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Movie Review – Ramdhanu

film reviewWhen it comes to portrayal of contemporary Bengali society and adapting novels on screen, there is hardly any match for Shiboprosad Mukherjee and Nandita Roy. From the intricacies of a mother’s possessiveness over her son in Ichhe to the flight of dreams of prisoners in Muktodhara, they have translated intricate travails of human nature so effortlessly that their films remain etched in your memories for a long time.

Ramdhanu is an adaptation of a novel by Suchitra Bhattacharya. It tells us the story of a mother who, like any other parent, is concerned about getting her son admitted into a “good school”. It narrates the tale of complex emotions parents go through while trying to get their child admitted into the best school possible. It is the inherent simplicity of the narration that makes the tale so endearing. The mother’s fear of failure and the dilemma of the father torn between his own lack of self-confidence and the humongous task to passing an interview to ensure the best of education for his son reflect a life that we all have experienced at some point in our life.

In a short sequence of the film, the directors give us an important message of loving our mother language as much as foreign ones. Our love for English (or any other tongue) should not lead us to looking down upon our own. The juxtaposition of Mitali, trying to learn English rhymes from her German sister-in-law, and Jennifer in turn asking Gogol to teach her Chhoras, is poignant.

Ramdhanu is a milestone for Gargi Roy Chowdhury. This film belongs to her. She nails it as the mother – with all complexities portrayed in perfect tandem with the demands of the script. Shiboprosad in his own charming and melodramatic manner comes as a pillar of support. Rachana Banerjee in her special appearance reminds the audience she was once a reigning queen in Tollywood.

There are several moments in the film that will remind you of your own childhood. The chemistry of the mother and son will really make you weak in the knees several times throughout the film. During the climax, when the little Gogol answers questions during his school interview, you can hardly fight the tears welling up in your eyes.

Above all, there is young Gogol, busy chasing kites and rainbows and enjoying his short trip to his mother’s village, his grandmother’s horror tales, grandfather’s fishing tips and his ‘phirangi’ mami’s nursery rhyme sessions. His innocence is, perhaps, one of the high points of the film.

Ramdhanu is a family drama with a touch of innocence and simplicity that will make you want to watch it again.

My rating: 4/5 stars

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