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Graveyard shift

india Updated: Apr 16, 2012 20:12 IST
Highlight Story

Gorosthanay Sabdhaan
Eagle Video, Rs 399
Rating: **
Before one forgets, the production quality of this DVD is terrible. The picture quality seems to be of 'VCD' levels and the sound in many places is warped as if held under a hot flame. Which is such a pity, considering here's a contemporary film on Satyajit Ray's legendary creation, private detective Prodosh Mitter aka Feluda. Directed by his son Sandip and based on Ray's 1977 story Gorosthanay Sabdhaan (Be Wary In The Graveyard), this Bengali film with adequate subtitles in English, is a good starting point for appreciating Ray's stories played out in contemporary surroundings.

There is nothing special in which the film has been made. It opens up - as had Sandip's previous film adaptations of his father's Feluda stories - to reveal what is really a big budget TV production. But it's the storyline that brings something special. Set in Kolkata, the film starts in the Park Street cemetery, where a bunch of people are digging out the contents of a grave. A scuffle leads to an injury, which leaves a Narendranath Biswas injured. Enter Feluda (Sabyasachi Chakraborty who has been playing the role in Sandip Ray's movie for 15 years with the aplomb that Soumitra Chatterjee played his Feluda under Ray's direction) and we find a mystery that needs to be solved: why was the grave of Thomas Godwin, a 19th century English resident of Calcutta, being desecrated? What is missing in it? Who are the men looking for the missing object?

If nothing else, it's a cracker of a story that Sandip has infused with standard thriller devices. The Bengali viewer will obviously get the many nuances that the non-Bengali-speaking viewer won't. But by watching Gorosthanay Sabdhaan, the latter may be happily introduced to a youthful story-telling world that's rare in contemporary Indian cinema. Although one sincerely hopes that some other production company takes over and makes this barely acceptable DVD an enjoyable, fun experience.