Craaaaasssh! That’s the sound Ranjana Ami Ar Ashbo Na has made in my heart after I went to watch it with post-Byomkesh inflated expectations from an Anjan Dutt movie…and that did hurt!
Yes the new Anjan Dutt movie did hurt…it hurt my expectations, it hurt my enthusiam for an Anjan Dutt movie, it hurt my craving for a good inspiring/ fun storyline, it hurt my perception of rock music and its evolution and its current position in the great state of West Bengal and lastly it hurt my pocket…the movie was not worth the bucks and the air-conditioning just couldn’t make up for it.
Ranjana is a film woven with a pathetic storyline (sic, read no storyline), some superbly bad acting (well one could plainly see that the characters are not quite real) and many and repetitive cult cliches.
While watching the film I felt supremely bored because there was nothing new, no twists or surprises in the story and to add to the boredom the storytelling was snail-paced filled with unnecessary repetitions and details. The film, I felt, lost itself and the audience somehow while tackling so many sub-plots (read Stanley Bose, Abani’s wife and the wine-glass episode, the repeated collapses of Abani, etc to name a few). And it is the sub-plots that made the film aantel (pseudo-intellectual) to some extent. And at the end of it, all I felt was relief and couldn’t muster the courage to decipher what the film tried to say.
Anjan Dutt’s lone credit lies in the fact that he tried to mask all the loopholes and boredom in his plot by streaming in his long time buddies from the Kolkata music scene…the amazing Amyt Datta, the goofy and hilarious Nondon Bagchi and the hip-pie Lew Hilt and voila! it kind of worked as well…everyone that i talked to about the film had only one thing to say…that the foursome looked rocking on screen and all, me included, went gaga over the mighty screen presence and the ‘rock harder’ attitude of guitarist Amyt Dutta. Anjan Dutt also managed to cast his one time rival turned friend Kabir Suman in the film, though quite unnecessarily.
The songs are good, like always, in an Anjan Dutt film with special mention to the remixed Rabindrasangeet Jagorone jae bibhabori. I simply loved the tune of the song (better than Pagla haowae of Bong Connection) and its lively, colourful potrayal in the film.
The only notable performances in the film are by Kanchan ‘Alvis’ Mullick, Abir ‘Byomkesh’ Chatterjee and the three musketeers Amyt ‘Cowboy’ Datta, Nondon ‘Narcotics’ Bagchi and Lew ‘Hippie’ Hilt and also Parno ‘Ranjana’ Mittra to some extent considering she is a newcomer.
The only message from the film is that in the bangla band culture female singers are few and far between and we really need more Ranjanas.
And ohh, the way Anjan Dutt was hinting all throughout the film, I think we can expect a great Byomkesh film from him and fast, and fast he has to be if we are to forgive him for the craaassssh…