#ChanderPahad - I strongly recommend it to everybody, even for those who don't understand Bengali because 40% of the dialogue is in English and the entire movie is subtitled in English. If you have a kid at home,definitely take him . It is for them and instead of showing them crass mindlesss commercials like Dhoom 3, Chennai Express or Dabanng. Give them something which will open up their mind.
I myself felt like a kid spoilt with choice between Sholay 3D , Wolf of the Wall street and Chander Pahad . Then chose the last one only because I missed it last weekend and this story is associated with my childhood. And I don't regret my choice . Rather the movie betters my expectation in a grand manner . It is a brave attempt and a big gamble that has turned to be the perfect jackpot.
#ChanderPahad is supposed to be the costliest Bengali movie with a budget of Rs 15 Crs. Paltry by Bollywood standards. But the movie is far,far ahead of the top Bollywood grossers in content. And mind it its not a social or family drama with lot of intellectual subtleties which we associate with Bengali movies. It is a pure adventure story with the location set in Africa. Where the movie scores is in its truly international appeal . One should first applaud the producers for backing this project . Had they not supported the efforts , we would miss out on the visual treat and the celluloid translation of one of the most widely read adventure story in Bengali.
Chander Pahad is written by the late Bibhuti Bhushan Bandyopadhyay , who is more associated with Pather Panchali and Apur Sansar. People outside Bengali culture would remember him as the author of Ray's Apu trilogy. He wrote this novel for teenagers in the year 1937 and the settings of the novel was in Africa at the turn of the twentieth century. The anecdotal fact is that Bibhutibhushan never visited a foreign land but the way he has described the African adventure through the eyes of his imaginative creation is truly unparalleled. I first read the novel “Chander Pahad” when I was about 11-12 years old . And later many times. The last time I read the book was about 20 years back as a mature adult. But the thrill and joy which I felt reading the novel was always eternal.
It is a very simple adventure story and linear in structure. But the beauty of Bibhutibhushan Bandyopadhayay lies in his terrific sense of fiction which always makes the reader imagine about the scene depicted by him , thus making it a very interactive experience , all within the mind. Simplicity has been the hallmark of this great author . In this era of Nat Geo and BBC channels, no adventure story would look real. But to think of the setting of this story at the beginning of the previous century in the wilds of Africa, one will realize the romance of adventure and why Bengali teenagers have been a fan of this novel since the last 8 decades or so.
Coming to the movie itself, the movie has been well made , overall and does justice to the narrative, and the period portrayal is comparable with the Indiana Jones movies. It is much better than the average Bollywood adventure stories and leads them miles ahead . The photography is of high quality and it should have been so else the whole movie would look a cheap venture. The editing is slick and fast. the shots don't linger and the story moves ahead in a straight path without any convoluted distortions. The number of actors are very small and the total cast barring the main protagonist all are unknown to the Indian audience and are mostly foreign .
Dev as the hero has tried his best to shed the baggage of his mainstream capers . He fits the role to a large extent and does justice to the role. It must have been physically a very challenging experience for him to essay the role and his deep commitment stands out.Full marks to the director, Kamaleshwar Mukhopadhyay for his venture and able support given to him by the camera crew and post production staff. To attempt a non pretentious adventure story without heroine, item numbers, murders, suspense and a large number of actors , by itself is a difficult proposition in this commercially minded cinema world. To finally make the product commercially viable is nothing short of a masterpiece by itself.