Death is inevitable, no one can escape it. After our birth the second most eternal truth of life remains death. We all know that but what we don’t know is when it’ll happen and how it’ll come! Besides all our special days within a calendar year there lies a date completely hidden from our attention. And that day can be the last day of our lives. Even our most special days in any year can also turn the last ones of our lives.
Churni Ganguly’s ‘Tarikh’ explores death like never before in any recent Indian Films. The film will bound to make you think about the immortality of life. It tells you to celebrate every moment, every day of your life along with your loved ones apart from the special days as you never know when it’s going to be the last day of your life! It’s a timeless circle of life with lively moments. Director’s philosophy on life and death is brilliantly captured in this unmissable heart touching film.
The film begins on a special date when a wildlife photographer, Dipankar Mitra (Kaushik Ganguly) returns home after completing an assignment of two years. He logs into his facebook account to wish one of his good friends Anirban (Saswata Chatterjee) on his birthday. But after wishing him there, he discovers Anirban’s timeline with full of ‘RIP’ messages. It certainly breaks his heart as he remembers both of them’re together two years back on Anirban’s birthday and they spent wonderful time together at the Westminster Bridge over Thames river in London. The film clearly shows the uncertainty of life yet it makes you learn how to embrace it. At the end of the day we all have to live within our timeline- neither a day less nor a day more!
As life comes with a timeline, our Social Media handles too offer us timelines where we speak, share and engage people with our effective posts. It’s an important tool which provides us platforms where everyday we write our own stories, quite unconsciously! But when we won’t be there in this world all of our stories will be there through which we’ll get the immortality just like Anirban Gupta (Saswata Chatterjee) in the film. ‘Tarikh’ makes you believe that social media is a commitment just like our own relationships.
On another note, it celebrates friendship of all ages. The three lead characters Anirban (Saswata Chatterjee), Ira (Raima Sen) and Rudrangshu (Ritwick), in spite of their differences are connected to each other with pure friendship. Georgina Abbott the wonderful woman and Dipankar Mitra the wildlife photographer,
both of them are very good friends of Anirban in London. Haimanti (June Malia) is a good friend of Ira from her workplace. Ira’s mother, Kaberi (Anashua Majumdar) is like a silent pillar, Ira’s mother-in-law Chitralekha (Aloknanda Roy) is more of a friend to Ira, Anirban and Rudrangshu over a mother-in-law, mother and a childhood friend’s mother, and most importantly all the students of Anirban share a unique friendship bond with their beloved teacher cum guide.
The film is an eye opener for the people who always try to find the similarities in their partners and when they don’t get it, they don’t invest in their relationships. A healthy relation is meant by understanding, not by our similarities. Everyone expects the person in their life should understand them but many of them don’t ever try to understand the other. And After a point when someone losses the other permanently by then only he or she understands the person better. But we can’t go back in times to relive the moments with the person we lost for forever. Tarikh makes us more conscious about everything we do, about everyday we live and about every moment we breathe!
POSITIVES:- It’s not at all easy to make a film on various thoughts which come to our minds in different times of life on death, immortality, friendship, social media, relationships, idealism, political views, social change, revolution but Churni Ganguly’s ‘Tarikh’ captures it all with ease. The storytelling is quite unique as it doesn’t follow the usual pattern instead it goes against the tide. The film goes back and forth in time with special dates, near ones and facebook posts. Storytelling, character development and dialogue writing are absolutely SPOT ON! The way the director defines death while comparing it with a countryside sailing boat, boatman, and river, is absolutely MIND BLOWING. With ‘Tarikh’ as a director Churni Ganguly surpasses her National Award winning first film ‘Nirbashito’.
Gopi Bhagat’s DOP is out of the world. This is undoubtedly the best shot Bengali film of this year so far. The way he captures Westminster Bridge over Thames river and the royal church Westminster Abbey, is phenomenal. Raja Narayan Deb’s music and background score is Magnificent. What a beautiful traditional folk song ‘Sagarkuler Naiya’ is! Sagardweep Deb’s voice is surely melt your heart whereas Rupankar Bagchi’s ‘Bondhu’ is an instant charbuster. Special mention for Anirban Sengupta’s wonderful sound design.
Saswata Chatterjee as an idealist professor ‘Anirban Gupta’ gives a fantastic performance. The way he portrays the character of a loner, is SPLENDID.
Raima Sen as ‘Ira Mukherji’ delivers a remarkable performance. This is undoubtedly her best performance till date. Ritwick Chakraborty as ‘Rudrangshu Nandi’, is electrifying in his realist character. Kaushik Ganguly comes in a cameo yet he makes you feel mesmerized with his powerful screen presence. June Malia as Haimanti Acharya is effective. Anashua Majumdar as Ira’s mother ‘Kaberi’ and Aloknanda Roy as Anirban’s mother, ‘Chitralekha’ are impressive. The little kid Adolina Chakraborty as ‘Niharika’, is really adorable! All the young students deserve a special mention.
NEGATIVES:- The film has pacing issues, specially in the second half. Few of the scenes are little longer than the usual. The entire social media angle could have been more effective.
FINAL WORDS:- ‘Tarikh’ is a must watch for every sensible person. It’s modern, intelligent, sensitive and thought provoking. Don’t miss this true cinematic gem at any cost.