We are all born to die one day. But before our mortal remains reach their expiry date, we need to live by the rules of this world. Being alive does not necessarily suggest a zest for living. Our mundane routine often seeks change, an outlet to escape the monotony of life, and seek adventure. It is our outlook towards life that gauges our spirit.
Aparajita Tumi is the story of a Bengali couple, Pradeep and Kuhu, living in the United States. Their unromantic conjugal life enters a tumultuous phase as Kuhu learns about Pradeep’s extra marital affair. Relationships are put to acid test, sensibilities invoked, hard decisions made. Aparajita Tumi transcends the simple tale of a failing marriage and delves into the psyche of human mind, a feat Aniruddha Roy Chowdhury accomplishes seamlessly.
Based on Sunil Ganguly’s novel “Dui Nari, Hate Torobari”, Aparajita Tumi also features another Bengali couple, Ronojoy and Ushashi – the antithesis of Pradeep-Kuhu. Their dissimilarities are the common thread between the two couples. A clash of egos, Ushashi’s low self esteem and a saga of vengeance unfolds as the story progresses.
Viewers might find the pace of the narrative a bit too slow. Actually the film moves at a pace slower than Raincoat. But when you juxtapose this fact to the tumultuous episodes facing the characters, one is forced to marvel at Aniruddha Roy Chowdhury’s acumen. From Anuranan to Aparajita Tumi, he has finally matured as a story teller.
Aparajita Tumi is visually stunning. I do not remember watching a more beautiful portrayal of San Fransisco in any movie made in any language. Aniruddha always manages to make the city a part of the script. Aparajita has been no exception.
In a film where expressions matter more than dialogues, actors become the pillars of the movie. Padmapriya and Prasenjit live upto their characters. One can easily sympathise with Kamalinee when she is rebuked for the “extra salt in the Ilish Mach” in front of a room full of people. Indraneil Sengupta (Yousuf) comes as a breeze and passes by like a whirlwind. One cannot help but take notice of his flawless Bangal dialogue delivery. Albeit Chandan Roy Sanyal has a small screen presence, but he makes a dent on your minds with his recitation of Shakespeare.
The film would be incomplete had it not been for three men – Chandreel, Shantanu Moitra and Anindya. The music fits into the screenplay so beautifully that it takes the narrative ahead without becoming nuisance. The conflicts of the minds lay bare in the songs penned by Chandril and Anindya. Shantanu’s score adds the salt to the food that could otherwise have become bland.
There is a sincerity with which Aniruddha Roy Chowdhury tells his stories. His serene approach towards the gravity of life and its ugliness is his signature appeal. Quite similar to Anuranan in theme, and strikingly resembling Antaheen in execution, Aparajita Tumi brings out his best so far. No matter what others say, its slow pace is its USP.
My Rating – 3/5
P.S. – 1. Read the film’s music review here.
2. The film has its obvious flaws. Some cliches and some overt advertisements for the sponsors do take away the sheen from the beautiful poetry in motion on screen.
Music in today’s films has a very short half life. It hits the target (audience) with high impact; buoyed by the momentum lasts over a considerable time period and then slowly decays into oblivious alleys of public memory(only to be dug out on occasions).
Exceptions prove the rule, they say. And in the case of music too, there are exceptions – many for that matter. Of late, music in Bengali cinema has seen a sea change. Amidst the noise, music has emerged and how! After all, the lotus blooms in the mud.
In Aniruddha Roy Chowdhury’s films, music has always been an important component. Like salt is to food, music is to his cinema. The journey that began with Anuranan, peaked with Antaheen. While Aparajita Tumi cannot boast of being better or at par with Antaheen, Shantanu Moitra surely carves his niche with this album.
An unconventional mix of genres, a package that soothes the soul. no matter what mood you are in, the OST of Aparajita Tumi stops short of giving away the narrative of the film through the music. Srijato and Chandrabindoo reassert their poetic prowess – the words hit you hard and there is no way you can steer clear of the magical state of bliss they transport you to.
The best song in the album is definitely Take Me Home for its lyrics and Shadow Tales for the haunting melody. Aparajita Tumi is a complete nutrition for soul – from the vibrancy of Take Me Home to the brooding Shadow Tales, the romantic lullaby Roopkothara or the innocently apologetic Bola Baron – Shantanu Moitra bares his emotions through his guitar.
Aparajita Tumi is a collector’s delight, yes even in this age of piracy you would want to buy a CD.
My Rating for the album – 3.5/5
P.S. The brilliant score only adds to the excitement for the movie slated to release later this month. Eagerly waiting for Tony Da to unveil San Francisco in a new avatar.