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Chasing Reality
Oct 28, 2009 03:05 PM 3816 Views
(Updated Oct 28, 2009 03:11 PM)

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HOUSEFUL - directed by Bappaditya Banerjee - is a story about a filmmaker and his world of real and unreal and the fusion of those two worlds.


Nikhil(Prosenjit Chatterjee) is a filmmaker whose films fail at the box office and hence he is desperately seeking success which keeps eluding him. His films are considered to be neither here nor there as the films have neither the audience nor the critics warm up to them. However, he has his own way of looking at things and the reality around him creeps into his films. He cannot compromise his creative freedom and give in to the demands of the market. Nikhil, though lonely, is not bitter.


He is convinced that his next film would draw in the audiences as he is charged up by an urge to depict contemporary crises in a way that would at once be easy to universally associate with. He weaves a story about a relationship which has much mystery to it, the story also having the backdrop of terrorism, emotional insecurity and fear thrown in.


The twist for us audience is that the thin line between reality and concoction vanishes into thin air. Nikhil's world of imagination and his filmed perspective submerging into one another.


There are five female characters who come into Nikhil's life and even into his film or rather the filming perspective. First, there is his wife(Ushasie) with whom he has had a failed relationship. It is hinted that he has had some extra marital affair which has cast a shadow in their marriage. Sreelekha Mitra plays an established actress whom Nikhil wants to cast for her commercial bankability as well as her acting skills, but in vain. Rwita Dutta Chakraborty plays a bar crooner, she sings soulfully at a bar which Nikhil frequents. She in a way makes Nikhil flesh out his leading lady's character of a mysterious woman for his screenplay. Rimjhim Gupta plays a girl who wants to earn a reputation for her acting and she is ultimately cast by Nikhil as his heroine. However, she comes with a shady past and unwholesome connections. Rachna Shah plays a weather girl in a film within a film and it is that very film that we get to see at the very beginning and that ultimately becomes the sorry state of affairs in which she finds herself there is also the reality that makes its presence felt in Nikhil's own world, the real one


Confused by the storyline? Well, that seems to be the director's intention too! He manages to engage the audience with this confusing blend of real & fictional. Sadly, the effort at times weighs too heavily on the languid pace of the film. In spite of the brilliant visuals(the capturing of both the vibrant outdoors & the murky indoors), the film suffers from over-indulgence. Bappaditya, the director, tries too hard to project his own films of the past and their subsequent rejection(maybe partial) or shallow response from several quarters of the film industry. A point though true & factual, lost in cliched over-use. The hangover of the director's self projection is hollow and burdensome. Bappaditya's t-shirts(that Prosenjit wears throughout the film) are more catchy than the director's showy treatment to his narrative.


The music by Bangla band Kaaya is apt and the folklorish tracks are quite catchy too. The acting by all the lead players is impressive. But Nitya Ganguly, playing the director's right-hand man, is simply superb, he even overshadows the leading man Prosenjit in some of the scenes.


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