Labanya, but he will forever be Shovonlal in your mind once you watch the film. Soumitra Chatterjee's rendition of Nibaran Chakraborty's poems and Aparna Sen's rendition of the iconic 'Hey bondhu biday' couldn't have been better. But the only thing that's missing from the film is Amit-Labanya's wishful conversation of their future together. We only wish the director hadn't edited it out.
Many young viewers today may not have read
, but that won't be much of a handicap while watching this film. Suman portrays a love that is almost transcendental, its language eternal.