Tamosha (Rituparna) tries to bury her dark past of being gang-raped and climbs the social ladder with the help of some lustful men. Can she heal her scars?
For the average Bengali film audience, Dharasnan is an intriguing-enough name to come by. Coupled with a Haranath Chakraborty directorial, who is known for his in-your-face masala hits, it raises the curiosity. Though there may be points in the film’s runtime where you cringe, it is not only because you don’t want such drama on screen. That’s where the film scores.
True, it requires a different milieu and a niche audience to completely relate to and appreciate the film’s take on a woman’s struggle to live life on her own terms. But it’s not as simple a script as that. It doesn’t raise any feminist voice, it only tells the story of a middle-class woman from the suburbs with dreams and desires. And yes, you cringe not at the plot, not at the performances, not at the direction but at the cruelty of fate, wondering at times how such depressing incidents can happen, one after another, in a person’s life.
That doesn’t make the script any weaker though. It is only difficult to fathom at times. But the lack of believability is replenished by some good performances. Rituparna essays the central character with an ease she is so used to in serious women-centric films. It’s not only when she cries, it’s also when she laughs and romances that she gives a good performance. Her character goes through the widest range of emotions through the film — an aspect every heroine looks for in her role. And she does justice to them. For Kanchan Mallick again, there is scope to prove his versatility, and he uses it well. He is a revelation for the audience that hasn’t probably seen him outside comic characters.
There’s a scene where Kanchan’s character, the sickly husband, is not eating at the dinner table. Tamosha, who was tricked into marrying him and abhors him, shows concern. The concern that is nothing more than occasional sympathy is nicely played out between the two. But you may question at this point in the film, why does she not leave him nor accept him, nor be genuinely duty-bound to him? You get an answer later on, but that’s not completely satisfactory.
Certain developments in the film show Tamosha as someone whose dreams begin and end with marrying the brightest young man. And this is exactly where Bhumika (Disha) plays her alter ego. With the same burning desire to live life like Tamosha does — but with the help of an ideology that doesn’t allow her to stray — Bhumika often recalls her freedom-fighter grandfather’s struggles. She even refuses the man in her life because he backtracks when he needs to support her and her beliefs. So far, it’s all good . But she starts remembering her grandfather far too often — when she sees an upside-down flag hoisted, when she realises her love, when she is thankful to her saviour and so on.
The other characters — Hara babu (Biswajit), Prasanta (Suman), Bhumika’s father (Sumanto Mukhopadhayay) and Bhumika’s mother (Sreela Majumdar) — have given honest performances. It’s a story that’s depressing to the core but a film that may be the unfortunate reality for some women.