|Index||4 reviews in total|
Its a simple story of an ambitious girl who wants to avoid a life of treachery by pursuing education, but the presentation is entertaining as opposed to the usual focus on tragedy by Bengali directors.It's a quirky, funny, entertaining movie. It has its moments. There is interesting use of imagery and metaphors - intertwining lives of cats and girls. Characters are very apt. Casting is right on the mark with appropriate choice of actors to represent the stereotypes. Lots of tongue in cheek humor there are hospitals for animals and cars, but none for humans. Good representation of rustic Indian lifestyle.The director has cleverly captured the ways and means of everyday life in Indian villages.
Buddhadeb Dasgupta's "Tale of a Naughty Girl"
Screened at the International Film Festival, Mumbai by the Mumbai Academy of Moving Images.
Plot Synopsis: A prostitute decides to sell her young teenage daughter to a rich old man, so they can escape the bleakness of their lives. But the young girl who has been to school wants to pursue studies. All this unfolds against the backdrop of News of Man's First Trip to the Moon reaching the sleepy village.
Poetry and beauty against the harsh reality of prostitution. Uplifting hope and innocent beauty in the world of perversion and denigration. And a touching, inspiring metaphor. These are the elements that come together to make this stunningly simple, touching movie.
The story revolves around the idyllic beauty of the indian country side and the harsh ugliness of its brothel. The characters are mostly predictable but the sensitivity with which they are portrayed makes it a delight to watch. The Kind Hearted driver, the dirty old man, his yes-man, the prostitute who knows her time as a young femme fatale is at teh end of the tether, the donkey that always gives the truthful answer .... all make excellent characters in this tale that is woven like a fable. The protagonist is the
little girl who dreams of acquiring knowledge, what seems unattainable to her ... the metaphoric comparison with Man setting foot on the Moon. All of these beautiful elements make a sensitive movie that fills your heart and is completely uplifting.
The beautiful camera work, the lilting music, convincing performances and deft direction make this movie a delight to watch.
A charming 9!!
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Utopia is the last thing you expect to see in a Bangla parallel film. In Mondo Meyer Upakhyan, the director creates utopia in a brothel with all its greed, lust and longing, and almost manages to convinces you that utopia is real, dreams are still worth chasing, and wishes are fulfilled, even today. The movie is set in a desolate village setting, where everyone is doomed to his or her own chains: rich old Paladhi trapped in his lonely lust as symbolized in the opening shot where he is watching pornography alone in his private theatre, Rajani, the past-prime prostitute (Rituparna) who wants to see her daughter happy but does not know how to (the world seems to have only the cinema hall and the brothel and a vast expanse of arid land), Lata, her daughter, a keen student who is desperate to escape her fate of getting married to Paladhi to which her birth in a brothel seems to have bound her, and Tapas Pal (in a very unlikely, convincing performance), is a rough-talking do-gooder who is bound as Paladhi's hired driver to take him to his rendezvous with Lata. The story is one of everyone breaking free of his chains and embarking on a journey the news of man's journey to the moon comes as a vindication that anything is possible. Tapas Pal picks up a very old couple in one of his trips and wanders around aimlessly in search of a hospital. He is essentially looking for a home for them: they find it in his car, and finally, in a very contented game of Ludo under a tree. The girl Lata defies her destiny and finally makes off to Kolkata for her education. There are these three other prostitutes who find support in each other (a hint of lesbianism?) and make off boldly to the uncertainty of the outside world. And Paladhi too is happy, shifting the object of his desire from Lata, the unattainable, to Rajani, the compliant. So, every wish is granted, and the viewer has his lost childhood faith in fairy tales restored.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
A rather sad film that is contemplative in many ways but it reflects
the impossible dream of the West that underdeveloped countries should
never develop. Here is India in 1969 when the first man walked on the
moon. We know what has happened since then. The unfettered development
of India in an unexpected field based on the desire to learn and work
of the untouchables. They could only learn vocational trades and they
did, computer science and we know what they are doing with it. The
first ever computing workshop in the world serving the whole world and
controlling the whole world with its computing dexterity. No,
definitely no , third world countries do not want to keep their
traditional way of living that rhymes with prostitution in this film,
no hospitals, except for cows in this film, no studying for girls
except the bawdy songs of a whore-house, of a brothel. We can in the
West always dream, that will not happen. They want change, development,
knowledge, know how, a future in one word and not a present tied up to
a past. The best part about it is that in the west we have exactly the
same dream and exactly the same people tell us that dream is not
possible, we have to limit our ambitions. We have to say with Barack
Obama, we want the American dream for everyone, and not the American
nightmare or any perverted version of this dream of a world governance
of the peoples, from the peoples and by the peoples. This film is an
admirable vision of this irrepressible urgency of now as Martin Luther
King would have said, and God only knows how irrepressible this
emergency is now. So let's seize the day and run to the train to
Calcutta and start a new life at the passage gate between the silk road
from Tibet and the world.
Dr Jacques COULARDEAU, University Paris Dauphine, University Paris 1 Pantheon Sorbonne & University Versailles Saint Quentin en Yvelines
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