There’s a notion which we tend we have about artists, mainly painters. They dress differently, they prefer a hairstyle that is not very common and thereby they tend to grab your attention when you see them on the streets. But when you are engaged with them in a personal manner one of the first thoughts you have is if this artist has ever done nude art?
The Engaged Artist fairly explores the mind of two artists and two commoners who find the former’s conscious-unconscious side a little too disturbing to grab. Mira (Harshita Dubey) who is well-associated with band artist Rhea finds it difficult to understand why her artist fiancé Kabir (Sidharth Basu Roy) would ever get the impression that she would want to pose nude for him for a portrait before marriage. Barry (Debashish Halder) a friend of Kabir is quite certain that underneath all the open-minded artist which he explores to be, he is a man who just wants to know if the woman he is engaged to have the perfect body that suits his taste. Within a short span of time, we are introduced to two different kinds of minds finding themselves to be in a difficult place when they associate intimately with the wrong kind of people.
Rhea played by actress Moumita Pandit may act all sexually liberated but deep within she wants a man who is ready to commit to her just like her friend Mira. Whom one relates to completely depends on the kind of environment, exposure every individual has received for over the years. The most soothing moment about The Engaged Artist remains that it has the ability to make the audience learn, and not judge. Writer-director Dibyendu Majumder has been very specific about the usage of words during every conversation among characters. It is more about two characters explaining how they are and being specific about their choices but they do not end up judging each other, instead, they listen. They disagree. They listen again.
Within a short span of time, The Engaged Artist managed to explain to us various aspects of human behaviour what most web-series fail to complete is 10 long season-based series.
For years nudity has been treated as a taboo unless it is exposed within marriage only among husbands and wives. It is only off-late when the Hindi film industry has chosen to touch the uncomfortable topic and explore sex, hormones as a natural, biological process than a taboo. The Engaged Artist does not use nudity as an excuse for publicity either, it happens when it comes as a part of the script and in a sophisticated manner, an adult way of communication.
Actors Moumita Pandit, Harshita Dubey, Debashish Halder, Siddharth Basu Roy and Shubham Bannerjee play the most crucial roles in the film and they carry out their roles with ease. For one moment they make their viewers immediately form an opinion about their character based on their attires, however, when the next moment we are exposed to their vulnerable side, we strangely end up understanding them rather than putting labels.
Art directors Rohan Singh and Turja Ghosh deserve special credit for their contribution to the film shone like the work of an unsung hero. Right from the sets where two characters sip a cup of coffee, to a closed room, everything relates to the day-to-day life we explore which heavily contributed to smooth nature that developed while watching An Engaged Artist.
The artist here is something more than a man who paints for a living. The artist here comes in the form of a part-time-photographer, band singers, and free-minded jobless people who are still figuring out a career scope for themselves. The two artists in this film are two strong-headed people desperately hoping for someone to come and read their soul, but they find it difficult to connect to the right kind of soul. It’s not about finding one’s soul mate but more about understanding what keeps that aloof friend disassociated from his or her circle.