SHAHJAHAN REGENCY REVIEW - MOVING POETRY ON CELLULOID

SHAHJAHAN REGENCY REVIEW - MOVING POETRY ON CELLULOID

Production House: SVF Entertainment, Matchcut Productions Pvt.Ltd. Cast: Abir Chatterjee, Parambrata Chatterjee, Anjan Dutt, Rituparna Sengupta and Swastika Mukherjee Dialogues: Srijit Mukherjee Music: Prasenjit Mukherjee, Anupam Roy Cinematography: Gairik Sarkar Editing: Pronoy Dasgupta Producers: Shrikant Mohta, Mahendra Soni, Shrijit Mukherjee Story: Mani Shankar Mukherjee Direction: Srijit Mukherjee Premier date: May 10, 2019 Story: The film is a cinematic adaptation of author Mani Shankar Mukherjee's classic novel Chowringee and serves a testament to its timelessness. Rudra, a small-time salesman in Kolkata, is at a loss of words after being shown the door to his job, out of the blues. Borun, an acquaintance, comes to his rescue, to offer him a position as part of the hospitality staff for Kolkata's plush hotel, Shahjahan Regency. The world within the five-star hotel opens Rudra to the so-called elite section of the city, a window into their dirty secrets, non-happening lives that are driven by opportunism. Samiran Bose, the leader of the staff, remains his emotional anchor at hotel. All that Rudra can do is to be a mute witness to the madness that surrounds the guests at his hotel on a daily basis, be it the Agarwals, the Chatterjees or the Sarkars. There's only emptiness all around, but life goes on for Rudra. Artistes’ Performances: Shahjahan Regency, the story is told through the eyes of Rudra, essayed by the ever-formidable Parambrata Chatterjee. Though it's a role that largely remains passive to all the action surrounding his existence, Parambrata takes us through the story with such empathy that you care for him, his near and dear. He underplays the role with such sensitivity and complements the essence of the writing beautifully. Swastika Mukherjee as Kamalini Guha, the hostess of the luxury hotel is a scene-stealer beyond doubt. In a role that could have been mere ramblings of any prostitute, Swastika shows us the gloominess of being treated like a sex-object by every man she meets. Her portrayal of heartbreak has to be seen to be believed. Abir Chatterjee's casual, likeable screen presence is a bonus. The ensemble cast including the likes of Rituparna Sengupta, Anjan Dutt, Kanchan Mullick, Mamata Shankar grab author-backed roles for which they do justice. Technical Merit - Direction: Even though the film is driven by some spectacular performances, no critique on Shahjahan Regency would feel complete without a mention of its unsung hero, Srijit Mukherjee. The filmmaker, who's fast instilling an indelible imprint in the minds of Bengali cinema spectators, stays true to the spirit of the novel on which the film's based. The storyteller is successful in showcasing the timelessness of the writing despite staging it in a modern-day backdrop. Srijit doesn't colour characters good or bad and instead focuses on their complex journeys, which helps a viewer come up with their own impressions. The director makes sure the film is nostalgic, moving, relevant and poetic at the same time. Dialogues: Srijit Mukherjee's dialogue isn't as seamless as his execution. One felt the writer in him could have indulged less with the philosophical undertone of the film. Too much is said and spoken by every character that it becomes difficult to gauge their original emotion. Though dialogues are critical to the impact of any movie, Srijit may have taken more care to understand that it's a visual medium and not an aural one. Perhaps, he got carried away by the writing of the original novel. Cinematography: Emerging cinematographer Gairik Sarkar instills life into his frames and paints a haunting visual portrait of Kolkata a.k.a Calcutta as a city and the complex lives of its residents. Rich visual detailing in coherence with the production design of the film makes a viewer long for the world that the cinematographer creates in the story. Sarkar keeps things real, raw and yet doesn't lose sight of poetry and little nuances. Music: Anupam Roy and Prasenjit Mukherjee share the composing credits for the film, whose soul is driven by its music. Where the direction or the dialogue falls short, the music superbly elevates the emotional value of sequences. The number 'Kichchu Chaini Aami' about the need for love is easily among the best in the film where the musical score encompasses a wide gamut of emotions. More emphasis could have been placed on Rabindra Sangeet, but music does a lot to take the story forward in Shahjahan Regency, which is an achievement in itself. Editing: The film deals with varied, distinct characters, their journeys and they come together beautifully woven like a unit, thanks to Pronoy Dasgupta's work on the editing table. The parallels that the editor and the director together create across multiple characters enhance the viewing experience. Production standards: Srijit Mukherjee's canvas is as beautiful as the story he tries to say. The production quality uplifts the narrative at most junctures and is an inanimate aspect of the film that contributes to the sweeping impact that it generates. Highlights: Sweeping narrative Excellent music Timeless writing Drawback: Overdone philosophical undertones Its overtly pessimistic outlook about life Analysis: Shahjahan Regency is a film that encapsulates the essence of a human's life, their opportunism right under 160 minutes. The Srijit Mukherjee directorial takes a while to draw you into its world, but once it does, it'll keep you glued as long as the narrative lasts. The complex web of characters is alluring to take peek into and the poetic ending makes for a fitting climax. The film touches upon the ephemeral nature of life, the lack of permanence and the importance of moving on. Though it's not exactly realistic, the cinematic appeal of the film is no less stirring. The director smartly manages to give his own, modern-day spin to an old story and proves he's a jewel in the crown of Bengali cinema. Icing on the cake: This is the Taj that Shahjahan would've been proud of Rating: 3.5


Report a problem

WRITTEN REVIEW LIST


Subscribe to our feeds