“Different” is a term which is thrown around rather lavishly across in the film industry. The question still remains how many of the assembly line products that we come across are actually different. Now here we have a film is not only different but also shattering in more than one way. Based on the play by Ajit Gangopadhay, Thana Theke Aschi dwells upon a subject that we have all experienced on the silver screen before and yet its refreshing new take on the matter makes it vibrantly different and entertaining. The film quickly latches on to the audience and refuses to let go even after the end credits start rolling. Thana Theke Aschi is the kind of film which you carry home with you from the theater and which makes you think.
The film starts off by cutting its narrative between an engagement Party at a wealthy house and girl sitting disillusioned in her modest house. As the party at the house reaches its pinnacle the girl, is shown severing her wrist and thus dying in her bed. The Party at the mansion is now over and five members of the family namely, the Father, The daughter, The Mother, The Son and the Groom to be are seated in their living room making small talk when their privacy is brutally intruded upon by Inspector Tinkari Haldar (Sabyasachi Chakraborty). The inspector tells the family that there has been a suicide at a lesser known slum and the girl who has committed suicide has left behind a diary which has mention of each of the family members seated there comfortably. He further tells the family that each and every one of them knows the girl personally and is in some way responsible for her death. The inspector than starts reading the content of the diary which reveals a story that not only shakes the very foundation of the family but also shatters us, the viewer, beyond belief.
I Have been watching this film over and over again since the last year or so. Every time I thought of writing a review for It, I felt as though, I needed to see it a few more times before I could come up with a proper review. The feeling was rooted in the fact that the film has such a multifaceted screenplay. An individual can easily interpret the story in different ways and yet be convinced with his own version of the story. The film has one of the most unusual screenplays of the recent times. Take for instance the fact that the protagonist of the film is known by five different names to the five members so the family. She also doesn’t have a single dialog spoken directly in the movie. The only words that you hear from her are the narrative pieces that are read out of the diary in first person by Tinkari Haldar. Interestingly, the film offers no explanation for why the character is known by different names. Is it because the each of the girls coming in contact with the members was different or was it same girl? Questions like this will keep popping up again and again making the narrative even more interesting.
As the plot thickens and each of the member’s link with the girl is established the audience is lent out blow after blow. The narrative unfolds at a great speed with the audience hardly getting a breathing space. Most of the story unfolds in the living room of the Mallick Mansion but with the amount of meat in the narrative, one never feels claustrophobic. The movie is further elevated by the rousing performances of the principal cast. Each of the characters do their due with as little fuss as possible. Paoli Dam in a de-glam role is a revelation. She doesn’t speak a single word all throughout the movie and yet is able to put forward her thought process candidly. She speaks volumes thorough her eyes and emotes a flurry of expressions at her every subjugation. complementing her scene for scene is Sabyasachi Chakraborty. He is the one who pulls the curtains on the story and holds the narrative together. He is the bridge between the girl and the audience showing us the varied reasons leading to her suicide. He is warm, he is tragically comic, he is angry, he is sarcastic at different junctures to convey the right feelings to the audiences. Sabyasachi Chakraborty becomes Tinkari Haldar and he is so convincing that the audience is bound to fall in love with him.
Of the family members, Rudranil Ghosh has the most shattering story to tell and thus enjoys a beefed up role. He is buoyed by his rich background and power and goes to the extent of insulting Tinkari, initially, but then quickly becomes submissive when the cat gets out of the bag. His transformation from a self sure man into a “queeped in” individual who is weighed upon by his own wrong doings and then again back to his self obsessed self is noteworthy. The words that come out of his mouth are both comic and satirical. Parambrata is genuine and perhaps the lone family member with some amount of humanity left. The rest of the cast also leave nothing to complain about.
The music and the background score creates a surrealistic environment wherever they are involved. The editing is in keeping with the feel and content of the movie. The cinematogrpahy is another huge plus for the film. The camera captures the best of the performers giving us a closer look at their thought processes. The climax of the film will leave many guessing. It leaves a door open for the audience to derive different meanings out of screenplay. A portion of the audience will not agree with the culmination and might even redicule it. But for all those who are ready to look beyond and dwell into the abstract representation of the ideas, the climax will be more than satisfactory.
Overall, Thana Theke Aschi, is one of the best offerings from Tollywood in recent years. It is a must watch for everyone who wants to busk in the glory of narrative cinema and some of its forgotten techniques. I personally loved it to the core and that is bound to be the case with most other viewers who go to the cinemas hoping to get soemthing more than the usual run of the mill content. Highly recomended.