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The light is red

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KUSHALI NAG   |   Published 22.09.08, 12:00 AM

Just like too many cooks spoil the broth, too many characters spoil Nilanjan Bhattacharya’s debut film Laal Ronger Duniya. The film that delves deep into the lives of sex workers could have been a heart-wrenching tale of the women in the squalid rooms of Sonagachhi. Instead Nilanjan, offers a maze of stories and story-tellers that leaves the viewer horribly confused.

Laal Ronger Duniya is about Dalia Karmakar (Debasree Roy), about Shiuli and Mehuli (Locket Chatterjee in a double role), about Tapan (Kunal Mitra), about Shiba (Rajesh Sharma) about Putul (newcomer Sangita), about Dolly (Samata Das), about Sanghamita (Swarnakamal), about Himon (newcomer Tathagata Mukherjee) and…. Yes, the role call goes on.

Debasree is a prostitute with a difference (think Sharmila Tagore in Amar Prem) and the mother of rich zamindar Tapan’s son. The two are deeply in love but Debasree refuses to shift into his mansion; she instead harbours dreams of becoming a political leader!

Himon is the son of a reputed family, who follows his elder sister to the brothel as a child and makes it his home. Samata is the younger daughter of Altamashi (Anamika Saha). Himon and Samata share a sibling bond, which Putul, Samata’s sister who is a prostitute, dislikes because she has a soft corner for Himon.

Locket is both Shiuli virtue and Mehuli vice. Mehuli is in love with college mate Himon. Swarnakamal works in an NGO, which also runs a flesh racket on the sly. She too falls for Himon and then the two part ways.

Confused? Sorry, but so are we.

If the characters are too many, the points are too pointless, the dialogues are too crass, and some sequences are too gross. The aaaarrrgh moment? Rajesh Sharma, the notorious pimp, bares his thighs, pours rabri on them and orders a little boy to lick it.

The only saving grace lies in the commendable performances of Debasree, Kunal, Locket and even Himon, who shows potential. But that is still not reason enough to go and watch this film.

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