The Bengali film industry in 2012 saw new light with some outstanding films being made. Comedy was one genre that wasn’t trifled with the most but that was until Bhooter Bhabishyat came up. A novel concept to say the least. How many of us could think of something as unique as a housing problem for ghosts and its subsequent effects on a gamut of colorful and eclectic mix of characters. It could have so easily gone haywire with lack of restraint but Anik Dutta keeps a vice like grip on the proceedings and keeps the story believable amidst all the comic madness. The comedy would not have worked the way it did had their not been a sense of believability associated with the plot.
The grand old mansions of Kolkata are being razed to the ground to make way for malls and multiplexes and high rises. Many of these fast degrading buildings were home to ghosts from different eras. They were evicted and are rendered homeless as a result of the sudden surge of modernization. Chowdhuribari is one such house which is rented out for film shoots to facilitate its maintenance and survival. A heroine faints during a shooting, allegedly sighting a ghost in a mirror. An Ad-filmmaker, Ayan(Parambrata Chatterjee), on a reconnaissance trip to the building meets a strange person who narrates a strange story to him about the very house he is in. The story involves ghosts and spirits ranging from the times of Siraj-U-Daula, to the British era and even the Y2k generation. As the stranger convincingly narrates his story, the lines between fiction and reality are trampled with making Ayan ask questions about the fact whether the story was real or fiction.
The comic element of the story is contained in the tragic backstories of each of the characters(mostly ghosts). Some of the sequences like the one where the owners of the Chowdhuribari hold and interview to decide on whom to accommodate in the house, the scenes involving HathKata Karthik(Saswata Chatterjee), a nefarious goon in real life but now a ghost sympathetiser is hilarious to say the least. The scene where he visits the builder Bhootoria(Mir) to discuss a business proposition is one for the record books. Sumit Samaddar‘s Bhootnath Bhaduri is equally charming. The scene where he asks Swastika Mukherjee’s Kadalibala for a photograph will make even the dead smile. His Intonation and dialog delivery is outstanding and his comic timing impeccable.
Bhooter Bhabishyat may not be a 100% on logic and realism but it is the kind of cinema that is sure to give you respite in these tiring and testing times. For the lovers of comedy, it will rank as a more than satisfying experience. The only problem however remains with the fact that it is strictly for the Bengali junta to understand and enjoy. For anyone who doesn’t have a firm grasp of the Bengali language and its dialects, chances are, the situational comedy will elude you. The subtitled version can never make up for the mannerism and the sheer pleasure that the understanding of the language has to offer. having said that, the eager may still catch it. Chances are you will not be disappointed.