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By Rituparna's feisty act and the first night of Anjan Das' bedeni.
  • Published 10.01.11

Starring: Rituparna Sengupta, Indraneil Sengupta, Rajesh Sharma, Rimjhim Gupta

Directed by: Anjan Das

Bold and brazen, feisty and fiery — that’s Rituparna’s ‘bedeni’ in Anjan Das’ one-hour-30-minute film on Tarashankar Bandopadhyay’s novel by the same title.

The film begins with a mela, where snakecharmer Radhika (Rituparna) and her live-in partner Sombhu’s (Rajesh) business hits a low after circus owners Kesta (Indraneil) and his partner Jhumri (Rimjhim) pitch a tent. Not one to give up without a fight, Radhika uses her oomph to draw mela-goers, shaking her booty to her partner’s dholak beat. Even that finds no takers. So she goes around the village vending ayurvedic medicines, while Sombhu hits the bottle at home.

Radhika, who left her husband for Sombhu, detests him as a bout of illness has diminished his sexual prowess. She now eyes the strong and handsome Kesta (Indraneil). Back home, Sombhu beats her up for her flings.

But being the go-getter that she is and ruthless in pursuing what she feels is hers, Radhika lures Kesta to run away with her. She torches the circus tent and leaves Sombhu to die without looking back.

Rituparna fits the bill of a hard-as-nails Radhika, but her performance is better in the scenes where she is subdued.

Indraneil and Rimjhim’s two-minute love-making scene may have fetched an ‘A’ certificate for the film but there isn’t much in it apart from some moaning and groaning. The scene where Radhika peeps through a hole and breaks out in a sweat watching them make love is far more arresting. The Radhika-Kesta scenes which have an undercurrent of their sexual chemistry have been handled well.

Among the glitches that are hard to ignore is Rituparna’s inconsistent make-up. Her face is dark in some scenes, fair in others. The dark pancake actually gets washed away in the scene when she splashes water on her face and then turns to the camera! Besides, the slow pace of the film is a drawback; the drama never quite picks up momentum.

Asim Bose’s camera makes the visually stunning stretches of sandy Purulia and its winding river look bland.