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Indubala Bhaater Hotel episode 1-4 review: Subhashree Ganguly’s drama needs more episodes to leave a mark

The strategy of releasing just four episodes dampens the spirit of Kallol Lahiri’s original work

Indubala Bhaater Hotel episode 1-4 review: Subhashree Ganguly’s drama needs more episodes to leave a mark
Subhashree Ganguly

Last Updated: 12.52 PM, Mar 09, 2023


Story: It is a journey of a woman, Indubala (Subhashree Ganguly), now a septuagenarian, who came from erstwhile East Pakistan (now Bangladesh) to Kolkata after marriage. Indubala loves to cook and derives pleasure from feeding people. The characters make an entry and exit in Indubala’s life through their association with the dishes that she cooks. 


Review: Kallol Lahiri’s Indubala Bhaater Hotel is a phenomenally hit novella in Bengali literature in recent times. One of the reasons behind this wide popularity of the book is perhaps the way the author brings in Bengali’s culinary supremacy and blends it with a woman’s emotional journey in the backdrop of an influx from Bangladesh in the late ’60s, and early ’70s. Just the first four episodes are evidently not enough to capture the novella’s overarching appeal.

Indubala Bhaater Hotel is also about the desolation of uprooted human characters who are forced to leave their familiar comfort and migrate to an unknown destination. The series captures that pathos beautifully. It resorts to soulful music to move forward in narration. The pace falters here and there due to overt melancholy and sentiments. Yet its moderately progressive approach in its storyline helps the narration to move forward. Iman Chakraborty’s Pakhider Smriti deserves a special mention for its lyrics, composition, and rendition.  

Also read: Indubala Bhater Hotel teaser: A melodious song captures Subhashree’s character

The strength of the episodes is the delectable characters and their acting skills. Right from Angana Roy as Sanchari and Debopratim Dasgupta as Dhanada to Pratik Dutta as Ratanlal Mullick and Mithu Chakraborty as Indubala’s mother-in-law – everyone is impressive in their presentation. Angana and Debopratim need special mention for their free-flow natural presentation. Parijat Chaudhuri plays the young Indubala with perfect innocence. 

Subhashree is the backbone of the narration. She is outstanding when she plays her age. However, the overwhelming prosthetic makeup makes her look unreal. Meanwhile, when she portrays the younger version of Indubala, she appears astounding. In certain shots, especially when she quietly burns her passport or when she retaliates to her husband about his thievery on a firm note, she owns the show completely. Some beautiful images are also presented to depict rural Bangladesh. 

Also read: Debaloy Bhattacharya on Indubala Bhaater Hotel: Subhashree Ganguly doesn’t show off, but her performance speaks

Verdict: This discontinuity is irksome. Indubala Bhaater Hotel is a deeply emotional drama that essentially deserves to be seen at a stretch to leave a mark. After watching the first four episodes, it seems like the series is mistreated by the platform. For those, who are yet to watch it, the suggestion of the viewer would be to watch it in one go after the other episodes are dropped on march 24.


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