6.5/10
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43 user 13 critic

Mountains Of The Moon (2013)

Chander Pahar (original title)
Not Rated | | Adventure | 10 January 2014 (USA)
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Faced with the prospect of a dim future in his impoverished village, young Shankar bids farewell to his family in rural Bengal and makes a journey to the fabled "Mountain Of The Moon" in search of gold and diamond mines.

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Cast

Credited cast:
...
...
Diego Alvarez
Martin Cito Otto ...
Jim Carter
Nabeel Khan ...
Tirumal Appa
Paul Ditchfield ...
Jacobus Marius
David James ...
Albuquerque
Peter Moruakgomo ...
Zulu Chief
Matthew Monika ...
Zulu King
Rafiq Jibhay ...
Patel
Keith Gendagoo ...
Prasad Das
Luthuli Dlamini ...
Dan Mabiru
Ramambila Muladelo ...
Masai Cheif
Andrew Stock ...
Attilio Gatti
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Tamal Ray Chowdhury ...
Shankar's Father (as Tamal Roychowdhury)
Laboni Sarkar ...
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Storyline

Chander Pahar is the journey to the fabled, 'Mountain Of The Moon', in search of gold and diamond mines, up against threats as vivid and varied as lurking snakes, pouncing lions, poisonous flora, the fury of an active volcano and a seemingly, almost supernatural mythical horror 'The Bunyip' the guardian angel of the diamond cave. However it is also the story of grit and determination, a story of following one's dream against all odds and emerging victorious, a story about a young lad called Shankar who faced with the prospect of having to make a living as a factory worker in his impoverished village, bids farewell to his family in Keutia, Rural Bengal and through his aid Prasad Das Banopadhay who happens to work for the Uganda railway head office sets sail to the Dark Continent to work as the station master in Nakuru station, it's a dream come true for Shankar who has always envisioned himself as a Expeditionary and holds good knowledge in world geography and map reading. Written by Aloke Majumder

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Adventure

Certificate:

Not Rated

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

|

Release Date:

10 January 2014 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Mountain of the Moon  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Box Office

Budget:

INR 150,000,000 (estimated)
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Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

This movie is based on the novel of the same name written by Bibhutibhushan Bandyopadhyay. See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
A visual treat that epitomizes an iconic adventure tale
26 December 2013 | by (India) – See all my reviews

Chander Pahar was a movie that made me repent about the following:

1. Why did I not read the book as a kid?

2. Why did I underestimate Dev the actor?

3. Why did I assume Kamaleshwar Mukherjee Movies will be too artsy for comfort?

4. Why did I think a Bengali film made on a budget of 15 crores can never match a Hollywood movie, forget getting close to even a Bollywood one?

I was wrong on all counts and how!

Ever since the movie opened with an eagle soaring through the skies and swooping down on Africa, I was stunned into submission and since then, the first cinematic adaptation of the iconic Bibhutibhushan Bandopadhyay's 'Mountain of the Moon' / 'Chander Pahar' managed to catch my attention over and over again... with me actually wishing the movie was not over!

Several sequences stood out for their cinematic execution – The desolate station and its nature loving station master Shankar captured against the various hues of the African skies, the roaring lion about to intimidate its prey, the Black Mamba slithering into existence, Shankar crossing over a devilishly deep chasm in a attempt to rescue Alvarez (played aptly by Gerard Rudolph) from a pack of Hyenas and cheetahs, the perilous hikes across the mountains, the desolate desert where you could no longer distinguish between hunter and prey, the excavation of caves of desire and what it was about to yield, and last but not the least the final farewell of a trusted friend. Every single sequence seamlessly added to the overall narrative while managing to retain its individualism.

Be it Dev the actor who grew by leaps and bounds (literally!) as he sprinted into the film with a heart firmly in place, or the director and his brilliantly astounding team – Cinematographer & DOP Soumik Halder, editor Raviranjan Maitra, or for that matter the Art Director, Set Designer, Costume Designer, and Action Director – all of them effectively brought to life the effective and engaging script and screenplay, aided by some haunting background score by Indradeep Dasgupta.

To be honest, the movie was not as perfect as Mackennas Gold, Indiana Jones, or The Life of Pi - far from it! But just as the protagonist Shankar wished to lead a life as adventurous as that of David Livingstone, Mungo Park, and Marko Polo, Shree Venkatesh Films helped ensure that this movie could be counted as an extraordinary successor to the movies listed above for its sheer audacity in bringing to life an extraordinary tale of action adventure from early 19th century Bengal.

In hindsight, the protagonists weren't the best of actors around. But what they lacked in skill, was compensated by a tremendous self belief and determination that showed, and had me rooting for the roles they portrayed.

To borrow a line from the movie itself, 'its better to travel well than to arrive' which is why I can say with pride and certainty that that this is not just the best ever action / adventure / fantasy movie to have come out of Bengal, but also one of the best of its kind to ever be made in India. After a long time, it's time again to say, and hope, that what Bengal things today, India shall think tomorrow. I would rate it an 8 as a film that warrants a repeat viewing and give it an extra star for being the best ever example of its genre from India to close it as a 9/10.

P.S: You will, like me, enjoy the film irrespective of whether or not you have read the book. But then, I am anyway going to after watching the film... What about you?


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