The film: Maya Bazaar by Joydeep Ghosh
The tale: Three short stories — Smriti, Satwa and Bhabishyat — all dealing with those grey areas between life and death, between illusions and reality, comprise Maya Bazaar. Each 30-40 minutes long.
Smriti, based on Sharadindu Bandopadhyay’s Dehantar is about Kuhu (Roopa Ganguly), a widow who can’t come to terms with her husband Bijan Singha Ray’s (Badshah Moitra) death and looks for him in every man she meets. As the men keep disappearing mysteriously, a strange truth about afterlife and the soul comes to the fore, as narrated by Kuhu’s ex-flame, Nishith (Krishnakishore Mukherjee).
Satwa, based on Sharadindu’s Shunyo Shudhu Shunyo Noy, narrates the tale of an artist, Dhritin (Jack), who falls in love with a young girl, Banalata (Payel Dey). Searching for her, he ends up in his friend’s old abandoned house, only to realise she has been dead for over 10 years, yet walks the much-loved corridors. While others deem him insane, he finds solace and a sense of family in her presence.
Bhabishyat, based on Parashuram’s Mahesher Mahajatra, is a debate between two friends and fellow professors on the existence of spirits, of life beyond death and even God. Pradip Mukherjee is the believer, who tries to convince Dhritiman Chaterji, the theorem-spouting non-believer, about afterlife in a drunken binge during a college excursion.
The acting: Krishnakishore’s narration provides the right hook for the ghostly narrative of Smriti, Roopa is great as the frustrated, love-lorn Kuhu, while Badshah handles all his three roles with ease. Despite being a first-timer, Jack carries his part in Satwa with the right amount of artistic wonder and Payel, without a word uttered, is the epitome of innocence. Ray actors Dhritiman and Pradip in Bhabishyat complement each other, thanks to their onscreen camaraderie.