Directors: Abiyaan Rajhans and Abhigyan Jha
Cast: Sarika, Lynsey Pow, Frederic Andrau, Soumitra Chatterjee
If one hopes to discover the secrets of Wiccan ways in Sacred Evil, directed by Abiyaan Rajhans and Abhigyan Jha, one is in for a major disappointment. Beyond a candlelit session, which doesn’t really lead anywhere except to a few flickers of vague shadows in the background, the story just about treads into the Wiccan world.
Which is a pity, really, considering that the story is supposedly based on a true-life incident of Ipsita Roy Chakraverti, touted as India’s most famous Wiccan witch, who has time and again talked about ancient rituals and arts of the Wiccan world, which provides people the healing touch.
But of all that, there’s very little in the film. Sarika, as Ipsita, ghostwalks through another expressionless comeback role after her role in Kal some months earlier. Whether she is in a therapy session with Sister Martha, who she has been called in to heal, or with her by the riverside or in the graveyard in the final scene, for some mysterious reason she refuses to stop smiling.
With that single expression all through, she hears out Sister Martha’s story of a young Anglo-Indian girl Claudia, played convincingly by Lynsey Pow. The story of Claudia, trapped in a land she doesn’t feel one with, becomes increasingly obsessed with the memory of her mother leading to interesting consequences, which the psychological sciences could explain better than Sarika’s Wiccan stuff.
Watch the rains instead
Eeri naam prem
Director: Sujit Guha
Cast: Koel Mallick, Anubhav, Lily Chakraborty, Mrinal Mukherjee
This one is a poor man’s Karan Johar film. The plot is so original that it has been used in landmark movies DDLJ, Pyar Kiya To Darna Kya, etc, etc.... There is a QSQT-like twist but obviously it gets untwisted in the end and the rebellious lovers go simpering back to their respective parents. They get married pure traditional style with parents’ benediction. However, one fails to realise what kept them from doing that in the first hour of the movie itself, thus saving the audience’s time, and the emotional as well as intellectual wear and tear.
One knows Koel has potential and Anubhav would not be too bad once he gets rid of that ridiculous hairstyle, but the director does not seem interested in their potential at all. Therefore, all one gets is melodrama and hysteria when a little drama and histrionics would have been appreciated.
There is an item song in a “jolly village” setting called Tor thumak thumak chaal, which we are sure will come back to haunt us in our nightmares. So if you have nothing to do on a rainy day, you will be better off keeping on doing nothing.
Bit of a letdown
bhalobashar anek naam
Director: Tarun Majumdar
Cast: Gourab Chatterjee, Megha Mukherjee, Moushumi Chatterjee, Tapas Paul, Paran Bandopadhyay, Soumitra Chatterjee, Manoj Mitra, Mouli Bhattacharya, Biplabketan Chakraborty, Biplab Chatterjee
Picturesque locations ' of Burdwan and Birbhum ' simple people, simpler lives, a sweet love story, two young and fresh faces and story based on Bibhutibhushan Bandopadhyay define the Tarun Majumdar film. Bhalobashar Anek Naam is pretty much a trademark Majumdar movie, but if you compare it to his earlier young-love stories it’s a letdown. Conforming to the demands of the time the film has more caricatures than characters.
Gourab and Megha do their bit with sincerity though Gourab doesn’t shed his single expression of awe till the end. Megha looks beautiful but can’t shed the urban stiffness from her body language. Among veterans like Soumitra Chatterjee, Paran Bandopadhyay, Moushumi Chatterjee, Manoj Mitra, Tapas Paul is particularly good. But the cinema-freak character of Bulbuli, who breaks into old film songs adding her own feel to it, all dressed up like old filmstars, though a bit garish, is portrayed excellently by Mouli Bhattacharya adding to the laugh-factor.