Tag Archives: psychological

The Top Floor (Short Film)

 

A man, quite listlessly clambers up the flight of steps of his own apartment. He feels alienated in his own environs – a crucial product of the so-called complacent city-life. He even thinks, with doubt, which door-bell to press. Note the absurdity in the fact that he has to press his door-bell to enter into his own room. He enters into his own room stealthily, like a thief. There he encounters a person sitting who seems to be similar to him from different angles, apparently. But, the stranger’s voice has a tone of neglected appeal, though the voice may be the same as of the first person. After that follows a series, though a few, of events and dialogues that tell upon the entrant’s mind. He is stunned to see his own self in a different disguise and in a different form altogether. Will he realize how far he has gone away from his own self during all these years he has been living in this city of dreams? Also there is a zooming in of the camera on the switchboard where once one switch is switched on and the next moment it’s off. The main character does not notice it, as usual. It is as if God hides things from us by putting them just around us and everything has not the satisfactory explanation, howsoever.

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Friends (Short Film)

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The film picks up momentum with a phone call. A person receives the call and sets out helter-skelter to reach the place of the shocking incident that’s said to him over the phone. What he thinks and feels while being there is the staple of the film. I won’t divulge anything more till the film is watched. It’s up to the viewers to make sense out of the scenes in the film and form their own, free views on this piece. So, sit back and watch the film and forge your own opinions along the way. Enjoy watching!

N.B. Short films should be watched with rapt attention as they end before they start. Every frame can potentially deliver a message.

Written & Directed by Purnendu Dey


Review on Satyajit Ray’s ‘Aranyer Din Ratri’

Film Poster

Life Elusive Captured in Frames!

Film: Aranyer Din Ratri (Days and Nights in the Forest), 1970
Story: Sunil Gangopadhyay, Direction: Satyajit Ray
Cinematographer: Purnendu Bose
Music: Satyajit Ray
Editor: Dulal Dutta
Art director: Ashoke Bose, Bansi Chandragupta
Cast: Sharmila Tagore, Kaberi Bose, Simi Garewal, Soumitra Chatterjee, Subhendu Chatterjee, Robi Ghosh, Samit Bhanja, Aparna Sen, Pahadi Sanyal and others
Rating: 8.7/10

Adapted form Sunil Ganguly’s story, the film zooms in on the vagaries and vicissitudes of the then bourgeoisie and their disillusionment with their state of affairs. A motley quartet ventures into the woods of Palamau to spend some days in order to extricate themselves from the trammels of their ordered social and city life. Culled from the various strata in the middle class the four characters reflect completely different attitudes bound by a thread of friendship. ‘Breaking the rules’, they drop anchor at a government forest bungalow without the required permission, consequently browbeating, and finally bribing the chowkidar, putting his job at stake. They remain unshaven, exchange diatribes at a local arrack shop and indulge in a drunken twist causing problem to vehicles. Their behaviour with and indifference (frequently found among the bourgeois people) of the lower orders of the society and their suffering, quite often verging on brutality, may make them, for the time being, unlikeable; but their innocent and ignorant self-esteem doing them in at last draws back our sympathy once again. Ashim (as Soumitra Chatterji) loses his self-confidence finally after the memory game; Sanjoy (as Subhendu Chatterji) finds himself hollow as a man in front of a seductive Jaya; Hari himself mislays his wallet but beats the local boy Lakhai which rebounds on him at last; Shekhar (as Rabi Ghosh) is only the man who escapes much of the humiliation because of his hilarious nature.

Their unexpected spotting, one morning, of two ladies of their social stratum within the tribal village brings them back, somewhat, to their superficial selves and they try to meet them in person and try their own hands at flirting. Though a forging of relationships is on the way under the hammer-blows of a set of consecutive meetings between the opposite sexes, yet each of the conceited quartet is blown to bits as the women come up trumps. Each of the quartet is chastened in their own way near the end of the film, and the women, winners in the beginning, appear to be pale, gloomy and their voices plangent beneath their jocund exterior and mellifluous chatter and pithy elicitation.

Like in most of Ray’s films, here also, the characters smile, but they find it rather painful to laugh. Though it is a matter of pity that a film of this momentousness received a lukewarm response form the native audience and critics when it was screened, yet it, then, was, and still is, a surefire narration of epic dimensions and the film’s aura doesn’t seem to dim even though it is watched over and over again. Unfortunately, they, who search for a single and simple theme in a film like this, will not be able to comprehend herein the interplay of various themes. Ray once said regretfully in a Sight & Sound interview, “The film is about so many things, that’s the trouble. People want just one theme, which they can hold in their hands.” He likened the structure of the film to a fugue, where disparate elements appear, develop interwoven, transformed pitted in a balanced way against each other.

Lastly, the memory game sequence in the forest is as much psychological as it is appealing. Ray’s astute handling of the mise-en-scene surpasses every character study heretofore attempted. Aparna pulls out when only Aparna and Ashim are left in the fray. Sexual undercurrents and each one’s mental preferences are reflected during the game. With the forest as the setting the visitors engage in a primitive game of dethroning the other with one’s mental might. The mysterious forest exudes revelations of the highest order at once perceivable and profound to be taken into, absorbed and preserved for perennial use by the unfortunate and innocent souls, who often get consumed with the fire of self-esteem and self-satisfaction thereby closing doors to experience and knowledge that’s omniscience in it’s vastness and immanence.