Friday, March 23, 2012

Kashmakash - Movie Review

Based on Rabindranath Tagore's 'Naukadubi' this is Rituparno Ghosh's film that was dubbed into Subhash Ghai. Ramesh Chaudhry (Jisshu Sengupta), a romantic booklover and lawyer, is in love with Hemnalini (Raima Sen), an educated well-to-do young lady in Kolkata. Hemnalini's father, a renowned lawyer and his family accept Ramesh as their future son-in-law. On Hemnalini's birthday Ramesh is called away by his father to his village urgently and told that he has to marry an orphan. The father had already promised her mother. Ramesh flatly refuses saying he has also promised that he would marry another girl (Hemnalini) but succumbs to some fine emotional blackmail by the widowed mother and the father.

Post marriage the bride Suseela and the reluctant groom set off in a boat that capsizes - 'naukadubi'. When he comes to, he finds the bride, lying some distance away from him. He takes her home and sets up house but since his heart is with Hemnalini, does not consummate the marriage. One day the naive, rustic, pious and obviously likeable girl asks him why he calls her Suseela when her name is Kamla. Ramesh realises that he got the wrong bride home. He puts her in a school (why?) and instantly tells Hemnalini he wants to marry her - but does not tell her what happened and why (will tell you at the right time). His subterfuge comes to light (how? because the girl knows him only as Dr. Nalinaksh who she thinks she married and not as Ramesh but the girl apparently tells someone tat she is Ramesh's wife). Anyway stuck by this bad news of Ramesh's betrayal. the lawyer father and distraught daughter go to Kasi to recuperate and bump into the good doctor - Nalinaksh. Daughter is drawn to the ageing Nalinaksh and vice versa.

Meanwhile the unfortunate bride (but she really is not - she survives everything - the storm the capsize and even an attempt at suicide) jumps into the river after coming to know that Ramesh had given an advert trying to locate Dr. Nalinaksh. Though given up for dead by Ramesh and others who perform her last rites, she is rescued in Kasi by some sadhus and reinstated as maid in the good doctor's house. Surprisingly no one recognises her, the girl whom the is supposed to have married, including his mother. Anyway the maid recognises the guy as her husband but does not say a word. Ramesh comes to Kasi to perform her final rites and meets Hemnalini. The doctor realises that his wife is his maid thanks to the advertisement that she carries with her all the time and everyone marries whom they were supposed to finally. Alls well and that ends well.

Lots of twists and turns and plenty of drama. And in the end, I liked the all's well that ends well ending. If there is one flaw that comes across to me, it is the lack of deeper emotions or communication  between people who appear to otherwise love one another. But as a story it has a fantastic hook, the exchange of brides unknowingly in the boat capsize soon after the marriage.

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