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Well, perhaps after a few more tries. Now coming to the film. Once Upon a Time: ……….. I remembered the story, some vague impressions of scenes. And I finally remember being slowly drawn and ending up immensely liking it. Because even after almost two decades it remains fresh if not vivid.
Such was the debut of celebrated director- Rituparno Ghosh. But those two are enough to prompt me to try more of his directorial ventures. But that will come later. Some men are standing with lighted torches mashaals in their hands. A man arrives on a horse. That is the Chief, and the men were obviously waiting for him. He eyes a big mansion in front of him, again obviously not with good intent. The Chief orders his men to march ahead and they storm this house. Chief looks for the master of the house, whom he finds under a bed.
Chief of dacoits joins him and asks for the key. Chief gets angry saying that the keys must be with a lady of the house. He looks from under the bed and orders one of his men to drag all the ladies of the house by the hair and bring them here.
You are defying my order. All the ladies of the house have short hair. There now. Chief is momentarily left in silence, before threatening the Master again. Chief and his men now try to open a huge box with the key. They try with a spear, then a stick and finally with a crowbar, upon which the box starts spilling gold coins from the keyhole. The Chief stares at the coins. As he stares the gold coin turns to an ordinary one and the Chief loses his dacoit attire.
The man in whose hands the coin lays was obviously dreaming. During that conversation they end up talking about Ratanlal Banerjee Basanta Choudhary , the village landlord. The light goes. You see it was already a night scene and the lights are gone.
Back then we almost wanted to switch off the T. But coming back. Ratanlal Banerjee is standing before the unfinished idol of Durga Maa. His servant and confidant Panchu Gyanesh Mukherjee , comes and slightly admonishes him for staying awake so late and also worrying unnecessarily.
Banerjee is worried about something. Banerjee might lose all his wealth. Even the Durga Puja will stop. But Panhcu tells him not to worry too much and go to bed. At this moment the credits roll. The dawn comes and some light into the movie too. And from hereon it becomes more interesting. It comprises of an elder son Bishweshwar, his wife Pratima and son Habul.
A youngest son Bireshwar. The second son, Someshwar, is also supposed to come for the Puja along with his wife and daughter Tinni. The drummers arrive. The Durga idol is taking the final form. Meanwhile, a young man arrives in the village. He asks for directions to Ratanlal Banerjees house. To whom do you think, but Shashticharan. When the stranger leaves, Shasthicharan takes off to inform Gopi, that his dream could finally come true.
If he is able to steal this ring that is. Habul opens the door. The man introduces himself as Gandharva Kumar and asks for Ratanlal Banerjee. In fact, when Habul tells him that Mr. But Mr. Banerjee is doing his morning prayers and this will take time. So, the guest is left in charge more or less of Habul. Gandharva Kumar asks Habul to call him Genu Da. Slowly Habul, who of course is of the impressionable age, gets impressed with this Genu Da. Awed rather. Because he knows so many things.
And the small bag jhola Gandharva Kumar carries seems to contain almost everything like Bhanumati ka pitara. This Jack of All man seems to know everything. Who is he? Banerjee finally finishes his prayers. All family arrives in the prayer room to take prasad. Habul arrives last. On which Habul informs his grandfather that he was attending to the guest.
What guest? Habul responds by repeating a sentence which Genu Da had told him to convey to his grandfather. On hearing that sentence both Mr. It is clear that there is a secret which only Mr. Immediately, Mr. Banerjee leaves asking Habul to send Gandharva Kumar to his room. As no one knows the reason behind their father becoming suddenly so upset.
So, what did upset Mr. What is the secret that is shared only by Mr. Why does Mr. Banerjee keeps worrying about loosing his wealth? And not to forget does Shasthicharan succeed in stealing it? Interesting questions. Equally interesting answers. But for that you will have to watch it. The Movie: As I said the movie gets its momentum after the initial minutes. It proceeds with its own sweet, slow, comfortable pace. Yet engaging at the same time. The execution and the simplicity of it all makes the story really engrossing to watch.
The simultaneous depiction of Banerjee household, the drummers, the Puja preparations, the house and people come alive in that short span. A special mention for the dialogues. For interesting dialogues further amp up the script. Here is an instance. Shasthicharan asks Gopi on why he adds impurities to gold more than necessary actually.
It has pure as well as impure substances in it. Both of them together makes it interesting. As a kid back then I too was charmed. So, this time I did a little research on the actor playing it. Ayan Banerjee. It was played by veteran Bengali actor Basanta Chaudhary. Personally I think he was quite a good-looking grandpa.
Rituparno Ghosh: Filmography
Hirer angti by Shirshendu Mukhopadhyay