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This film focused on kolkata during late 60s and early 70s when political uncertainty in west bengal combined with uprising in student based movements created confusion and chaos which claimed lives of many common and some talented youths. No doubt it is a sensitive and difficult topic to deal with although the great trio of Bengali film ( Satyajit-Ritwick-Mrinal)made films almost coinciding with those events so Gotam had some examples in front of him and most likely experienced that time-period by himself. The book based on which the film is made addressed humanitarian issues in conflict with the political ones inside a naive student. The film too addressed that conflict, however there is lack of details and artifacts in costume design. Why Animesh and Lata are well-dressed all the time? I cannot see a determined yet calm Animesh in the film which I can see in Siddartha in Satyajit's Pratidwandi. Parambrata tried his best to portray Animesh but somehow that "fire inside" is missing. The portrayal of the role for Madhurilata demands expression of genuine feelings yet with utter simplicity and keeping in mind the contemporary situation. This is a delicate role where a new-comer must learn and or study the role before being put on the screen. Paoli may have tried her best but again that genuine expression is missing. This is where I must say role of the director is paramount. Satyajit Ray could bring out the frustration and anger within Siddhartha from Dhritiman mainly because he knew the time, studied the youth psyche and ":moulded" Dhirtiman in that way. I had similar expectation from Shri Ghose but in my opinion he probably either tried and failed or did not want to go deep into that which involves commitment of lot of extra hours. I must thank the director for his good work in photography and thoughts behind set-design. The poetic roommate of Animesh (Rudranil) over-acted in some shots. It would have been nice to put the Bengali display of "se boro sukher somoi noi ..phootpath bodol hoi modhoyoratre" in the opening scene with recital from Soumitra who had nothing much to work on. Same goes to Ani's father too. Overall Kalbela is a move worth to watch and I think it is still relevant as of today so that present student and youth community can go back to that time and think as to why it happened and what went wrong.
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