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Source : the telegraph t2 kolkata

ek nodir galpo – a re-review


Mithun Chakraborty, Shweta Prasad, Anjan Srivastav, Krishnakishore Mukherjee, Nirmal Kumar, Bulbul Choudhury and Jishu Sengupta


Sunil Gangopadhyay

Screenplay and Dialogue

Samir Chanda


Sanjib Dutta


Anup Mukherjee


Debi Haldar

Production Design

Samir Chanda


Rajen C Kothari



Produced by

Sangeeta Ajay Agarwal and Lila Chanda

Directed by

Samir Chanda


Darakeshwar is the village postmaster. He lives with his only daughter Anjana who becomes the only girl in the village to graduate from high school and take admission in the city college. The doting father waits at the bus stop every evening to fetch his daughter as she returns from the city. One evening, Anjana does not come back. Just as the villagers climb onto their gossip machine, the body of the girl is fished out of the Keleghai river that runs along the village. Darakeshwar’s first reaction is to refuse to accept the truth. When he actually sees his daughter’s body, he decides, in the face of the scandalized villagers, to give the girl a river burial. “She is not dead. She will come back to life,” he says, mainly to himself. Instead of filing a FIR that could bring the culprit to book, he makes it his life’s mission to change the name of the river from Keleghai to Anjana, after his dead daughter. He forgets about his job, about his basic needs and trots from pillar to post, trying to find out how the name of the river can be changed. For the officials he visits, it is an appeal they have never heard of before – changing the name of a river – who has ever heard of this? They find it strange that a father whose daughter has been gang-raped, murdered and her body dumped in the very river whose name he seeks to change and she loved so dearly, does not care about bringing the culprits to book. They think he is a nut case. Little boys pelt stones at him as he canvases his cause from village to village, laughed and ogled at, made the butt of jokes and given up as a lost case. At the end of the day, he sits on the riverbank and talks to his dead daughter. A young and honest police officer begins a manhunt for the killers of the young girl on his own. He catches the gang of rapists who killed the girl but Darakeshwar is unmoved. He finally decides to solve his problem on his own. The sympathetic district magistrate, unable to help him officially or legally, helps in his personal capacity. As Darakeshwar tries to dig a hole on the riverbank to put in a wooden post with a banner with ‘Anjana’ written on it, the DM tells him, “I will dig the hole and you put in the post.”

Is strict fidelity to the original literary source possible? Or is it even necessary? Should we, as viewers, take fidelity as a methodological principle to be followed by the filmmaker who chooses to adapt a literary source to make his film? All these questions get raised as one watches production designer Samir Chanda’s entry into direction with Ek Nadir Galpo. Based on a story Ekti Nodir Naam, authored by the noted Sunil Gangopadhyay that haunted Chanda from the time he was in college, Ek Nodir Galpo moves beyond the limitations of the written word. It defines grief as an overwhelming emotion that can change the life of a man, less than ordinary, radically and irreversibly for an extraordinary and unique cause.

Ek Nodir Galpo is a poignant celluloid document that throws up an extraordinary perspective on the dedication of a human being towards a cause that may seem crazy to most. Through what may seem a simple story of love between a father and his motherless daughter, the film subtly but steadily covers other areas such as, our losing link with nature presented metaphorically through the river; the casual negligence of officialdom when the person approaching it is either thought to be nutty, or poor, or both; the value-centric integrity that still sustains among a few officers; the empathy that sometimes peeps out of the steel exterior of a strict DM; the river presented as a physical reality, as an integral part of the lives of those who live near it, the river as a metaphor for the anger presented through high tide, as a vehicle of death, as a soother of the mind, as a carrier of dead bodies, as an indirect upholder of the human spirit; and finally, the river as a symbol of Darakeshwar’s dead daughter if only through its imaginary new name – Anjana. The river is an omnipresence that carries ambivalent meanings throughout the film. True to its name, symbolically speaking, the film is more the story of a river than of a father and his daughter.

At the heart of the film, its life and soul is the superb performance of Mithun Chakraborty as Darakeshwar. As he struggles to get the river named after his daughter, he changes his looks, his body language and even his voice. He stops shaving or going for a haircut becoming oblivious to the tattering clothes on his body, or the strange stares of people as he stands up on a makeshift podium to make an impromptu speech asking the people to sign on his signature campaign, or, to the boys who pelt him with stones as he walks by. Contrast this to the scenes with him as the smiling father laughing away at his daughter’s pranks, or making plans for her future and you see one of the most memorable performances come alive on screen by any actor in any language in the history of Indian cinema. This is perhaps Mithun’s best performance ever, Mrigaya (1976) and Tahader Katha, notwithstanding. Shweta Prasad as the adolescent daughter Anjana is a natural performer who does not betray any awe about acting with one of the best actors Indian cinema has ever produced. Krishnakishore Mukherjee as the kindly but stern DM and Jishu Sengupta as the conscience-ridden police officer are very good too as are Bulbul Choudhury as the concerned neighbour and Rahul Prasad as her grandson.

Nachiketa who has done the musical score for the film, revives an old folk number sung by young brides and marriageable girls. The song offers a point of relief in the tragic story of love on the one hand and the strength of the human spirit on the other. The music has a gentle flow to it, in harmony with the river flowing along. Rajen C Kothari’s cinematography is low-key and subtly captures the village ambience with its browns and ambers aesthetically. Shot almost entirely on location along the banks of the river Bhagirati, in a village called Naliapur in Burdwan district, the film is a rich visual experience. Anup Mukherjee’s sound design flows like the soft and soothing waves of the Keleghai river. Sanjib Dutta’s editing does justice to the dramatic changes in the mood of the film from innocent joy, to a bonding between two individuals, through shock, grief, moving from the village to the neighbouring town into government offices to village market places and streets only to come back, like the proverbial bad coin, again and again, to the banks of the Keleghai river. Chanda’s dialogue retains the local inflections of the Bengali dialect spoken by the region the film portrays.

There are three National Award winners sharing the credits of the film. One is director Samir Chanda himself who, as production designer, has won several National Awards, Mithun Chakraborty is another National Award winner several times over and the third is Shweta Prasad, who won the National Award for the Best Child Artiste in 2003. But these hardly count in a film where the contribution of every single member of the team speaks for itself. One hopes Chanda sustains the spirit of excellence and dedication he reveals in his first film, much like his protagonist’s single-minded dedication to attain an incredible goal. In a film like this, you can cheerfully forget the story it has been adapted from. For Ek Nodir Galpo, the film is the story.

Source :


Preview: Minister Phatakeshto

Mithun Chakraborty  MLA turned Home Minister calls for discipline and pro-people attitude although has few  co-ministers against him. With  his usual dialogue “ Marbo ekaney , Lash podbe soshane”( shall hit you here , but your body will fall at crematorium)  bashes the goons right , left and middle. With  his lady reporter reporting everything in “Star Ananda” a TV channel run by  The Telegraph .

 Chief Minister(Soumitra Chatterjee) is in favor of  Fatakeshto . With 4000 Cores loss in Finance Department,  Mithun the Home Minsiter vows to take Finance Ministry and recover the loss in 7 days time. CM also bestows duty to Mithun removing the FM(one of the goons).  With lot many hurdles on the way Mithun recovers almost 3700 Cores  loss by booking ministers for their misappropriation of funds  but is left out with 300 Cores balance.

 In the meantime the arch villain calls all his group and plans to finish Fatakeshto.. Further he also calls for 48 Hours “Bangla Bandh” which Mithun stops with his muscles. Arch Villain  finally mixes dangerous germs in mineral water bottles and kills around 50 children in Bengal. This forces Mithun to bow down  in front of the arch villain and request for life saving medicine lying with him to save the suffering children. With someone reporting about the mineral water mischief , Mithun  gets the arch villain arrested for crime soon.

 In the final show down, the left out 300 Croes is being collected  through public donations dropped in big mud hundies(Lakshmi Badh). The villain comes out of jail on bail and loots the booty and takes it to an unknown destination to make Mithun responsible for the theft. One of the ministers who was with the villain somehow changes mind and  informs Fatakeshto(Mithun) the location  where the booty is hidden at. CM  requests Mithun to go back to his role of GOONDAGARDI to recover people’s money. Finally Mithun wears “KRRISH” type dress and jumps into the den La’ Hrithik Roshan . He fights around 200 to 300 karate masters and finally kills the villain and captures the booty. The lost money is being returned to CM and the film ends.

 As usual Mithun Chakraborty as Minister Fatakeshto excels in the role dancing, bashing goons and dialogue bazi all around. The title song is attractive but others are not worth mentioning. The film opened to 100 collection on day one all over West Bengal.

Rs.2 Cores have been spent on the film  for the first time ever and this is the first sequel film in Bengali Film Industry too . This may give berth to lots of sequels from now on. The film is expected to collect the spent money in its 2 weeks run all around Bengal. Me and Lord watched the shooting of the film. Dada wears the white shirt and pant  all through the film. We too interviewed  Mithun in the same dress shown in the film and he took photograph with us too in the same dress which he had worn in the film.

By : T.R.Anand


A Triumphant Doll


Cast: Pran, Mithun Chakraborty, Nandana Sen

Director: Goutam ghose

Duration: 140 minutes

Released: 1998

Language: Urdu/Hindi



This forgotten gem from Indian cinema was a worthy tribute dedicated to ray by its maker, it works as a political satire but above all it’s an emotional drama which captivates you with its trivial details.

It is also the last great performance by Pran as khan sahib, the great legend who is one of the most versatile actors on Indian screen, along with the great Mithun, playing the central character as Johnny, this subversive political satire becomes an un-miss able movie in every context.


It will be an understatement to say sparks fly when the two great actors rub shoulder on screen, the chemistry between the duo is scintillating, to say the least and they are perfectly cast as an aging Muslim pathan ventriloquist and a young angry man who comes to be his pupil, learning the trade from the master who has devised a giant sized puppet doll as a showcase for passing satirical comments on politics and religion.


This seems to be inspired by real life theatrical events from Mumbai where the Parsi community used to perform these kind of plays and it seems they were very popular at one time as well, I don’t know the details however the puppet is dressed and acts like a chaste young Muslim girl, dressed in virginal white and seems to be a cultural symbol singing ghazals and acting as an Umrao Jaan, its delightful to see it sing and dance as well as mock the society in a subtle way.


The artist who has invented the doll is dying of a terminal illness and bequeaths his cherished puppet to Mithun, who becomes obsessed with the Gudia, so much so that his girlfriend starts feeling neglected and jealous of the doll, the sequences where Nandana Sen tries to adopt the look of the doll act like her to get more attention from her boyfriend are very gripping yet essentially reflect on the feminine nature.


The doll assumes a real identity thanks to the masterful script and the directors skills and its fascinating to see Pran and Mithun adorably dressing her and decorating her to make her look more beautiful then ever and her mannerisms and the lines she utters are charming, yet devastatingly satirical of our social and political system, Johnny reinvents the doll with modern clothes and pop music to attract an audience and his efforts pay off in a big way..


Nevertheless the act gets very real with Mithun in charge and the local politicians are alarmed by the popularity and start seeing it as a threat to their ambitions, as the doll questions the political morality of our system and her remarks start to stir popular unrest amongst the ordinary people, it almost starts a rebellion.


This is not acceptable to the beaurucracy and as Mithun turns down their bribes to tone down the show they instigate a riot with the help of some local gangsters where the doll is symbolically stripped and raped, while Mithun and the audience are beaten mercilessly, the shameless act while comprising the climax is so relevant to our prevalent culture where nothing except naked greed is sacred.


The scenes where Mithun is shown holding the desecrated doll and weeping are memorable as are the dialogues and expressions of this great actor in that sequence alone.


I wonder why despite movies like Mrigya and Gudia, Mithun never got the acclaim he deserved from Hindi cinema, indeed this movie is proof enough that his second to no one else.


The direction, makeup and background score help to make this a haunting experience and the camerawork with the giant doll and the ventriloquistic details is a triumph in itself, a difficult act to accomplish but made to look seamlessly natural ,thanks to the cast and crew


This is essential viewing for all who enjoy meaningful well made cinema which is entertaining as well as realistic, a virtue fast disappearing from cinema world over


The movie was deserved acclaimed at festivals world over and is a cult classic.

Rating: * * * * *


By : Usman Khawaja




Mithun’s master act in Mrinal’s masterpiece

Writer and Director: Mrinal Sen

Cast: Mithun Chakraborty and Mamta Shanker

Language: English, Hindi and Urdu [fascinating]

Duration: Perfect

Rating: A genuine masterpiece

Awards: All the national awards plus a lot of international awards


This is a testament to the great talent of Mrinal Sen and Mithun, who is the only actor in the history of Indian cinema to win the laurels [national and international awards] in his debut act.


It is indeed a sheer pleasure to see him play a fearless young tribal man, proud and noble, exuding raw energy in every frame in a simple langooti [loincloth].

He is the son of the local village headman, somewhere in the mountains of north-eastern India. In the last days of British Raaj, who loves a local young woman [Mamta], she happens to be abducted by a local money lender, in lieu for the debt of ten rupees owed by her father to the Mahajan, who is the local equivalent of shylock,

except this man holds nothing sacred, whether a human  life or a woman’s virtue, he violates every code of ethics, in one scene where a child is eaten by a tiger he consoles the bereaving family by telling them at least they have one less mouth to feed.


So begins the Royal Hunt [Mrigaya], a proud warrior on a quest alone against a corrupt system, a solo young man in search of justice even if it has to be self acquired and a landmark in world cinema.


I say so because the remarkable similarities between this movie and Apocalypto are too many to be coincidental, only Mel Gibson has not given any comments on his inspiration.


The character of the hunter who is also the quarry is a unique portrayal by Mithun, his eyes glowing like fireballs set against his darkly handsome countenance with his superb physique, and he looks more like a jaguar on the hunt which is indeed royal by any comparison.


The subplot of his brief friendship with the local Anglo administrator who befriends him and becomes his ardent admirer in respect of his unique hunting talent is a very relevant comet on the colonisation of India and the evils and benefits we derived from that experience. The sympathetic English woman who plays the wife of the commissioner is a symbol for the virtues the British brought to India along with the corruptions as well.


The setting is natural, no sets are erected, and it’s the adivasi village and the colonial mansion and the forest which is the playground for this master class in how to direct an entertaining movie on a shoestring budget.


The symbolic white costumes reflect the purity of the two main characters, as does the rest of the simple yet totally relevant wardrobe used in the movie, the whites contrast brilliantly with the beautiful black Dravidians bodies of Mithun and Mamta, a tribute to the natives of the sub-continent.


The cinematographer is superb in the manner he conveys the calm and quiet, yet the frenzy of the climax, the movie is shot in various techniques, maybe one of the first movies in India where the camera is being handheld to convey the feelings and experiences of the characters directly to the audience.


The luscious greens of the tea estates and the rocky terrain alternatively help to build the mood of the movie from a soft core to a terrifying climax; the landscape plays a vital role in storytelling.


The background musical score is authentically ethnic as is the movie with tribal women chanting in local dialect melodiously while reaping the harvest or the simple tabla playing in frenzy in the chase sequences culminating in a frantic mood.


The director is brilliant, to say the least, every sequence is meticulously planned and the brilliant scene in the colonial compound where the triumvirate of the English, the old Muslim guardsman and Mithun talk about the remains of a human skull dig out from the grounds reflecting on the vanity of human existence is uniquely executed in English, Urdu and Hindi languages, symbolising the rich culture of the paradox that India is, and yet Mrinal Sen doesn’t betray his characters or the audience into sentimentality or unnecessary violent gore, a tribute to his aesthetic sense and to his cinematic genius.


He succeeds in making a master thriller without any stuntmen or special effects, a lesson for today’s filmmakers who have turned our cinema into a circus, Mithun has done all his stunts from the archery and the bare hand fights by himself in an extraordinary manner, unique to this actor in an action thriller, the sequence where he chases and captures the deer is proof enough.


But then the final accolade goes to Mithun in a role he was born to play, he symbolises India itself, raped, pillaged and exploited yet defiant and proud and eternal, blessed with the soul of a martyr yet humane enough to break  the chains that try to bind it from time to time.


They say every true artist is born to do one solo act that justifies their god given talent, Mithun is indeed blessed he found his dream come true in his debut role,

he is a spontaneously natural actor and doesn’t need the help of Methodism, he was perfectly cast and delivered more then required in this Indian masterpiece, there aren’t enough adjectives in English language to praise this performance, in a simple loincloth, his eyes doing most of the talking and his superb body language expressed by his perfectly athletic frame, he is stunning.


Mamta with her innocent looks and simple beauty devoid of any makeup matches him all the way; she too wears the same costume throughout the movie.


The movie was made at a time when glamour was the order of the day in Hindi cinema, yet this artful but effortless simplicity was a slap in the face for the makers who were exploiting and still are the simple audience by cheap gimmicks and melodrama.


By : Usman Khawaja


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