Movie Recommendation: Chotushkone is thrill ride for viewers, bench mark for film makers

Srijit Mukherjee’s sixth feature film Chotushkone (Bengali, meaning quadrangle) is literally an advanced course on filmmaking – not a Rapidex, not a Dummies Guide. He garnered two National awards for this movie – to add to the four already in his cabinet for Jaatishwer. Chotushkone is story of four celebrated directors who need to come together to make four short stories to be woven into a movie, with one common and mandatory theme to link the stories – death.

A six sigma cast of Goutam Ghose, Parambrata Chatterjee, Aparna Sen and Chiranjeet Chatterjee (well since there is no Soumitra & Ritwick, let’s call it a four sigma cast!) gives real to life performances unravelling a stellar plot – mysteriously, slowly and steadily. Chotushkone isn’t your roller coaster ride, nor high-speed train ride, nor an open car highway ride. It’s a cable car ride far up into the clouds – you don’t know where it will end, you get edgy the more it rises, involved, appreciative of what passed by and a better overview of than you saw at the start. Each scene, each edit, each link, each flashback, colour, emotion and twist are extremely well-connected and an education in itself.

The director, Srijit, whom I had once met at Darpan Film Festival 2012, Singapore, throughout Chotushkone has played a lot of fun, tricks and pranks with the Bengali cinema loving audience. You can find him laughing as he merges real life to the storyline, flashbacks to current story, seamlessly. In the story, Aparna Sen is referred to as Mrs Meenakshi Iyer (the name Konkona Sen played in Mr & Mrs Iyer); Parambrata is referred as one who has done two films (actually done with Srijit before).

And then the reverse planchette! Gautam Ghose is introduced as a highly successful director in commercial films; Chiranjeet as top actor in art movies and Aparna Sen as star of mass movies – first part of each description is correct in real life while second part is correct, but in reverse. Unfortunately the story cannot be discussed in detail as that will act as spoiler. The movie has these four central characters and a fifth (Kaushik Ganguly) who acts as the fulcrum.

Because each of the directors narrate their scripts, plus the flashbacks, you will have slight confusion at the beginning, figuring out what’s happening. Which is why Srijit wants you give complete attention to detail. Keep your phones and lights switched off while watching this 148 mins flick – in one shot. Go for the intricacies, understand the background colour changes and enjoy the soulful, but well timed, songs.

Look at how Parambrata lifts his upper lip while talking, walks awkwardly with slight stiff back after getting up from the bean bag, how his body language changes in the climax as apologetic but firm minded, how the revenge plot was targeted only to kill one individual (first two bullets fired were blanks and not in seating order), the script characters who attend the funeral, the writer who specializes in death and more. The movie detailing is result of sheer addiction to art – as intense an addiction as much it gets a smoker to look for an open paan shop, miles away from his house, in the middle of night.

This is Parambrata’s best performance and one that would be tough to match for any artist. A six sigma movie product from Srijit – with cameos by Kaushik Ganguly and Dhritiman Chatterjee as cherries on the cake. A cake which indeed was an intricate maze, that finds all pieces fit, no open-ended questions, not a single loophole left unplugged.

My Rating: 4.5/5 (Must watch)

IMDB viewers Rating: 8.2/10

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