Childhood is considered by most as the best period of life. Carefree life, vacations, para-cricket, first crush, friends who mean life to you – school days truly are memorable for anyone. Anindya Chatterjee, after gifting Bengalis classic compositions for decades, turned to direction with adolescent friendship as the theme of his debut venture.
If you grew up in the 1990s, you will surely fall in love with this film right from the first frame. From the nostalgic “Open Tee Bioscope” song that marked our childhood to the first puff of cigarette on the terrace, para friends, pranks on neighbours, wall graphiti and the political nuisance defined early ’90s – Anindya da has beautifully crafted the narrative.
The story is of Fowara – a rebel who has been expelled from school for beating up the hostel warden, and has returned to his North Kolkata para. The first half of the film is like a leisurely Sunday morning; the film is emotional yet fun. Anindya Chatterjee’s brand of humor is not crass as we often encounter in films these days.
There is a child-like innocence in the treatment of the film. Therein lies the beauty of Open Tee Bioscope. The film does not boast of being a high-on-cerebral artsy film nor is it a formulaic remake of any South India flick. It is an honest retelling of the most innocent days in any person’s life – everyone sitting in the audience can identify with.
Technically the film is not out of the world. There are moments that make it worth cherishing forever – the Dashami scene on the terrace or Fowara’s coming-of-age moment with his mentor the night before the match. As usual, Chandrabindoo’s music is brilliant as always – you cannot get enough of it (I am glued to the album on Saavn all day).
The film is a treat to watch because of the cast. Everyone has acted so flawlessly, one would wonder if the were for real. The chemistry between Baishaki (Sudipta) and Fowara (Riddhi Sen) is fabulous. Even in his small screen time, Paran Bandyopadhyay wins hearts. Rajatava Dutta is the darling para-kaku while Aparajita Adhya is your PNPC-loving middle class aunty who is good at heart.
Over all, Open Tee Bioscope is a nostalgia trip which would make you want to call up your best friend and arrange a school reunion. It is only when you watch films like these when you realise “Those were the days”.
Thank you Anindya Da.
My Rating: 4/5 Stars
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