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7 Bengali films we are looking forward to in the first half of 2023

Srijato Bandyopadhyay, Kaushik Ganguly, Arindam Sil, Joydeep Mukherjee, Saptaswa Basu, Rahool Mukherjee and Rajesh Ganguly have directed these films

Agnivo Niyogi Calcutta Published 03.01.23, 01:33 PM
Manobjomin; Kaberi Antardhan

Manobjomin; Kaberi Antardhan Facebook

The Bengali film industry is poised to kickstart 2023 on a happy note with as many as five big films slated to release at the theatres in January itself. There’s one directorial debut alongside some new star pairings and the return of a popular detective character on the roster for the first half of the year. Here are seven Bengali movies we are looking forward to catching at the cinemas between January and June.

Manobjomin

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Releases on: January 6

Loved and adored for his verses, poet and lyricist Srijato Bandyopadhyay turns director with the feature film Manobjomin. Shanket (Parambrata Chattopadhyay) and Kuhu (Priyanka Sarkar) love each other. Kuhu runs an NGO called Manobjomin and wants to build a school for girls in the village in order to check the practice of child marriage. Shanket, a bank employee, supports Kuhu in her endeavours. Meanwhile, Shanket’s uncle Boren Babu (Paran Bandyopadhyay) spends his money on things related to God and wants to buy a parcel of land in heaven. Kuhu tries to convince him to invest money for her school project. This causes major emotional turmoil between the three characters.

Maayakumari

Tentative release: January 13

Arindam Sil’s much-awaited period drama Maayakumari will be his tribute to 100 years of Bengali cinema, starring Rituparna Sengupta as actress Maayakumari and Abir Chatterjee as celluloid star Kanan Kumar, a hit screen pair of the 1940s.

Maayakumari decides to take a break from acting at the peak of her career, giving rise to speculation among her fans. Is it because she wants to spend time with her husband Sital Bhattacharya (Rajatava Dutta) and lead a private life away from the world of glamour? Or is it because of the criticism she received for her onscreen kiss? Maayakumari will unveil the mystery on the big screen.

Kaberi Antardhan

Tentative release: January 20

Kaushik Ganguly directs this romantic thriller starring Prosenjit Chatterjee and Srabanti Chatterjee for the first time together, alongside Indraneil Sengupta and Koushik Sen. Set in ’70s Bengal, Kaberi Antardhan will tell a love story against the backdrop of the Naxal insurgency and the Emergency. The film’s trailer begins with the unexpected death of senior police officer Mrinmoy Ghosh (Koushik Sen) in his Hatimara residence. The arrival of a visitor, Arghya Sen (Prosenjit), leads to the unravelling of the mystery behind Mrinmoy’s death with a shocking discovery — the murder of Mrinmoy’s sister Kaberi Bhattacharya (Srabanti). Pritam Singh (Indraneil Sengupta), the new officer-in-charge, and Arghya team up to crack the case.

Dilkhush

Tentative release: January 20

After winning hearts with his sweet love story Kishmish, Rahool Mukherjee is back with his next directorial venture Dilkhush. The romantic drama features Madhumita Sarcar, Soham Majumdar, Aparajita Adhya, Paran Bandopadhyay, Anashua Majumdar, Kharaj Mukherjee, Anuradha Mukherjee, Ananya Sen, Ujan Chatterjee and Anjana Basu. Dilkhush tells the story of eight people searching for love who seek the help of Artificial Intelligence to find their soulmate. Madhumita and Soham are pairing up for the first time.

Doctor Bakshi

Tentative release: January 20

Saptaswa Basu’s Doctor Bakshi will be a spin-off of his 2020 film Pratidwandi, headlined by Saswata Chatterjee and Rudranil Ghosh. Pratidwandi revolved around a series of murders that rocked Kolkata after the son of a doctor was kidnapped. Doctor Bakshi is a psychological thriller about medical ethics and scams. The film revolves around a vigilante physician, Dr Bakshi (Parambrata Chattopadhyay), a writer (Subhashree Ganguly) caught in a web of mysteries and a criminal (Bonny Sengupta). In the trailer, we see Dr Bakshi trying to expose a medical scam and unmask a public servant embroiled in malpractices. However, in his quest for justice, ethics take a backseat.

The Eken: Ruddhaswas Rajasthan

Tentative release: April 14

Ekendra Sen aka Eken Babu — the jovial, sharp-brained detective — will be back to solve a mystery, this time in Rajasthan. Anirban Chakraborty will be reprising his role as the quirky detective. Suhotra Mukhopadhyay and Somak Ghosh will also return as Eken Babu’s partners-in-crime-solving Bapi and Pramatha, respectively. Apart from the trio, Rajatava Dutta and Sandipta Sen will have significant roles.

The Joydeep Mukherjee-directed film is based on the novel The Eken: Ruddhaswas Rajasthan, written by Sujan Dasgupta. After a superhit run on Hoichoi since 2018, the web series Eken Babu was developed into a feature film, The Eken, in 2021, by Joydeep. The film was set in Darjeeling, where Eken Babu had to solve the mystery of a missing artefact belonging to a famous actress (played by Paayel Sarkar).

Chengiz

Tentative release: April 29

Directed by Rajesh Ganguly, Chengiz is an action-thriller frontlined by Jeet. It revolves around the underworld gangs that dominated Kolkata from the 1970s to the mid-’90s. Jeet plays Chengiz, the only man who ruled the streets during that period. Acclaimed filmmaker Neeraj Pandey, who shot to fame with his directorial debut A Wednesday, has co-written this film with Ganguly. The teaser shows Jeet in his usual larger-than-life avatar as an action hero. Jeet was seen in a double role in his last film Raavan, which released in cinemas in 2022.

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