#DirectorsCut: Anindya Chatterjee’s ‘Jhumura’ is poetry in motion creating a visual tapestry | Bengali Cinema News

What the golden age of Bengali cinema has left us is a legacy of endless possibilities. If today, the films of Satyajit Ray, Mrinal Sen, Ritwik Ghatak, Buddhadeb Dasgupta or Tapan Sinha are part of our consciousness, it is thanks to their ability to illuminate the “dark chambers of our souls” and to offer us a perspective – to live and let live. These cinematographic works rich in history and heritage continue to influence our discourse and our consciousness. The “essential humanism” of these master filmmakers has crossed time and space. It’s a treasure trove of cult classics, but there’s also a certain section of films that are criminally underrated.

In this new series of #DirectorsCut, ETimes talks about those relatively lesser-known, yet brilliant films by iconic directors who have been overshadowed by their more popular cinematic works. This week we take a look at Anindya Chatterjee’s 2015 movie “Jhumura”.

Jhumura is an emotional film, a bit slow, but still engaging. It’s something that’s miles away from mindless violence and article numbers and that pleases your finest senses.

Poetry in motion

Rwik (Samadarshi) and Sahana (Sohini), two young journalists from Kolkata, visit Purulia to unearth some interesting information about the dying popular art form, jhumur. There they meet an elderly couple (Kuchil Mukherjee and Gopa Sengupta), who tell them about the musical love story of Kanchan and Kusum and Jhumura, a tribal village.

Jhumura is like poetry in motion. And much of the credit goes to the slow but smooth script written by the director himself and the excellent cinematography by Mrinmoy Nandi. From connecting the dots with the help of a mute mask seller to depicting the misfortune of Kanchan’s first wife (Tania) with a dry leaf blown by a breeze, the film surely stands out for the sheer magnificence of each image and thoughts that helped create such a visual tapestry.

A journey for the senses

Add to this visual flow the fluidity of the music – rustic and soft – and Jhumura becomes a journey for the senses. You rise and fall with the hills and streams, dawns and dusks of Purulia, and feel your heart soar or sink with the soulful tunes of jhumur. Additionally, the art form’s battle with modern entertainment alternatives over the decades has been portrayed with clarity.

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The film’s technical excellence creates an additional burden on the actors to keep their performances on an even keel. Sohini is quite compelling, both as a Sahana town girl and a Kusum village beauty, and Samardashi nails him as a photojournalist Rwik and a Kanchan village boy. But, somehow, the two should have worked on their on-screen chemistry a bit more. Their constant arguments towards the beginning of the film seem almost forced at times. And all the other actors did their roles full justice.

Overall, Jhumura is an emotional, somewhat slow-moving, but still engaging film. So for a change, go watch something that’s miles away from mindless violence and item numbers and indulge your finer senses.

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