Praktan: ‘Formerly Yours’!
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Reviewer’s Thumb Mark
Praktan is a train Journey from Mumbai to Howrah and in its course of journey the train chugs through different stations of life of its passengers in one of the first class Ac coach. The film shuttles through the past and the present, changing tracks so aesthetically that you carry a heart full of memories of its passengers you met on screen. It leaves you to imagine and wish the probable future you would like to see them have in their lives. The passengers comprises of an elderly couple seen off by their son and daughter-in-law; a bunch of musicians who make the film’s narrative lively and interesting by rendering some memorable tunes and songs; a newly married couple who are still stuck in their happy space of honeymoon and probing each other to know their past affairs keep the film and the viewers in good humour; a chatter-box and typical Bengali mother - Malini, her sweet daughter and her husband who joins the journey from Nagpur adds the necessary twists and turns to the story and keeps it intriguing; and finally an architect Sudipa who has many memories to revisit in this journey.
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The elderly couple’s roles are played by the veterans Soumitra Chatterjee and Sabitri Chatterjee; the musicians are played by Anindya Chatterjee, Upal Sengupta, Anupam Roy and Shurojit Chatterjee; the newly married couple is played by Biswanath Basu and Manali Dey; and the Bengali mother is played by Aparajita Adhya. All the characters are well etched and leave a sweet and lingering impact on us.
Regional films are no more regional I guess, after seeing the kind of warm welcome they receive from the viewers across the country and globe. Sairat and now Praktan have joined the league of popularity these regional films are getting for the kind of originality and freshness they bring in for cinema lovers.
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Prosenjit Chatterjee and Rituparna Sengupta starring Bengali film Praktan, directed by the successful filmmaker duo Nandita Roy and Shiboprasad Mukhopadhya is special for one more reason because the lead protagonists – Prosenjit and Rituparna – are coming together after a long hiatus between them. Prosenjit and Rituparna playing the young and the mature character are fabulous in their performance. Prosenjit as a passionate tour guide and Rituparna as a career-driven heritage restoration architect make you relate with self and many around you.
Watching Praktan reminded me of her acting prowess in the film ‘Rajkahini’ which can be best described as a partition period drama made by an acclaimed filmmaker Srijit Mukherjee. Rajkahini was equally intriguing which I saw at ‘I View World International Film Festival’, New Delhi, March 2016 and got an opportunity to interact with her during the panel discussion.
Praktan with its characters and their lives woven with each other directly or indirectly becomes a kaleidoscope rotated by the ace filmmakers to give us the glimpses of changing colors, patterns and shapes of life and to fetch and gather ourselves in those images/reflections produced by the bits of glass in it. There is a dialogue at a particular instance where the coupe passenger Malini tells Sudipa that she is happy to accept the past, present and the future of her husband as it is and that makes her life beautiful and peaceful. On probing further Malini reveals that adjusting with each other as life partners doesn’t mean losing anything.
Why does this journey become a self-introspection journey for the lead protagonists is something which we need to watch on screen? Brian Weiss in his best seller book ‘Messages from the Masters’ aptly says – “Forgive the past. Learn from it and let go. People are constantly changing and growing. Do not cling to a limited, disconnected, negative image of a person in the past. See that person now. Your relationship is always alive and changing”. So go and watch this quintessential family movie which for sure will offer you a new kind of lens to revisit your life .
Life Connoisseur Movie Rating: 4.5/5
Cast: Prosenjit Chatterjee, Rituparna Sengupta, Aparajita Adhya, Soumitra Chatterjee, Sabitri Chatterjee, Anindya Chatterjee, Upal Sengupta, Anupam Roy, Shurojit Chatterjee, Biswanath Basu, Manali Dey
Genre: Family Drama
Directors: Nandita Roy, Shiboprasad Mukhopadhyay
Producers: Probhat Roy, Gautam Mukherjee
Production Company: Windows, Ardor Entertainment, Eskay Movies
Screenplay: Nandita Roy
Dialogues: Shiboprasad Mukhopadhyay
Music by: Anindya Chatterjee, Anupam Roy, Radha Raman
Background Score: Binit Ranjan Moitra
Cinematography: Gopi Bhagat
Edited by: Malay Laha
Release Date: 27th May, 2016
Duration: 143 Minutes
Language: Bengali (With English Subtitles)