National award winning Filmmaker Suman Ghosh’s latest offering begins with a heartfelt letter which is written by Pranabendu ( Soumitra Chatterjee ) to his son Raja and daughter-in-law Roshni In USA. Pranabendu, a retired barrister ( Soumitra ) and his wife Manjari, a former teacher ( Aparna Sen ) are about to celebrate their 50th wedding anniversary at their royal mansion ‘Komolini.’ As their children, close relatives and friend join them to celebrate the occasion, it makes me feel like witnessing a family that eats together, sticks together. Everyone deep dives into their nostalgic past while recollecting their good old days and fond memories of childhood. Pranabendu talks about their royal blood, aristocracy, glorious legacy of his forefathers and ancestral palaces. His wedding story with his wife sounds so endearing!
But all that glitters isn’t gold. As the evening progresses into night, the aristocracy looks fragile, the sweetness becomes bitterness and finally, the skeleton is out of the bag at the dinner table. The couple might have expected to end the day as one of their happiest ones but sadly, it turned to be a melancholic feeling of incompleteness for both of them.
Basu Paribaar asks few pertinent questions.
What does togetherness mean to you?
Why does one feel empty in spite of a smooth sailing life?
Does staying together mean being together?
POSITIVES: – Basu Paribaar’s basic storyline is inspired by the Irish Novelist James Joyce’s story ‘The Dead’. It’s a wonderful concept to make a film on it and director Suman Ghosh does full justice to it. It’s not that easy to make a family drama with such stellar star cast in less than two hours. And thankfully, the screenplay, execution and direction stand out. Character development and their existing crisis are beautifully told in the narrative.
It boasts of some amazing performances by its ensemble star cast. Soumitra Chatterjee and Aparna Sen Share a wonderful camaraderie. But they’re more effective with their standalone performances in the film. Lily Chakraborty as Pranab’s elder brother’s wife is brilliant; Jisshu Sengupta and Rituparna Sengupta both are superb as siblings, Subhasish Mukherjee as Phatik is excellent, Paran Bandopadhyay as Pranabendu’s friend is very charming, Koushik Sen as Tonu is fantastic whereas Sreenanda Shankar is quite impressive as the wife of Jisshu. Arun Mukherjee is terrific in his brief cameo, Sudipta Chakraborty as Pompi is truly natural and endearing. Last but not least, Saswata Chatterjee as Pranab’s nephew Tublu, gives an outstanding performance. He’s the show stellar right from the word go. There’re several moments in the film where he’s exceptional. Watch out for the scene at the dinner table where he talks with his uncle. His pale face wonderfully captures his everyday pain.
Bickram Ghosh’s music and BGM is splendid. ‘Bhromor Kohiyo Giya’ is beautifully sung by Manomay Bhattacharya. Anirban Sengupta’s sound designing is par excellence. Although the film is shot mostly in indoors yet the DOP Soumik Haldar deserves applause. All the Night sequences shot amazingly! The editor Sujay Datta Ray does a fine job with his razor-tight crisp editing.
NEGATIVES:- Some of the questions remain unanswered. The climax could have been more powerful. The final revelation doesn’t create much impact as it is expected to be! This film only caters to the class audience, not for the masses.
FINAL WORDS: – All said and done, BASU PARIBAAR is a well-made family drama that offers nostalgia, Bangaliana and most importantly, the melancholic feeling of incompleteness! GO FOR IT.