Abar Aranye | india | Hindustan Times
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Abar Aranye

In the '60s, four city-bred young men had wandered into the jungles of Palamau for a vacation. This was in Satyajit Ray?s Aranyer Din Ratri. In the new millennium, three of them decide to return to the forest in a trip down memory lane.

india Updated: Oct 18, 2003 16:33 IST
PTI

Screenplay/Director: Goutam Ghose
Cast: Soumitra Chatterjee, Sharmila Tagore, Rupa Ganguly, Subhendu Chatterjee, Samit Bhanja, Champa, Tabu
Bengali/128 minutes/35mm/Colour and B&W

In the '60s, four city-bred young men had wandered into the jungles of Palamau for a vacation. This was in Satyajit Ray’s Aranyer Din Ratri (Days & Nights in the Forest). In the new millennium, three of them decide to return to the forest in a trip down memory lane.

There are major changes. One of them is dead, while another is dying of cancer. They are accompanied this time by their spouses and children. Even the forest is different because Palamau, now infested by Maoists, is unsafe for tourists. They drive off into the more picturesque forests of North Bengal.

The three protagonists have traveled from wild youth to successful, and not so successful, middle age. They are looking to relive the past. Yet, the unknown keeps intruding especially through their offspring. Among them is a young woman who has lost her Turkish lover in the World Trade Center.

Lost and lonely, she flits between the effort to relate to family and friends and the slide into personal sorrow. With no memories to haunt them, the rest of the younger crowd lives vacuously in the present.

Nostalgia keeps the older crowd afloat and its familiar warmth is comforting because it challenges none of the truths with which they lead their lives. The one who is dying and is desperately trying to forget the ultimate reality of death strikes the only discordant note.

There is nothing else that upsets the even keel of the outing except for a night of hard drinking of the country liquor brewed by the tribal communities that live on the fringes of the forest. It is a moonlit riverbed and it is all very picturesque, very pretty, almost unreal. Reality strikes in its own unusual fashion.

The young woman goes missing and a ransom note is discovered…

CREDITS
Producer: Ramesh Gandhi & Sumita Bhattacharya
Cinematographer: Goutam Ghose
Editor: Moloy Banerjee
Art: Ashoke Bose & Sudeep Bhattacharya
Music: Goutam Ghose
Sound: Anup Mukherjee

First Published: Oct 10, 2003 10:12 IST