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Best Bengali Films 2012 – 2014 (10+1list)

Best Bengali Films 2012 – 2014.

written by Souranath Banerjee.

We the Bengalis! The self-proclaimed intellectuals!

We have to watch films, especially Bengali Films and then give a detailed analytical review of them. Yes, we have to!

In our infamous ‘adda’ sessions, along with politics and football we Bengalis are also keen to show off our critical knowledge of Cinema. We proudly rate our favourite movies and passionately defend our preferred directors – believe me, these loud yet friendly squabbles can go on for months!

Mostly we time travel to the memorable glorious past of Bengali Cinema – the days of Satyajit Ray, Mrinal Sen and Ritwik Ghatak and then coming back to the present we proudly allude to the likes of Rituparno Ghosh, Buddhadev Dasgupta, Gautam GhoseAparna Sen.

Such legendary directors and their invaluable contribution to World Cinema make us feel honoured and content, and why not?

However this current list is of more recent times, the last three years to be exact (2012 – 2014), a list of the best Bengali films from exceptionally talented directors who are very much the present and the future of Bengali Film Industry!

Let the countdown begin!

10. Ramdhonu (2014)

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AV5ipEs1_zk

Ramdhanu-poster

A fun-filled story of a 5-year old kid’s struggle or rather his parent’s struggle to get him admitted in a decent school.

The director duo Shiboprosad MukherjeeNandita Roy has done it again. Brilliant acting by Shiboprosad and Gargi Roy Chowdhury.

A serious issue addressed with a comic touch. Entertaining.

9. Hrid Majhare: Live in my Heart! (2014)

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SrcoSaBZsl0

Hrid-Majharey-Poster

With the perfect essence of a Shakespearean tragedy this is a film that weaves a beautiful tale of love, jealousy and destiny.

(click for the review)

Writer-director Ranjan Ghosh creates a terrific psychological drama; very well supported by Abir Chatterjee and Raima Sen.

This film will make you think twice before falling in love.

8. Hemlock Society (2012)

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y9KCaYzHYG0

Hemlock-Society-poster

Is there such a society that teaches the right techniques to commit suicide?!

The concept itself is unique enough and on top of that brilliant performance by Parambrata Chatterjee and Koyel Mallick.

Writer-Director Srijit Mukherji is one of the best in this business and he proves it time and again.

7. Apur Panchali (2014)

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kxKylESYoa0

apur-panchali-poster

Hat’s off to Kaushik Ganguly for this brilliant theme; the film is based on the child actor who played the iconic role of Apu in Satyajit Ray’s  Pather Panchali. 

(click for the review)

Inspired by Subir Banerjee’s real life story, Parambrata ChatterjeeArdhendu Banerjee and Parno Mitra gives their best. And then the in-between montages from Pather Panchali makes us nostalgic.

6. Aparajita Tumi (2012)

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aerJCfbckGw

Aparajita-Tumi-poster

Director Aniruddha Roy Chowdhury creates another enticing drama, a plot that involves both love and betrayal, loneliness and friendship.   

Prasenjit Chatterjee utilized to his full potential, PadmapriyaKamalinee Mukherjee perfectly suited in their respective roles. 

A slow paced film that absorbs you into the story, beautiful camera work and edited.

5. Chotuskone (2014)

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9uNrGCBIgo0

chotushkone-poster

The latest from director Srijit Mukherji, a perfect mystery, four directors, four stories, all blending in at the end! 

(click for the review)

When old friends reunite and discuss their stories – four stories but with a common theme – death. Outstanding performances by Parambrata ChatterjeeChiranjitGoutam Ghose and Aparna Sen

4. Phoring (2013)

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0TWCydqcJ7w

Phoring-Poster

A relatively less known film but one of the best i have recently seen.

Indranil Roychowdhury has successfully created the world of an adolescent boy, his thoughts, his dreams, his innocence and his lust. 

Both Akash Adhikari and Sohini Sarkar did great. Phoring has received many international awards  and believe me the film deserves all the applause.

3. Bhooter Bhabishyat (2012)

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hg7OYuc7a5I

Bhooter-bhabishyat-poster

Probably the most popular film of recent times, a superb comedy, uniquely crafted and built up.

Swastika Mukherjee, Sabyasachi ChakrabortySamadarshi DuttaMumtaz SorcarParan BanerjeeMir Afsar AliKharaj Mukherjee and many more.

A variety of characters and intelligent dialogues – director Anik Dutta gives us a super hit.

2. Shabdo (2013)

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=miTB-lIAwQ4

Shobdo-poster

A professional foley artist – who creates sound effects for films seems to be too engrossed in his world of background sounds.

Not only the concept is unique but also the execution is superlative. Brilliant acting by Ritwick Chakraborty (his best till date) and also well supported by Churni Ganguly and Raima Sen.

Kaushik Ganguly‘s best till date.

1. Meghe Dhaka Tara (2013)

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZT5UEzQeDGg

meghe-dhaka-tara-poster

Director Kamaleswar Mukherjee teamed up with talented actor Saswata Chatterjee to create a masterpiece; a film on the life of acclaimed Bengali film director Ritwik Ghatak.

Shot in black and white, a film so well crafted and executed, it gives us a new perspective on the life of the legendary filmmaker.

One of the best film of the last decade – a must watch!

and (The ‘+1′ film is not necessarily the best but certainly the most innovative one. A must watch)

+1. Chitrangada (2012)

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7prDTZhwA8U

chitrangada-poster

A tribute to the master director Rituparno Ghosh who unfortunately passed away last year. 

The film won the Silver Lotus Awards in the National Film Awards.  It is the story of a dancer and his wishes, his unfulfilled dreams.

Rituparno himself acted as the lead, supported by Jishu SenguptaAnjan Dutt and Dipankar Dey.

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Apur Panchali (2014)

My Ratings: 4/5

Apur Panchali is a Bengali film (in Bengali language) fortunate enough to get a release in Mumbai and of course I didn’t miss the opportunity.

Last year I watched a film Shabdo directed by Kaushik Ganguly and since then I try not to miss any of his films. In Apur Panchali the director has once again proved his mettle – his unique concept and innovative execution brings back our belief in Bengali Cinema.

Child actors are famous even before they are old enough to spell the word ‘fame’. But how many of them can retain their fame till adulthood? Do people really care what happens to them?

Kaushik Ganguly showcases this issue as the backdrop of his film Apur Panchali as he reveals the life story of the most celebrated child actor of one time  – Subir Banerjee, who played the part of young Apu in the  film ‘Pather Panchali’ directed by Satyajit Ray.

Now as the story goes, a young film-student Arka (Gaurav Chakrabarty) is responsible to contact the long forgotten child actor Subir Banerjee since a German award committee has decided to invite him to Germany in order to felicitate him as the most famous child actor of all times!

Now isn’t that great news? Young Arka is super excited.

But when he finally meets the middle aged, temperamental Subir Banerjee (played superbly by Ardhendu Banerjee), we (the audience) along with Arka are surprised to see that the once world-famous child actor now doesn’t even want to admit that he had any connection with films or acting whatsoever.

Subir Banerjee is living a lonely, middle-class life far from the stardom of the glamorous film world. He even refuses to accept the felicitation letter and gets irritated whenever the name ‘Apu’ or ‘Pather Panchali’ comes up!

Now that’s unexpected and bad news especially for our friend Arka – who needs to work hard to convince this grumpy, ill-tempered man to make him see some sense.

What is the reason of Subir Banerjee’s aloofness? Did he ever want to become an actor? How different was his real life when compared with the reel life of Apu as shown in Satyajit Ray’s next two sequels of Pather Panchali?

These questions and much more are answered in this sensitive, emotional drama Apur Panchali.

Kaushik Ganguly’s decision to use the original Pather Panchali footage along with the present story-line easily creates a nostalgic mood that works in favor of the director.

But on the other hand the constant usage of such classic footage from a Satyajit Ray-directed film gives the audience an unnecessary chance to compare Apur Panchali with the original masterpiece.  You know it’s unfair but then again you cannot help it.

Parambrata Chatterjee, Parno Mitra and Ritwick Chakraborty – all of them have given matured performances. Kaushik Ganguly as usual makes his presence in a small but sensitive role – a special appearance.

Film Editor Bodhaditya Banerjee have done a great job – very well planned and flawless editing throughout the film.

Indraadip Das Gupta’s music is pleasing to the ears – well balanced and appropriate.   

Overall Apur Panchali is a quality film very well written and presented. I will highly recommend it to anyone with a passion for movies.

Bengalis – a must watch; even if you are not a Bong but love Satyajit Ray films especially Pather Panchali – go for it.

Trailer link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kxKylESYoa0 

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