What’s common between Karl Marx, first kiss, peto boma, rong borof, ‘half pant’ dating ‘frock’, Sonali Sibir, local candy floss, good looking night school teacher (didimoni), bohuroopi, binoculars to peep, football tournament, solar eclipse, local goons, Krishanu Dey’s left foot shots, North Kolkata by lanes and the Cadbury lady dancing on the cricket field? The answer is Anindya Chatterjee or Nostalgia or Open Tee Bioscope.
You want to eat, sleep and drink nostalgia – Open Tee Bioscope is your New Year pick. But that’s where the film starts and ends. Scenes seem to be scattered and hardly has an emotional or logical connect with each other. Endless number of nostalgic elements keeps swarming in the stream of a volatile story telling process. In fact the storytelling endeavour is restricted so much to its minimum that sometimes you are bound to ask if story telling was at all the motive of the director. And finally we are left with a series of visual tableaus of bygone Kolkata. The let down of lack of dramatic build up and emotional impact takes a harder hit because of the crafty trailer that preceded the film. With the promising number “… tai tui taiscope … le le babu chhow ana, le le babu saat ana … dhikchang …” the trailer smelled of freshness and almost gave the feel of a carnival. The sad part is that the carnival never really takes off.
However, to come into the defence of the director, one has to take note of a fact that makes Anindya and his first film different from his peers. His filming has no baggage of traditions to influence him. No Rays or Ghataks, no poor subterfuge of a American-South Asian filmic urbanity, no soul searching, no ‘abar detective’ and of course no Herogiri !!! So Anindya puts on screen a different platter. It’s his memory, thoughts, dreams, imagination and notions of clichés all put into the nostalgia stream. The problem is that the binding force between them is too weak and more importantly it’s nothing beyond.
To lend a line from a song in the film … “Pagla khabi ki jhaje more jabi …”
Khelam re pagla!!! Jhaje morlam na …
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