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Iti Mrinalini: An Unfinished Letter... (2010)

| Drama | July 2011 (USA)
An award-winning aging actress reflects on her life while writing a suicide note.

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(story and screenplay) (as Ranjan K. Ghosh), (story and screenplay)
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Young Mrinalini Mitra
...
Siddhartha Sarkar (voice) (as Anjan Dutta)
...
Siddhartha Sarkar
...
Imtiaz Chowdhury
...
Mahinder - Cinematographer
...
Chintan Nair (as Kaushik Sen)
Saheb Bhattacharjee ...
Abhijeet (as Shaheb Bhattacharya)
Ananya Kumar-Banerjee ...
10 Year Old Sohini (as Ananya Banerjee)
Anjali Surana ...
6 Year Old Sohini
Tritee Basu ...
Toddler Sohini (as Treeti Basu)
...
Julia Campbell
...
Ranajoy Mitra (as Srijit Mukherjee)
Senjuti Mukherjee ...
Kamala Di
Gargi Roy Chowdhury
Ananya Chatterjee ...
Hiya Majumdar
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Storyline

Kolkata-based Mrinalini Mitra, with a large number of sleeping pills, writes a suicide note, blaming no one, leaving her earthly belongings to Chintan Nair. Before taking the pills, she decides to destroy all documentation pertaining to her rather colorful past. While going through these, she reflects on her life as an 'Urvashi' award-winning actress, who had made a name for herself with her very first movie 'Rajni'. She also remembers her life in a shanty Chawl with her mother, whose husband had abandoned her, leaving her alone to bring up two children, Mrinalini and Ranajoy. She also recollects on her romance with married film-maker, Siddhartha Sarkar; marrying him in a Mandir, getting intimate, giving birth to a daughter, Sohini, and then leaving the child in Canada to be adopted and brought up by Ranajoy, and his German-wife, Julia Campbell. When Siddhartha refuses to marry her, and instead gets his wife, Maithili, pregnant, she leaves the film industry, and spends more time with ... Written by rAjOo (gunwanti@hotmail.com)

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Drama

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July 2011 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

An Unfinished Letter  »

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It is Mental Ditty!
13 December 2011 | by (West Bengal, India) – See all my reviews

Yet once again, Aparna Sen's 'Iti 'Mrinalini': An Unfinished Letter...' has created poetry on screen. Though some criticisms - by the famous 'The Hollywood Reporter' and the like - have wrongly assessed the film without even minutely watching it, yet a wrong critique cannot, in any way, mar the film's extensive appeal to the true movie buffs and cineastes. The film has been wrongly called 'melodramatic' and even some self-proclaimed critics have blunderingly named some characters. After all this is not expected in relation to such films as of Sen's.

Now, leaving behind my correctional and cautionary discussion above directed to some self-proclaimed film critics, I shall come down to the real and unbiased critique of the film. After having watched Sen's quite a few films with rapt attention one can easily find a familiar colour and superficial calmness pitted against an inner turmoil in the film. The characters think and move just as we do - naturally. There is even no over-emphasis on unnatural music and unnatural gestures. The backdrop of each character in every emotional condition seems to complement the unknown and known thoughts of the viewer finding himself/herself easily identifiable with the characters at several moments in life. Instances of Pathetic Fallacy abound in the film, though with artistic restraint so that some even go unheeded. The best moment of love in most films taken together is the scene where Chintan Nair (Kaushik Sen) and young Mrinalini Mitra (Konkona Sen Sharma) discuss the aspects of love that frees oneself and is without expectations. The meteoric rise of an actress and her gradual, but desperate, search for satisfying love in the actually lonely and mercenary world of glamour are what the film shows in a glaring light, though various other themes overrun the film's expanse. References to Shakti Chattopadhyay's, Vladimir Mayakovsky's and W.B. Yeats's poems can be found. Passing references to François Truffaut, Ingmar Bergman and Jean-Luc Godard are also there. Art direction, as in Sen's other films, has been very well carried out. Only one song - sung by the younger Mrinalini at a party - seemed incongruous in the whole movie, coupled with some minor anachronisms.

A letter - a suicide note bearing exculpatory indication on the part of others with whom Mrinalini was, has been and is linked - being written along the entire film gives the older Mrinalni flashbacks by dint of which the whole story gets told and seen. But, ironically the letter remains unfinished and finally discarded by Mrinalini when touched by a ray of hope form Chintan's message. Yet, the first rays of the morning sun has something in it's store. She dies a silent death. And the way the camera moves vertically up keeping the focus on her dead body bears parallels with a scene in 'Inglourious Basterds' where the twin murder takes place inside the room from where a film is projected on screen. To sum up, Sen's movie is a product of curious toil and astute storytelling that is characteristic of all her films. And lastly, one must watch the film observingly before commenting pedantically on it for just the sake of commenting.


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