Durga Pujo review - Festivals may be over, but not the lingering fever

Durga Pujo review - Festivals may be over, but not the lingering fever
Written Interviews
Movie Rated

To a non-resident of Bengal, Kolkata is the city of yellow taxis, tea that’s available in earthen pots, Howrah Bridge, and most importantly…the city that grandly celebrates Durga Pujo in Autumn. For the uninitiated, the original festival is actually celebrated in the spring season, in some of the remote villages of Bengal. The Durga Puja is originally called the ‘Basanti Puja’ in Bengali. Mythically, it has been said, that Lord Rama, did the rituals in the offseason, to seek the blessings from the Goddess, he prayed for five long days for will power and physical strength, before his massive battle against Raavan to save Sita. Before ‘Jai Shree Ram’ became a nationally chanted political cry, it was the cry which gave followers of Rama a mythical form of energy, that would enable them to fight against the evil power that possessed Raavan in Sri Lanka. Along with mythology, the five parts docu-series explores a Kolkata, which isn’t very famous. It would be wrong to write that the HoiChoi documentary explores the side of the city that hasn’t been touched before, because… by now, unless you are breaking and entering the office of the Chief Minister to investigate the Saradha scam, Kolkata, the city, hardly has anything new to offer. (Yes! aspiring filmmakers get that straight). So how does the series stand apart from the rest? Durga Pujo, the documentary is an effort to bring out the efforts of the artists behind the creation of the 6 days long festival. Who makes these thematic pandals and how? It’s the narration of a child who has set out to know the truth, which is often subjective. It’s quick. It’s short. It’s simple. Originally that’s the purpose of a documentary film. It becomes evident that this documentary is the work of a newbie when the objectivity fails to keep up and becomes an interpretation of the narrator. Some of us are watching this docu-series after a well-spent Durga Pujo in Kolkata. Confessedly, maybe the lingering fever is partly playing a role in the likeability factor of the series. Rating: 4/5

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