Posto (Bengali) is must watch movie for all who know the complications of a kid growing under care of relatives. Buoyed by six sigma performances, it’s a story of seven-year old Posto who grows up under grand parental care at Shantiniketan but sees his busy parents arrive to take him away to UK. The grandparents won’t go down without a fight, so take the battle to the court.
As a viewer you are torn apart on which side to take. It’s that strange conflict situation where everyone is correct at their end. Each side has their own positives and negatives too – dot as with life. The grandmother is too rigid on schedules, suffers from arthritis, self-sufficient economically and her life revolves around the child. Ditto for the grandfather who also has a weak cardiac situation, his lofty expectations drove elder son to self-destruction and younger son to a principled but inconsistent bread earner. The son craves for respect of his father, rather than the frequent jibes of being alcoholic, hen-pecked and unemployed.
Posto’s mother is well employed but during her struggle days had to endure injections to stop breast milk production as her son was taken away after birth. Between her father in-law and husband’s court encounters, aptly termed ‘ego battle’ – she is torn apart on where the mother’s wish has got lost. The dinner sequences are tense and tough.
“Every grandparent with arthritis must have a grandchild with them to cure”
There are several messages the movie delivers. 7.5 million kids in USA stay under grand parental care. More in China. A kid in U.K. gets only 81 quality mins per day from his/her parents. It rises to 138 minutes in best of nations. Why is that so less? Those parents are probably giving multiples of 138 mins per day in clicking random links or GIFs in social media!
In modern parties, parents often prioritize alcohol and gossip to such heights that kids are shunted to a room, left unattended. Why can’t kids and parents spend time together in parties? There is a hilarious sequence where the grandfathers club joke on how to avoid going to overseas nations lest they would be reduced to unpaid baby sitters.
“If you can’t give time to your child the least you can do is not bribing him with gifts”
The performances soar along with the content of the movie. Soumitra Chatterjee is the Amitabh Bachchan of Bengali cinema. Discovered by legendary Satyajit Ray in Oporajito, 61 years ago, he is a powerhouse of emotion. Watch him withdraw his case when he realizes the pain his grandson has to pass through in court. Or during the cardiac arrest scene. Or during the court scenes when he is on witness-box. Or in that awesome insect repellent spraying scene. You will forget this is a movie and believe it’s real life unfolding in front of you. Coincidentally, Amitabh Bachchan has been approached for the Hindi remake of Posto – although am not sure if Bollywood has that audience to appreciate such content.
Jisshu Sengupta, as the struggler, in career and as parent, between his principles and his options, essays his part very well. He will move you to tears multiple times – the court scene where his brother’s death is discussed; when he slaps his son and then realizes the state of the court battle and asks forgiveness or when he fights with his dad. Jisshu is splendid.
Mimi Chakraborty stands tall amongst these senior actors and passes the fire unscathed. Ravishing as always, I recalled the only time I met this gentle and humble actress at Darpan film festival 2012, Singapore (Organised by Sreyashi Sen). I wish this role zooms her to blockbuster movies and into Bollywood. She deserves it all. For the Hindi remake, if it happens, Jisshu and Mimi must be retained.
It was impossible for anyone else to become the scene stealer amongst this glittering array of performers. But Sohini Sengupta, as lawyer to Jisshu, manages that with elan. It’s sad this actress doesn’t even have half a dozen films on her filmography, am suspecting for solid reasons unknown to public. Else on-screen the way she interrogates a fragile Soumitro is astounding. Watch her in ‘Ichche‘, a movie on parental pressure, you won’t ever forget it.
I wish the makers, Nandita Roy and Shiboprosad Mukherjee, had gone for a conclusion where Posto goes to UK and then make a sequel with the parents struggling at UK. A true measure of quality of a product is when you feel you can have even more of it. Posto viewers would love a Posto 2 in future, a compliment which team Posto deserves.
Kudos for the attention to detail too – the audio cassettes, Ali Akbar Khan LP records, the dash to get Arnica (homeopathic medicine, every Bengali house has) and eating steaming pakoras from a basket.
Rating (Averaged with family): 4/5