Tag Archives: Koushik Sen

Lion (2016)

Lion Review

written by Souranath Banerjee

 A passionate narrative that celebrates both emotions and technology at the same time!

My Ratings: 4.1/5

80,000 children go missing in India every year never again to be reunited with their families, unfortunate indeed.

But then how many of these lost children are fortunate enough to get adopted by some kind-hearted couple from Tasmania, who are lion-poster1not only willing to give them their family name, but also enough love and affection, education and freedom to relive their own lives?

Well, Saroo a kid from rural India who loves Jalebis, happened to be one such unfortunate, yet fortunate soul!

At the age of five an unintentional train journey took him to an unknown city, alone in the streets, miserable and hungry, missing his family, and on the verge of getting exploited. But then, he survives, was sent to an orphanage and from there taken for adoption by Brierley family from Tasmania!

The first half of Saroo’s tale is dramatic enough to be made into a motion picture but the story doesn’t end there!

lion-posterAfter 25 years Saroo decides to find his roots, his village, his people, his family – he comes back to India in search of his brother and mother!

Exceptional performance by Dev Patel as Saroo, supposedly he had spent eight months preparing for his role! But more surprising was debutant Sunny Pawar‘s role, who played the part of young Saroo and stole the show!

Then of course Nicole Kidman (a great come back for her), David Wenham and Rooney Mara all made their presence felt. The Indian actors – Tannishtha ChatterjeeNawazuddin SiddiquiDeepti NavalKoushik SenAbhishek Bharate all shined in their cameos. But again the performance of Priyanka Bose as Saroo’s mother deserves a special mention, she is so natural yet subtle!

lion-poster2Brilliantly shot by Greig Fraser and edited by Alexandre de Franceschi. And also well complemented by the music of Volker Bertelmann and Dustin O’Halloran.

Since Saroo used Google Earth to try and locate his origins, Google have helped in the production of the film and gave the crew satellite imagery access and other technical support.

Director Garth Davis‘s Lion will remind you of Slumdog Millionaire but then for me it’s an entirely different treatment and story, after all it’s based on a true story!

P.S. – But why does the film named ‘Lion‘? Well, for a very good reason but you have to watch it to find it out!

Poster courtesy: www.impawards.com.

Babar Naam Gandhiji (2015)

Babar Naam Gandhiji review.

written by Souranath Banerjee

My Ratings: 4.2/5

The priority in cinema has always been given to fresh and innovative scripts; stories that have the rare capability of alienating us from the harsh world around and make us connect to our long-buried innocence, to humanity.

Babar-Naam-Gandhiji-poster3And the recently released Bengali film Babar Naam Gandhiji does exactly that and much more.

The film takes the social issue of ‘children’s right to education’ head-on and moulds it into a very entertaining film.

The basic story revolves around a group of orphan kids who beg, borrow and bargain in the streets of Kolkata, apparently no different from any other cities in India.

But then there IS a difference.

The leader of these orphan street kids, Kecho (Surajit Mukherjee) have taken the art of street begging to a different level altogether. He doesn’t beg but demand money and is smart enough to live life in his own happy-go-lucky style!

Babar-Naam-Gandhiji-posterBut then one day, Kencho stumbles onto this information that Gandhi Ji (Mahatma Gandhi, the bapu of our nation) is actually his own bapu (father)!

A fictitious tale of course, told with the intention to encourage the young kid to be more socially responsible. And it works well, since with the help of his beloved NGO da/Pavel (Parambrata Chatterjee), Kecho decides to enroll into a reputed school.

Babar-Naam-Gandhiji-poster5But then, the problem arises when a strict teacher from that same school Bidyadhar Swami (Koushik Sen) makes his life’s mission to stop Kencho, a street kid from entering their so-called prestigious institution.

Wonderful performances by everyone but the young actor Surajit Mukherjee needs a special mention. His confident dialogue deliveries, his body language and his innocent smile attracts the spotlight.

The real beauty of the film Babar Naam Gandhiji lies in it’s unique script. Babar-Naam-Gandhiji-poster6Written and directed by young debutant director Pavel who has the maturity and the ability to compete with any established directors working today in the industry. 

Decent camera work by Supriyo Dutta and crisp editing by Sanglap Bhowmik, also perfectly complemented by Raja Narayan Deb‘s music.

Overall Babar Naam Gandhiji is a story that is very much needed to be told in our current society, and it is told in great style.

Don’t you miss this one.

Byomkesh Phire Elo (2014)

Written by Abhikendu Deb Roy.

Ratings: 3.7/5.

Byomkesh Bakshi is a brand who has been adapted by several filmmakers across the country. Bakshi is not exactly a detective, instead a truth seeker as they call him.

Byomkesh series have an underlying layer of the social issues of that period sandwiched between the whodunnit thrilling cases. Social sattire, wearing the mask of a thriller drama, is precisely what you’d call Byomkesh Bakshi.

Director Anjan Dutt chose Saradindu Bandopaddhyay‘s ‘Benishonghar’ as the plot for his latest release ‘Byomkesh Phire Elo’. This is the third among Dutt’s Byomkesh films and undoubtedly the best of them all.

Abir Chatterjee is comfortable as Byomkesh Bakshi. He looks and feels the part aptly. Saswata Chatterjee as Ajit has hardly a few scenes but stands out in them all.

While the rest of the ensemble cast of this film play their part fairly, the extremely talented actor who needs mention here is Koushik Sen. He seems to be a natural as the drunkard son-in-law of the house and we surely wanted more screen time from him. He is one helluva performer.

Anjan Dutt has always been a master of shooting in the ancestral houses and by-lanes of North Kolkata, adding a 60’s feel to it. It was a plain sailing ride for him to have recreated the era through the consultation of his art director. The use of different colour tones to distinguish between the time frames is plausible.

The film, kept limited to a couple of hours, makes the screenplay more intriguing and appealing for such a thriller. Adventure has never been the forte of Byomkesh Bakshi, but is present in situations which help him deal with his ongoing case.

Neel Dutt does an amazing work with the original background score of the film. The trademark ‘Byomkesh Theme’ by Neel is something we had wanted throughout the film but sadly creeps up only at the end credits.

Final Verdict: Anjan Dutt’s third Byomkesh is an all-in-all interesting thriller with almost all the elements required present in it. It is however saddening that Abir who is so much in his comfort zone playing Byomkesh, has switched roles to Feluda and will not play the role of Bakshi in future. You must go for this adulterated thriller during your Christmas Break, but surely not with your little Santas.