Joined: 23 November 2004
By Vikas Mohan
Set in the period of the British Raj in the year 1878, Antarmahal is the classic tale of an egoistic and corrupt Bengali zamindar (Jackie Shroff) with two single minded obsessions, his craving for an heir, and his longing for the title of Rai Bahadur for himself. Married since the past twelve years, his wife (Rupa Ganguly) has been unable to conceive, and in a desperate bid to have a son, he forces his second wife (Soha Ali Khan) to sleep with him every night.
One day he sees his distant dream of earning the coveted title of Rai Bahadur having the potential to come true. Being customary of him to celebrate Durga puja with great fanfare every year, he is advised to get the face of Goddess Durga resemble Queen Victoria in the statue to be made for the Puja, which he is told might please the Viceroy, and he might just grant him the title of Rai Bahadur.
Wasting no time, he ropes in a young Bihari sculptor (Abhishek Bachchan) for the job, who catches glimpses of Soha Ali Khan while working. Once the statue is ready, the face remains veiled, only to be unveiled at the starting ceremony of the Puja season, which would be a gathering of important people and the public alike. The climax is the sight of Goddess Durga when her face is unveiled.
An interesting and a bold film, Antarmahal throws light on the social norms prevailing in late 19th century and examines Hindu religious customs, the hypocrisy of the priests and the gullibility of the people.
Abhishek's flashbacks of his nights with wife Raima Sen while sculpting the figure of Durga are revolutionary sequences in the context of Indian cinema. Technically, the movie is well made and cinematography is up to the mark.
Performance-wise, Jackie Shroff looks natural in the role of the zamindar. Abhishek Bachchan inspite of having a limited role does justice to his character. Soha Ali Khan looks beautiful and gives an impressive performance.
As the director, Rituparno Ghosh again shows his expertise and his capability in turning a literary classic into a cinematic experience. But despite the presence of Bollywood stars, outside Bengal, Antarmahal will remain a film for the elite audience.
thanx to msnindia.com
Joined: 25 June 2005
Joined: 08 April 2005
Joined: 25 June 2005
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