The four movies which I have seen in this year till date have all been in different languages. WAZIR was in Hindi, HO MANN JAHAN was in Urdu, THE REVENANT was in English and the fourth movie which I saw was the Bengali BELA SESHE. BELA SESHE was released sometime last year, and a dear friend of ours who is aware that our passionate preference for watching good movies knows no language barriers, had recently organised for a private screening of this movie. And it was subtitled in English.
BELA SESHE can be translated to mean dusk; in the context of the movie, the publicity blurbs refer to it as “In the autumn of my life”. Amongst the many movies which I have seen whose themes centre around relationships and the issues in these relationships, BELA SESHE stands out as an outstanding effort. In the lead roles are the thespians Soumitra Chatterjee and Swatilekha Sengupta, who are coming together after three decades after their appearance in Satyajit Ray’s GHARE BAIRE. But this movie, directed by the duo Nandita Roy and Shiboprasad Mukherjee isn’t like a typical Ray film. It is full of life, despite being focussed on imperfections in relationships; it does not turn out to be a sermonising affair despite the many lessons hidden in the script and is presented in a manner in which each of us can see some part of ourselves in the deftly and meticulously drawn out characters.
The storyline is very simple; the male partner of the institution of marriage for nearly five decades wanting to be on his own. How that decision impacts his wife and grown up children and how in the process of repairing one relationship, the creases of other relationships get ironed out is brought on the screen in a manner that forces the viewer to examine, become aware and look for solutions from within for the problems hidden in the deep crevices of the individuals and the relationships concerning these individuals.
This is a must see movie, not merely because of its cinematic value, but also for the messages contained therein.
RATING: 4.5 out of 5
January 18, 2015