MON AMOUR: Shesher Kobita Revisited
Starring: Rituparna Sengupta, Saheb Chatterjee, Tota Roy Chowdhury
Directed by: Subhrajit Mitra
Produced by: Men At Work
Box-office fate: Mon Amour ran at Nandan for three weeks. “In the second week, we released the film at Priya and Jaya, where it ran for three weeks.... The film failed to meet our expectations. It did average business,” says distributor Vinayak Sarkar of T Sarkar Productions.
What we liked: Rituparna’s sensuous red look, the light-and-shade play by Rakesh Kumar’s camera, Kalyan Sen Barat’s music, Saheb’s Amit Roy act.
What we didn’t like: The screenplay, Subhrajit’s new-age characters, the sluggish pace.
What it means: Drawing room dramas with long, ponderous discussions on life are passe.
BOR ASHBE EKHUNI
Starring: Jisshu Sengupta, Koel Mullick, Kanchan
Directed by: Rangan Chakravarty
Produced by: Bangla Talkies
Box-office fate: It ran for a month in Calcutta and is now running in the suburbs. “The occupancy rate was 40-45 per cent for four weeks. The overall budget with print and publicity was around Rs 90 lakh and we are yet to break even.... But the audience could connect with the film,” says producer Nitesh Sharma of Bangla Talkies.
What we liked: Jisshu and Koel’s chemistry, the funny lines, the songs and the supporting actors.
What we didn’t like: Koel screaming and shrieking in the first half; a few absurd twists and turns to keep the story moving.
What it means: Chakravarty’s directorial debut was chatpata but he needs to get the masala mix right next time.
Starring: Prosenjit, Rachana Banerjee, Rishi, Varsha
Directed by: Swapan Saha
Produced by: Zee Telefilms
Box-office fate: “The first week had 90 per cent occupancy, which is rare for Bengali films. Zee Telefilms had launched a massive publicity campaign which worked. The film ran to packed houses for six weeks in town,” says distributor Vinayak Sarkar. “We are happy with the returns,” says Rajib Chatterjee, business head, Zee Network.
What we liked: The twists in the script. Prosenjit and Rachana as an estranged couple, secretly in love but perpetually at loggerheads.
What we didn’t like: Newcomers Varsha and Rishi were a total no-show.
What it means: Swapan Saha’s mindless potboilers can spin a pleasant surprise at times. Plus, Zee Telefilms has hit the bull’s-eye with its Tolly debut.
Starring: Jeet, Swastika, Santu Mukherjee
Directed by: Shankar Roy
Produced by: New Horizon Films
Box-office fate: Made with Rs 95 lakh, the comedy ran for three weeks in town. “Action films are bigger grossers. Comedy films don’t do very well these days.... We have recovered Rs 70 lakh and we hope to break even soon. It’s still running in the suburbs,” says Rajiv Bhadra of New Horizon.
What we liked: A few twists in the plot and Jeet-Swastika’s sweet-sour romance.
What we didn’t like: The slow pace, too many dialogues and too little action.
What it means: Jeet and Swastika have a good timing in romantic comedies. Better scripts next time, please.
Starring: Prosenjit, Swastika, Ranjit Mullick, Tapas Pal, Satabdi Roy, Tathoi
Directed by: Babu Roy
Produced by: Kamakhya Films
Box-office fate: The film drew the crowds for seven weeks but the producer is yet to recover the cost (Rs 1 crore-plus). “The footfalls in the weekends were encouraging, despite the fact that Shibaji released during the Ramazan period,” says Biplab Chakraborty of Kamakhya Films.
What we liked: Little Tathoi and Swastika’s brief appearance.
What we didn’t like: The cliched story, the stupid stunts, Prosenjit’s boring dialogues (inspired by Mithun’s Fatakesto lines).
What it means: Prosenjit should stay a mile away from action films with sound and fury signifying nothing.
Starring: Prosenjit, Namrata, Abhishek, Piya Sengupta
Directed and Produced by: Anup Sengupta
Box-office fate: An expensive film (Rs 1.5 crore), Ghar Jamai ran for five weeks in Calcutta, with 40 per cent occupancy for four weeks. “We are yet to break even. The film would have done better if other Prosenjit films, like Khela and Shibaji, hadn’t released at the same time,” says Sengupta.
What we liked: Prosenjit’s punches and PJs as the funny son-in-law. Plus, Namrata’s glam doll look.
What we didn’t like: The subplot with Abhishek as the villain. Anup Sengupta’s wife Piya dancing to mindless songs in a bustee.
What it means: Prosenjit and Anup Sengupta must aim for better laugh riots.
LAAL RONGER DUNIYA
Starring: Debasree Roy, Locket Chatterjee, Gita Dey, Kunal Mitra
Directed by: Nilanjan Bhattacharya
Produced by: RP Techvision
Box-office fate: This Rs 70 lakh-film ran for only two weeks. “We had 50 per cent occupancy in the first week but we had to pull out the film after the second week to make room for Bhalobasha Bhalobasha.... We are planning a second release in Calcutta,” said Mainak Simlai, the film’s distributor and executive producer.
What we liked: Debasree and Locket, who looked their part. Also, newcomer Tathagata, who was competent.
What we didn’t like: The making. The maze of characters, which left us confused. The loud dialogues.
What it means: Director Nilanjan is yet to learn the DEF of filmmaking.
CHIRODINI… TUMI JE AAMAR
Starring: Rahul, Priyanka, Rudranil
Directed by: Raj Chakraborty
Produced by: Shree Venkatesh Films
Box-office fate: The love story starring a new pair is in its eighth week. “Chirodini had a great opening. The first week saw 55 per cent footfall, which is overwhelming. We spent Rs 1 crore on making the movie and we have earned about Rs 2 crore till now!” says Mahendra Soni of Shree Venkatesh Films. Chirodini released with 40 prints and Venkatesh is coming up with some more.
What we liked: Rahul and Priyanka’s crackling screen chemistry, the smart and racy script, the bunch of supporting actors and the song-and-dance sequences (the Chirodini soundtrack is still on top of the charts).
What we didn’t like: The melodramatic fight scene at the climax where Rahul-Priyanka go slo-mo.
What it means: The biggest grosser of 2008. Director Raj Chakraborty is bang on with his debut film!
THE LAST LEAR
Starring: Amitabh Bachchan, Arjun Rampal, Preity Zinta, Shefali Shah, Jisshu Sengupta, Divya Dutta
Directed by: Rituparno Ghosh
Produced by: Planman Motion Pictures
Box-office fate: It ran for three weeks. “The collections were average. Very few people saw the film as it was in English,” says Mahendra Soni of Shree Venkatesh Films, which distributed Last Lear. “We had 63 per cent occupancy both on weekdays and in the weekends,” says Virendra Marya, regional director, INOX.
What we liked: The shrewd but handsome Arjun Rampal. The subplot with Preity, Shefali and Divya. Abhik Mukhopadhyay’s camerawork. Bits of Bachchan.
What we didn’t like: Storytelling loopholes. Amitabh Bachchan’s OTT act, reminiscent of Black.
What it means: Rituparno trying to do a Sanjay Leela Bhansali.
Starring: Prosenjit, Rimii Sen, Rajesh Sharma, Raima Sen
Directed by: Buddhadeb Dasgupta
Produced by: Jhamu Sughand
Box-office fate: The film ran for two weeks at standalone theatres and one week at INOX City Centre. “The collections are average. We had 50 per cent occupancy in the weekends at halls. Weekdays were lesser. I guess the audience lost interest as the film was stuck for so long (four years),” says Debashish Sengupta of Piyali Films, which distributed Swapner Din.
What we liked: The journey of the three characters against a beautiful backdrop, the amusing twists in the tale, Prosenjit’s balancing act of toughness and vulnerability.
What we didn’t like: The pace, which could have been a tad faster.
What it means: To crack the box office, there’s no alternative to a well-rounded, engaging story.
Starring: Hiran, Shrabanti, Sabyasachi Chakraborty, Laboni Sarkar
Directed by: Ravi Kinnagi
Produced by: Ashok Dhanuka
Box-office fate: Barely two weeks old, Bhalobasha Bhalobasha has seen more than 70 per cent footfall during the Pujas. “The first week’s collection is overwhelming. We spent Rs 3 crore and hope to recover the amount soon. We are happy. The crowd is a mix of six- to 60-year-olds,” says Ashok Dhanuka.
What we liked: The love story with a difference, smart editing and Shrabanti’s carefree charm.
What we didn’t like: Just two songs in the picturesque Salzburg. Why take the trouble of going all the way to Austria then?
What it means: Fresh faces backed by a good script and a competent director can do the trick.
Starring: Prosenjit, Rachana, Angshuman, Malabika
Directed by: Raj Mukherjee
Produced by: Pankaj Agarwal
Box-office fate: Made on a Rs 1.5-crore budget, Mr Fantoosh is on its second week. “There is 50 per cent footfall in the weekends and above 40 per cent on weekdays. We have recovered Rs 30 lakh and we will start counting the profits from the fifth week onwards,” claims Pankaj Agarwal.
What we liked: Prosenjit in a double role. The mix of comedy, action and romance.
What we didn’t like: Newcomers Malabika and Angshuman’s deadpan expressions all through.
What it means: Fresh faces can make or mar a movie. So, choose them with care.
8 films you missed when you blinked...
Kanoj Das’s low-budget film with a logic-defying plot on pollution and witch-hunts didn’t go down well with the city audiences at all, despite featuring Soumitra Chatterjee. “We didn’t have more than 200 people either on weekdays or in the weekend,” said Nilanjan Chatterjee, CEO, Nandan, where it ran for only a week.
Another piece on social activism. This one’s on land sharks luring poor farmers and village belle Rimjhim Gupta standing up to them. Tumi Kar ran for about a week in the city but is still on in the suburbs. Producer Gobindo Chandra Halder is hopeful of recovering his initial cost of Rs 1 crore! Where did all the money go, we wonder.
What a way to waste a Sarat Chandra story (Swami). Everything was wrong about Antartama — the making, dialogues and costumes, which drowned Chiranjit and Sreelekha Mitra. “The film got very bad reviews and so people didn’t come to watch it,” sighs producer-distributor Jayanta Kar of Jolly Films.
Manoj Michigan’s debut film (picture above) on four urban couples and their troubled lives looked too telefilm-ish, despite a strong cast of Swastika, Sreelekha, Sudip Mukherjee, Rudranil and Amitabha. The box office-run ended in two weeks.
This one made the blood boil. It revolved around wannabe socialites who marry older men for their money and then hire gigolos for pleasure. The director, producer and lead actress — all rolled into one — is Anasuya Samanta, who claims her Rs 25 lakh film drew 200 people to Radha cinema’s noon show every day for four weeks!
The film starred Biswajit, Raza Murad and Rituparna Sengupta. So what? Prasun Banerjee’s “suspense thriller” made little sense. It fell flat after a week.
One more murder story minus the mystery. Raktamukhi Neela had veteran Sabyasachi Chakraborty as a sleuth on the mission to hunt down a killer who targets only married women looking for fun. The film managed a week’s run at Priya, Star Theatre and Mohua.
ABELAY GARAM BHAAT
A remake of Basu Chatterjee’s Shaukeen, Subhendu Ghosh’s Abelay Garam Bhaat with six elderly actors left a sour taste in the mouth for its stupid screenplay and inane dialogues. No wonder Abelay Garam Bhaat’s box-office journey was cut short in 10 days.