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Chaalchitra (1981)

A young ebullient and sensitive Calcuttan meets the editor of a leading newspaper and is assigned to 'do' a newsy yet intimate story of his own middle class milieu within two days. The ... See full summary »

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1 win & 1 nomination. See more awards »

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Dipu
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Newspaper Editor
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Kolpona
Jyoti Chatterjee ...
Rekha
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A young ebullient and sensitive Calcuttan meets the editor of a leading newspaper and is assigned to 'do' a newsy yet intimate story of his own middle class milieu within two days. The young man, endowed with erratic enthusiasm, sets every bit of situation he comes across to critical analysis, but fails to build a wholesome reportage. Utterly desperate, he even acts as catalyst but with no tangible effect. In a confused state of mind he dreams an absurd dream full of fury and a deep annoyance at the bourgeoisie. What follows is a second meeting with the editor and an inevitable compromise. Written by Swarup Basak

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The Kaleidoscope  »

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The versatile Geeta Sen passes away ...
4 February 2017 | by See all my reviews

Recently the versatile actress Geeta Sen passed away. Besides acting in the films of her husband Mrinal Sen, she has also acted in Ghatak's NAGARIK and Shyam Benegal's AROHAN. Kolkata DD showed her film CHAALCHITRO recently as a mark of respect.

The Mrinal Sen directed CHALCHITRO (Kaleidoscope, 1981) is a film that has not been screened in India previously as far as I know. It is a film that only a Mrinal Sen would have the courage to make. There is hardly any story so to speak, no attractive heroine features in it to make it pleasing to a viewer. But Mrinal Sen being Mrinal Sen, he has the rare ability to make the mundane the stuff of great cinematic material. Like Jean Luc Godard, MS captures life in everyday Kolkata with its vicissitudes, idiosyncrasies, humaneness and pettiness under the pretext of a storyline - the hunt of a print journalist (Anjan Dutt) for a story/scoop that is saleable. The editor of the newspaper (Utpal Dutt) likens modern life to a stock market - every aspect of it involve a kind of buying and selling. "How many ovens are there in Kolkata?" - runs a question/newsreel footage across the screen. The director also highlights environmental concern with rapid urbanization and use of unclean energy used for cooking during the late seventies. Gita Sen acts as the mother of the protagonist struggling to make ends meet for the family. The lives of several independent families all living under a common roof quibbling and sharing joys and miseries have been depicted aptly.

The film was screened at London and Venice Film festivals. Watching CHALCHITRO recently one felt sad for the demise of THE ACTRESS who brilliantly brought to life the quotidian characters in the films of Mrinal Sen, be it in CHORUS, EK DIN PRATIDIN or KHANDAHAR.


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