Review: Kashmakash

Movie Reviews
21 May 2011

Cast: Jishu Sengupta, Raima Sen, Riya Sen, Prosenjit Chatterjee

Director: Rituparno Ghosh

'Kashmakash' is the dubbed version of Rituparno Ghosh's 'Noukadubi' based on a novel by Rabindranath Tagore. It's a period film and unless you are prepared for it, you might find the notions of love, old-fashioned and the pace at which the plot unfolds, tedious.

Ramesh (Jishu Sengupta) is in love with Hemnalini (Raima Sen) and is planning to propose marriage very soon. He is suddenly summoned to his village where his father has already fixed up his marriage to a widow's daughter. He has no choice but to agree to the wedding when the widow and the would-be bride threaten to commit suicide. On his way back to Kolkata with his newly-wed wife the boat capsizes. He finds Kamla (Riya Sen), unconscious on the shore, dressed as a bride and assumes she is his wife. It's only later that he realizes that Kamla was married to someone else and she is not the woman he married.

The plot has an interesting interplay of conflicting emotions- Ramesh's sense of duty and obligation towards this hapless woman, who is not his wife but has no where to go till he manages to find her real husband. Coupled with that is Ramesh's guilt and his undying love for Hem, whose faith in him is unwavering. Similarly, while Kamla (Riya Sen) manages to build a home with Ramesh, she never understands why he continues to maintain a distance from her. Existent social norms and the complexity of mixed feelings dictate their behaviour as the characters helplessly try to conform.

Jishu Sengupta's and Raima Sen's performances are commendable but the surprise package is obviously Riya Sen. Riya performs her role with ease and is totally convincing as the vulnerable wife who has no clue about how complex her simple life is. The obvious drawback of the film is the dubbing, the lip sync is out in quite a few places and that spoils the overall experience.

Does 'Kashmakash' do justice to the original story written by Tagore? Well, that's for you to decide and tell us.

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