Elar Char Adhyay
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Lyrical yet scathing
Producer : Dreamz Movies and Entertainment Pvt. Ltd.
Director : Bappaditya Bandopadhyay
Writer : Rabindranath Tagore
Cast : Paoli Dam, Indraneil Sengupta, Rudranil Ghosh, Arunima Ghosh, Dipankar Dey, Barun Chanda and Kamalika Chanda
Elar Char Adhyay,based on a Tagore novel, captures the ideals of the Bengal Renaissance of the 1930s and '40s. A group of young revolutionaries, led by Indranath (Indraneel Sengupta) is fighting for Independence. Ela (Paoli Dam), the group's emancipated muse feels disturbed by her love for Atin (Vikram Chatterjee), who is drawn into the movement because he loves her deeply. His involvement slowly gets critical as he begins to questions Indranath's methodology that rules out love for a woman colleague. Indranath's 'punishments' differ from person to person. Indranath does not mind Ela loving Atin but commands another young girl to get married while sending off her lover to a distant camp. Ela discovers that Atin's commitment to the movement has overshadowed his love for her. For Atin, there is no turning point.
Bappaditya Bandopadhyay has adhered strictly to Tagore's story and lived up to the challenge of bringing across a poetic, lyrical and romantic interpretation of a political novel. He includes Tagore's multi-layered satire through the British-attired Indranath who rides expensive cars and smokes foreign cigars. Atin tells Ela about how the group killed an old village woman exploiting the trust of a colleague who belonged to the same village, counted the loot while the woman lay dead and enjoyed a lavish feast with the proceeds, all in the name of 'revolution.' The film ends with Ela lying dead amidst the flames.
Bappaditya uses the flashback to open with Ela's death and Indranath's voice-over and ends with the same scene. Gautam Basu's art direction with the 'weathering' of the mansion, Ela's parents' period home, her uncle's British-influenced quarters, the party scene orchestrated just-so, the straw structure of the Durga idol carrying the resonance of past grandeur, the camera zeroing on it again and again, to the washermen's colony that becomes Atin's hideout with the dirty bed and the mosquito net askew are excellent.