Fantasy meets reality

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By Takhan Teish is a coming-of-age story, neatly told, says Barun Chanda DID YOU LIKE/DISLIKE TAKHAN TEISH? TELL t2@ABPMAIL.COM
  • Published 24.01.11

It could have happened to you. To me. To anyone. Takhan Teish is a film that makes you look back at your youth with a great deal of nostalgia and yearning. It’s a “Grow Up Sid” story, much better told. Much more sensitive. With much more substance.

Remember the dilemma of the first dawning of your youth? When you realise your mom can only be your mom and not your love? So then, you start looking for an older woman in life to have a crush on. Maybe your biology school teacher. She’s young. Full-bodied. With a great sense of humour. And is she desirable!

But life is not so simple these days. Other faces keep peeping in. Other women. So, you have your Internet chat friend. Or is it Facebook? And last but not the least, your private sexual fantasies. For that you have the Malayalee soft porn. I believe you can actually see them in theatres these days.

And surprise, surprise! The Malayalee hot-bod, Mohini, may not be a Malayalee wench after all. She could actually be your next door neighbour, lissome Bengali lass. So what’s she doing in a Malayalee soft porn? For money, of course.

This then, very shortly, is the story of Tamadeep, the hero of Takhan Teish, academically brilliant, going through internship after medical graduation. Of course, there are variations in the main theme. Tamadeep’s mom overhears snatches of conversation between her darling son and the bio teacher, and promptly puts an end to this relationship, not that it had grown into anything overtly physical.

So Tamadeep now starts sending secret SMS texts to Meghna, his bio teacher, specially now that she runs a radio show, inviting listeners to come up with their dark, little secrets, incognito.

What’s so endearing about Takhan Teish is that it’s a very neatly told story. Scripting is tight. Dialogues are wafer-crisp, often funny. If there’s an undercurrent of romanticism, it’s never allowed to get mushy.

Soumik Halder’s camerawork is more than decent. The occasional unevenness in lighting, I am told, is the inherent deficiency of the Qube projection system.

The audio track is most imaginatively handled, off-screen sound effects often embellishing and enriching a scene. Sujoy Dutta Roy’s editing is marvellous, without being obvious. The non-linear style of editing keeps you thoroughly engaged.

But more than anything else, it’s the overall quality of acting that makes you fall in love with the film. Jisshu, as Tamadeep, has come of age. At last, we might have a genuine romantic hero on Bengali screen. Jisshu is tall, handsome and as Tamadeep, brilliantly underplayed. Supporting him are a cast of glittering jewels — Paoli Dam as the Malayalee oomph-girl (this must be another feather in her cap), Indrani Halder as the bio teacher Meghna, Tanusree Shankar and Biswajit Chakraborty as Mom and Dad, Aparajita Ghosh Das as the chat friend Sriparna, Neel Mukhopadhyay as the fellow intern with a roving eye. And how can you forget Biplab Chatterjee’s flamboyantly essayed role of a senior doctor?

If Atanu Ghosh had raised the expectations of the discerning Bengali film-goers with Angshumaner Chhobi, Takhan Teish puts him more permanently in the Bengali film firmament.

The problem with Takhan Teish is that it is too picture-perfect. Too full of lovely human beings. Real life isn’t that. Even the villain Rajatava Datta is not a villain after all. Or, is he?

But all things told, Takhan Teish is a delightful watch. The act of growing up, beautifully told.