BOTTOM LINE: A Sombre Movie With A Sting In The Tail
|Platform: Hoichoi TV||Genre: Psychological Drama|
SkinNSwear – None
What Is the Story About?
Hoichoi TV‘s Tasher Ghawr, translated as House Of Cards, is a story told from the perspective of lonely homemaker, Sujata (Swastika Mukherjee). Sujata is cooped up at home with her husband, owing to the Covid-19 induced lockdown. She is a woman of simple needs – she loves baking, gardening — her lush balcony garden is testament to it — and the sights, sounds and smells of daily living. She is especially enamoured with smells. Her mind visualises smells as colours – each smell has a distinctive colour for her. Her husband brands her crazy for her divergent thoughts. Sujata doesn’t like too many people around her. She loves her solitude and hates it that her husband is always at home because of the lockdown. The story unfolds over 47 minutes, with Sujata breaking the fourth wall and telling us about her daily life as a middle class housewife in a patriarchal society. As she chats with us, we slowly gain entry into the inner recesses of her mind. And we are left stunned by what we discover.
The entire narrative showcases just one performer on screen – Swastika Mukherjee. And she is simply fabulous in the role of a troubled housewife. Initially, we see her as a soft, serene lover of nature and its many marvels. Gradually, she peels off the layers, one by one, and shows us a side to her that plunges us into grave thought and leaves us unnerved. Despite running the show singlehandedly for the entire runtime of the movie, Swastika grabs our attention by the collar, and never lets go. She keeps us invested in her joy, sorrow, pain and delight, and for those 47 minutes, we simply lose ourselves in her story. Commendable performance indeed!
Tasher Ghawr starts off very ‘Thappad’ like. We see Sujata attending to myriad chores around the house, but most of it, in the kitchen. As she chops, cooks, blitzes and bakes, she slowly but surely draws us into her story. At the start of the story, they seem like the whimsical musings of a particularly sensitive soul — who sees colours in different smells, loves the heady smell of wet soil, enjoys singing songs to herself. All this we learn through the constant conversation Sujata keeps us with us. But soon, Sujata’s chatter turns dark. She talks about the smell of blood, blood mixed up with pus, telling us that everyone’s blood has a different odour. She lets us in on her dysfunctional marriage, her husband’s affair with a woman called Sharmi, his brutal invasion of her body at night. As she goes on, with a sweet, innocent smile playing on her lips all the time, the reality of her situation hits us with full force. Her husband is not only a philanderer, but also a heartless wife-beater, who cares nothing for her beyond what she can provide. His constant threat is that he’ll fix her with an ‘alternative arrangement’ for her. Sujata’s life, steeped in outdated patriarchal oppression, is poignant and touching. Her bruises speak more than words, despite the constant chatter she puts up. The end is stunning, but we do get an inkling of what is to come, when she tells us about her mother-in-law and her miserable end. Tasher Ghawr is a superbly constructed film, intelligent and well-written. Sahana Dutta, the writer of the film, and director Sudipto Roy have woven an evocative narrative, within the constraints of a debilitating lockdown. It is stellar storytelling!
Music and Other Departments?
The cinematography, of Tasher Ghawr, by Ayan Sil, is compelling. It gives a tinge of the mellow and whimsical to the narrative. Pensive shots of simple everyday objects – the sky, the plants, the clothesline, the kitchen utensils – add to the sombre mood of the movie. The editing is flawless. The music, by Amit-Ishan is soft and soothing. Swastika Mukherjee has sung the songs herself, and her voice is melodic, with an alluring lilt. They draw the viewer into the story way more than any formulaic filmy song ever could.
Swastika Mukherjee’s performance
Sudipto Roy’s direction
Sahana Dutta’s story
None that is worth writing about
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Tasher Ghawr Review by Binged Bureau
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