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Goynar Baksho (U/A)

  • Starring :
    Moushumi Chatterjee, Konkona Sen Sharma, Saswata Chatterjee, Paran Bandyopadhyay, Srabanti, Kaushik Sen
  • Language : Bengali Genre : Romance
  • Synopsis :

    The ghost of pishima, played by Moushumi, entrusts Somlata (Konkona), with the task for guarding her treasure trove of jewels. But how will Somlata convince pishima to let her use the j more...

  • Director :
    Aparna Sen
  • Music Director :
    Debojyoti Mishra
  • Duration: 2 hrs & 21 mins

Synopsis

The ghost of pishima, played by Moushumi, entrusts Somlata (Konkona), with the task for guarding her treasure trove of jewels. But how will Somlata convince pishima to let her use the jewels to improve the flagging fortunes of their family?

Critic's Review

There's a scene towards the end of Goynar Baksho, where the mercurial pishima's ghost, played by Moushumi, asks her granddaughter Chaitali -a dewy fresh, understated Srabanti - to join her for a smoke on the terrace. The two women sit there -bidhaba and kumari - talking about their shared dreams and memories. Pishima draws on her hookah; Chaitali strikes a match and lights her cigarette.

This scene, in many way, captures the essence of Aparna Sen's latest offering. Past encounters present, old meets new and two visions of Bengal, pre- Partition and Bangladesh War, face up to each other. And this is just one of many juxtapositions in the film. Goynar Baksho succeeds because it operates at many levels. There are intensely personal vignettes: pishima asking a blushing Somlata - Konkona in an endearing, nuanced performance (honestly, Daayan or no Daayan, why can't we offer her more such roles in Tollywood?) - about her first night of lovemaking with her husband; pishima talking about the taste of shuntki maachh in her native Faridpur. But Aparna flags each such moment for her commentary on Bengal's changing fortunes over much of 20th century.

The film opens with Somlata's entry as the new bride into the decadent zamindar family presided over by the imperious Chandranath (Paran). The expenses for the wedding are paid off with an old Burma teak four-poster and a luxurious carpet. But no man of this family has worked for a living, so his two sons - Chandan (Saswata) and Chanchal (Pijush) - while away their time fishing and marking time at their favourite courtesan's. Everyone in the extended family eyes the goynar baksho - a jewellery hoard of 500 bhari - thas's guarded by the hawk-eyed, foul-mouthed, venom-spitting pishima. Once she croaks, the treasure can be divided. But pishima has other plans. Within moments of he death, she entrusts the box to Somlata, with the rider that she has to safeguard it. But Somlata uses her native intelligence to convince pishima to pawn the jewels and use the capital to set up a sari shop. Thus the landed gentry enter the realm of commerce. Inevitably, the wheels of industry and industriousness turn, as do the fortunes of the family.

Through the tale of this one family and it's members, Aparna deftly captures the grand sweep of history. The trauma of Partition, of lands and inheritances lost, of unfamiliar adjustments after years of zamindari grandeur - it's all there. But the men are in some ways the paraphernalia of this film. At the centre stand the three women - Pishima, Somlata, Chaitali - as they fight against patriarchy and social mores in their unique ways. Pishima is vitriolic, Somlata quiet but intelligent, Chaitali couldn't care less about societal norms - or the goynar baksho. Mind you, the feminism is not heavy-handed, but dovetails smoothly with the comic elements. Somlata calls Chandan "purush singha", but manages to send him scouting for the best saris across the country.

What do you say about the acting of these three women? Moushumi is superlative. Beneath all her expletives is a lonely, unfulfilled woman, rejected by society, consigned to the periphery of familial existence. At the same time, she's straight out of a Sirshendu Mukherjee book, comical, unpredictable, sharp as nails. With Konkona, you always expect something special, and she doesn't disappoint. Timid yet charming, fearful yet strong-willed, she's so 1950s that you almost forget that her last Bengali release was Shunyo Awnko, where she plays a fearless journalist. She's the bridge between pishima and her own daughter, Chaitali. Srabanti - both as the younger Moushumi and as Chaitali - holds her own against the other two. The men, of course, turn in stellar performances, from Saswata to Paran, Pijush and the others.

A word about the music and camerawork. Debajyoti Mishra has done a lovely score, the high point being the soulful Sakhi re by Subha Mudgal, which tugs at your heartstrings long after it's over. Soumik Halder does brilliantly again, working in tandem with Aparna, to create a lush, small-town Bengali landscape.

A few pointers in an almost-perfect film: the genesis of Somlata's nebulous affair with Rafique (Kaushik) seems under-explored; the special effects - the shower of rose petals, the flying utensils in the kitchen - are a bit amateurish; and did Chaitali, growing up in the mofussils of the '70s, have to have a layered hair cut? Aparna, who works on the minutest details - during the Bangladesh war, even the cover of a mag lying casually on the table has a Sheikh Mujib photo - could have given this more thought.

But these are minor quibbles. It's one of the funniest, smartest movies of the year and a viewer's delight. If you think otherwise, as pishima would say, kochupora!

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  • Rating 45

Review posted last week

but these are minor quibbles. It's one of the funniest, smartest movies of the year and a viewer's delight. If you think otherwise, as pishima would say, kochupora!

  • Rating 35

Review posted within last 6 month

One time watch....... A few pointers in an almost-perfect film: the genesis of Somlata's nebulous affair with Rafique (Kaushik) seems under-explored; the special effects — the shower of rose petals, the flying utensils in the kitchen — are a bit amateurish; and did Chaitali, growing up in the mofussils of the '70s, have to have a layered hair cut? Aparna, who works on the minutest details — during the Bangladesh war, even the cover of a mag lying casually on the table has a Sheikh Mujib photo — could have given this more thought.

  • Rating 4.55

Review posted more than 6 month ago

What does the reviewer mean by : "At the same time, she's straight out of a Sirshendu Mukherjee book, comical, unpredictable, sharp as nails."? This IS an adaptation of a Sirshendu Mukherjee book. So every character in the movie is out of a Sirshendu Mukherjee book, not just Pishima.

  • Rating 3.55

Review posted more than 6 month ago

GOOD movie,movie is filled with humour. I LIKED THE ACTING of Mousumi Chatterjee.

  • Rating 3.55

Review posted more than 6 month ago

i like the movie

  • Rating 4.55

Review posted more than 6 month ago

Populism index is on the up. Corruption index is skyrocketing. Unaccountability index is high up nowhere in sight. These are the growth hallmarks of the UPA government. The people of the country are at pains to understand why they have to undergo such hardship to sustain the political ambitions of the government. But they have decided to fight back. They have given up on this corrupt and inefficient government and only see hope and growth in 2014 with Namo.

  • Rating 15

Review posted more than 6 month ago

Am I the only one on this forum who feels that this is a very average movie. I would have rated it well below par/poor had it not been for the acting of Mousumi, Konkona, Paran and others. Starts with a bang, ends in a whimper. Deviating significantly from the story line the audience is left confused. It is quite a shock to see such a mediocre production from a director who has given us gems like 36 Chowrongee Lane and Picnic in the past. The movie bends over backwards to bring in the "Parama" subtext in the form of Rafiq. Was that really necessary? Why suddenly bring in the Bhasha andolan which seems very sudden and a stretch to the story. As the movie rolled on (after the baby was born) which could have been the prefect ending (perhaps with a Kubrick-ish "Eyes Wide Shut" type ending) I could not but help wonder that this could go down in history as a fine example of ruining what could have been a very tidy well made movie.

  • Rating 55

Review posted more than 6 month ago

At first I want to thank Aparna Sen for bringing this one of the nicest movie I've ever seen. And also to the persons related with this movie. I'm not a movie critic. And I'm not going to criticise any of this movie. I just want to say that I've cried while seeing this movie. I'm from Bangladesh and I'm proud to be a Bangladeshi. The birth of Bangladesh costs many things. People died, blood shedded. But the worst part is the story and the heroes of this great war are being forgotten by the youths as well as the elders even in my country. Its ashame that we haven't showed little respect who supported, worked and thought for the birth of this country. I'm personally sorry to everyone. The way they showed respect to the war and the national anthem in this movie, that really amazed me. I can't hold my tears from coming down. I've just finished watching this movie (please don't ask me from where I got it) and I can't wait to give them thanks and my respect. We are forgetting our history but you aren't. Thanks again everyone. I believe someday we'll realize it and give our love and respect to peoples who fought with us, both physically and mentally. I only expect that t won't be too late.

  • Rating 45

Review posted more than 6 month ago

Pop-con movie...

  • Rating 3.55

Review posted more than 6 month ago

good movie.....

  • Rating 35

Review posted more than 6 month ago

Mousumi Chatterjee gave a flawless performance, Konkona maintained her usual standard but senior Ms. Sen did leave me a bit disappointed. She is one of those few film directors from Bengal who still thrives for perfection and thus a few things stood up like a sore thumb. Srabonti, sported a hairstyle totally unsuitable to the era of early 1970's (which is the backdrop for the last bit of the movie). This hairstyle simply didn't exist then for sure? The dressing table in Srabonti's room, is so unauthentic. It's not hand carved and back in those days such (machine made) finish wasn't around, neither was the spray painted texture. The most glaring thing was a bottle of Miss Dior Cherie (yep, I'm a perfume buff) on the dressing table of Srabonti. The predecessor of this perfume was called Miss Dior and was launched in 1947, it had a long and rectangular lengthwise bottle and did not have a bow. When it was relaunched in 2005 as Miss Dior Cherie the bow at the neck of the bottle was added but it was still not the present day metallic bow. The bottle and the package that we see now was released not until 2008. In a good period film props, costumes Et cetera matters a very great deal. So, in what otherwise would have been a good (if not great) movie missed a few brownie points.

  • Rating 25

Review posted more than 6 month ago

Too long..Story is not nice. Only Mousumi acted well...

  • Rating 4.55

Review posted more than 6 month ago

Beautiful !!! 'Dushtu-mishti' relation between Pishima (Mousumi Chatterjee) and Somlata (Konkana). Brilliant acting by everybody. The movie had a deviation from its title after intermission. But overall too good. A must watch for movie lovers.

  • Rating 4.55

Review posted more than 6 month ago

A very good movie with many finer moments. Very well acted by the cast. Apart from all that has been said in the times review small points like the support within the family for Somlata comes from her mother-in-law other than pisima and slowly how the older generation have alloowed their next generation to have a better life is subtly driven. The idea seems very contemporary with the growing atrocities against women. I feel the veteran writer Shirshendu Mukhopadhyayis the real winner here for such a lucid presentation of such a complex plots intertwined with currents and under currents. Going for a second show.

  • Rating 35

Review posted more than 6 month ago

Good movie

  • Rating 0.55

Review posted more than 6 month ago

sdfsfs

  • Rating 4.55

Review posted more than 6 month ago

Just like Rekha's and Shabana's talents are underutilized in Hindi movies, so was Moushmi Chatterjee's until this movie comes along and gives her a fantastic role as well as great lines and dialogue to mouth. Although non-Bengali I love all Aparna Sen's films especially '36 Chowringee Lane' and 'Mr & Mrs Sen'. 'Ghoynar Bhakshu' had a great screenplay, although I enjoyed the 1st half a lot more. Also the ending was abrupt...though what I understood that once Moushmi's ghost has got rid of her earthly fixation (the jewellery box) her soul will be at peace and the ghostly apparation disappears in the end. I have always liked Konkona right from her 'Page 3', 'Life in a Metro' and 'Amu' days. She is becoming better and better with each film. Aparna, please keep making wonderful movies like this---your range of filmaking is terrific. Keep up the good work! Bhalumochee!!!!

  • Rating 45

Review posted more than 6 month ago

Wonderful movie, to say the least. The credits at the end of the movie shows Surangana Banerjee as 12 year old Pishima. Among the pointers, Somlata enters Pishima's room (when she is dead) with no slippers on, but when she brings in the baksho..you find her wearing slippers. Such mistakes, though very insignificant, are least expected from Aparna Sen.

  • Rating 3.55

Review posted more than 6 month ago

good movie but the ending was a little over the top.... good to watch if only the ending was a bit different.. felt lik as if the director was all confused abt how to finish the story and so came up with such an ending....

  • Rating 25

Review posted more than 6 month ago

Average story of the movie. One time can be seen.

  • Rating 45

Review posted more than 6 month ago

'Mr. & Mrs. Iyer' not 'Sen'... and i recommend you watch "The Japanese Wife", you gonna love it!

  • Rating 0.55

Review posted more than 6 month ago

good

  • Rating 4.55

Review posted more than 6 month ago

The story is beautiful followed by the good role of the characters ! Nicely directed !

  • Rating 55

Review posted more than 6 month ago

Good

  • Rating 4.55

Review posted more than 6 month ago

A movie with good performance of all the characters under a good Direction ! The story is good ! Nice to watch it !

  • Rating 45

Review posted more than 6 month ago

Set design of this film is nice.The film is also good.

  • Rating 3.55

Review posted more than 6 month ago

The movie is full of humour, masti and fun-filled. All the consequences are are good, story lines are excellent throughout the time except the end, where the director tried to show the riot situation in Bangladesh, tried to cover everything in a glimpse. Though that was a good try but while giving everything in a little vessel you have to be cautious enough so that continuity stays alive. Only this was not live in the entire movie. Except this I liked the movie.

  • Rating 3.55

Review posted more than a year ago

Good...

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