We find movies which are good, bad, excellent or unable to etch any mark. Some break the box office collection whereas some fail to nail it. Nevertheless there are few movies eligible enough to be called as cult or epic movies. Srijit Mukherjee’s “রাজকাহিনী”( Rajkahini) is one of those kind.
The grand cinematic canvas, the thrilling background music, the enthralling dialogues, and the acting prowess of almost all the characters, may it be supporting actors like Fatima, Sujan, the inspector,Rubina, the Nawab, or lead actors namely Rituparna Sengupta as Begum Jaan, Sashwata, Abir, Kausik Sen and Jisshu Sengupta all breathe a life into the characters and give them an epic dimension. Child Artist Ditipriya as Bunuchki একটাই দৃশ্যে সকলকে সুধু তাক লাগায় নি, নারিয়ে রেখে দিয়েছে (not only astonished but move us from within).
The movie undoubtedly has a larger than life approach to all the contemporary evils still existing in the society. Women abuse, escapism of the government, communal disharmony, sadistic approach of the patriarchal society, terror of the goons, heartrending condition of the refugees during and after the partition in contrast to the Republic Day Parade as farce is commendable and ironic.
The partition brings a state of turmoil and unrest especially at the bordering villages n homes through which the Radcliffe Line will pass separating the limbs of India forever. The line is to pass through the brothel run by Begum Jaan and the necessity of a nearby check post demands the uprooting of Begum Jaan’s aashiyana and it’s existing members.
Its difficult to imagine such situations in today’s scenario but not practically unbelievable. Many a times while watching the movie we were shocked and shaken. Its a plot that revolves around women who fought for their freedom during independence against the male dominated society, against all odds and conspiracy.
Special mention to the dialect, tone and voice modulation of Rituparna. This character is definitely going to add feathers to her career. The controlled acting of Sashwata where an otherwise innocent boy turns into an ice cold calculating brute due to the turn of events is commendable. Kaushik Sen delivers his part with honest credulity. And Jisshu is perhaps the trump card!!! What a movie, what an experience!!!! Srijit Mukherjee has left no stones unturned to bring out the best of everything. The more we say will be too little to for this epic experience.
The music excels with the mellifluous and strong vocals of Rekha Bharadwaj and Shrikanta Acharya. Indronil Dasgupta’s music will surely make you emotional.
The remaining paragraphs of our National Anthem has already been much talked about and hence requires no special mention. All I can say is each and every spectator in the premier gave a standing ovation at the end. It was a moment of triumph for the director,cast and crew as well as the spectators who could experience the grandeur.
The movie ends with Rabindranath Tagore’s lesser known Bharata Bhagya Bidhata while it begins with Sadat Hasan Manto’s ( Pakistani writer) short story KHOL DO…..an excellent contrast to begin and conclude with. Though the second half stretches a bit, no one will get restless because of the emotions attached to it.
This movie is strictly for adults. It contains a lot of physical and emotional violence in all levels that originally took place during the partition to make the movie authentic to the core.
Hats off Srijit da for reminding us our painful past. We will forever be indebted to you for giving life to history and retrospecting it on celluloid. Don’t miss the beginning, end or anything at all !