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Prapti review: Anurag Pati and his team pay a tribute to Buddhadeb Guha

Samadarshi Dutta, Pratyusha Roslin and Debdut Ghosh present a melancholy love story in the backdrop of rural Bihar in the ’80s.

  • Shamayita Chakraborty

Last Updated: 04.32 AM, Jun 13, 2022

Prapti review: Anurag Pati and his team pay a tribute to Buddhadeb Guha
A still from Prapti

Story: Soma (Pratyusha Roslin) is in love with Bedeyda (Samadarshi Dutta) even after she got married to Sunando (Debdut Ghosh). The couple lives in a remote village in Bihar and Soma keeps on writing letters to Bedeyday. One day Bedeyda comes back. The story revolved around their romance and unspoken promises.

Review: Pincurising a Buddhadeb Guha's story is no mean task. Most of them are engrossed with nature. In fact, it was the writer’s strong belief that a distraught mind can find relief in the wild or calm companionship of nature.

Set in Bihar against a rural backdrop of fields and cows and crows and pigeons, Anurag Pati’s film Prapti, based on one of Guha’s poignant narratives, pays tribute to the writer by capturing a compelling portrayal of the complexity of relationships and human character. The film moves beyond the focus of an imagined rural idyll and begins exploring the mind of a middle-class Bengali housewife, Soma.

Soma is in a dilemma as Sunanda, the person she is married to wants to make her happy but in her heart of hearts, she is still single-heartedly in love with Bedeyda, her early flame whom she could not marry but cannot forget. Time and again she opens her jewellery box where she has kept souvenirs from her lover and the fond memories flood back to her. She writes letters to him but they remain unanswered. Then one day she encounters her sweetheart in person when her husband is away. He yearns to rekindle old flames and her apparently manageable emotional state seems to be on the verge of collapse.

This is a bitter-sweet low-key movie, in which the actors face the daunting tasks of portraying myriad facets of social relationships. While the husband-wife scenes are satisfactorily carried off by Debdut, Pratyusha’s performance, in spite of her being in the lead role, is consistently below expectations. Forte of the film lies in the wonderful performance of the supporting actors – Chhotua and his mother. Playing a lonely child’s character is not an easy thing to do, but Chhotua does it with aplomb. Besides, the landscape cinematography is a valuable asset of the film giving viewers an opportunity to explore the rough beauty of rural Bihar. The music of the film never felt abrupt or jarring and supports the storyline.

Verdict: The film was recently screened at the 27th Kolkata International Film Festival in which it received the Hiralal Sen Memorial Award for the Special Jury Award in the Indian Languages' Films Category. At the personal level, this not-too-long film is bound to strike a chord with everyone who has experienced a similar emotional dilemma and isolation. Admirers of Buddhadeb Guha may find an added attraction to seeing how the short story has been transformed into an engaging film.