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Mother superior

Starring: Samadarshi, Sohini Sengupta, Bidita Bag, Ruplekha, Bratya Basu, Mithu Chakrabarty

Directed by: Shiboprosad Mukhopadhyay and Nandita Roy

Somewhere in the middle of Ichche, protagonist Samik (Samadarshi) breaks down in front of his mother, Mamata (Sohini Sengupta), saying: ‘Tumi jitey gachho Ma.’ It’s one of the many heart-rending scenes in the film that took three years to release. One wonders why, given that Tolly star Rituparna Sengupta is the film’s presenter.

The director duo sure took a risky road for a debut. Forget the hero-heroine, Ichche’s backbone is an over-possessive mother and her son who dotes on her but also finds her overbearing affection very stifling. Mamata is so annoying at times that you thank god for not having a mom like her back home!

The wife of a government employee (Bratya Basu), Mamata’s universe revolves around her only son. From polishing his shoes to choosing what T-shirt he should wear, it’s the only life she has ever known.

All that is fine till the son enters his teens and tastes the first flush of romance. A villainous Mamata hits him where it hurts by reading out his love letter to his friends. She even threatens his love interest Debjani’s (Ruplekha) family with dire consequences if the girl continues to see her son. A seething Samik takes revenge by skipping his IIT exams.

In college, Samik falls in love with the bubbly chatterbox Jayanti (Bidita). The hawk-eyed mother gears up to break this relationship too. She makes a grand plan of bringing Debjani back into Samik’s life. But this time she fails.

After her top-notch act in Aparna Sen’s Paromitar Ekdin, theatre actress Sohini is back in her elements as Mamata. It would be nice to see more on the big screen.

Samadarshi is brilliant as the youth torn between his loyalty to his mother and his need to break free from her iron grip. His chemistry with Bidita is sizzling, specially when the two lock lips. Twice! Both Ruplekha and Bidita are easy in front of the camera. And Bratya, as the couldn’t-care-less father, draws the loudest laughs.

The only niggle is the length two hours and forty-five minutes. But if you have the ichchhe to watch a film that does it differently, don’t give Ichche a miss.

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