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One shot from the movie 'Khyanikaa:The Lost Idea', I watched last night, is not ready to fade out from the memory. The shot is from the Dance of Idea sequence where one of the character - lazy man helplessly staring at the unreachable Idea (Idea is a character too personified as a woman) who was dancing on some sort of pillar way beyond his reach - almost near the top edge of the frame. Given the context, the shot is brilliant outcome of the vision of the director Amartya Bhattacharyya. I was not allowed to otherwise I could capture the shot on my phone and make my wallpaper.
It felt good to hear Odia dialogues after so many years in a theatre - that too with such powerful images. I have my problems with the movie but it is an engrossing watch nevertheless which I would like to have at least one more time. It resembled Tarkovsky's Stalker at the beginning when it informed audience the existence of a strange village where wishes come true, just like the 'zone' of Tarkovsky. But I loved how the place is less important than the characters in Khyanikaa. The film is also not typically abstract flick though heavily layered and nuanced. There is a story, characters, conflict, progression, resolution even dance and songs just like any other movies yet it has its freshness and originality. At the core it was a simple love story which is funny, humorous, crazy at times but very serious and complex in all its absurdities and undertones. However I have failed to grasp everything fully which requires repeated viewing. I am unable to comprehend the role of the painter in the story- is he representing God or a Higher Being who we call God!!, why he is not after the Idea like others but after the Sun! Similarly, when the poet mock fate for condemning sex as vulgar, he asked whether he has begotten or not.... here should I take the character Fate literally or metaphorically even if he is personified as a human being! Whom the fate can have sex with!! The premise is quite cerebral for my capacity.
The main issues for me are the background music and acting. The background music was on the nose and very rude at times. I think it was completely unnecessary and I am not fond of the 'make me channel of your peace' song either.... again loved the dance of Idea sequence very much. I am also not convinced by the acting of the actors. Ironically, the acting of Anu Choudhury felt natural in the context of the story who portraying an over dramatic page3 celebrity. (please read the word 'Ironically' one more time) Honestly, Dipanwit Dashmohapatra as a Postman and Hrushikesh Bhoi, the infamous Kansa as fate with lesser screen time seemed cool and at ease with their characters. Choudhury Bikas Das was exaggerating and melodramatic at times. Swastik Choudhury as poet was fine with some inconsistent expressions most of which are directorial glitches in my opinion. Some of the sequences appeared little childish to me as well but I can not complain as it is an independent experimental film with outstanding camera work.
One scene in the movie towards the end was an idea brewing in my mind for a year was a cherry on the cake as I was dawned with the realisation in realtime that an Idea cannot be owned or possessed and beyond the clutch of anyone's mind.
I am quite envious how impeccably Amartya Bhattacharryya is able to manage his time and continuing making movies after movies with shoestring budget and gadgets.
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