Niharika in the Mist
A meditative tale of suppressed emotions,unfulfilled love ,”Niharika” paints a life of an woman paralyzed by tragedies in various phases of life.The geography in which the story is set in provides a serene presence to the woman who is apparently calm and seemingly coping up with her tragedies.But the internal restlessness,confused desires are draining her peaceful existence in there.Since childhood,every person she has been trying to be close with has either left her or denied their intimacy.It is also a tale of womanhood,it shows how society dictates a woman always to have a dependent presence in their life,someone to serve always with not expecting something in return.But the film doesn’t explicitly blames men for this ,rather it places them also as a victim of dogmatism in our society.
Indrasis Acharya’s protagonist Deepa almost throughout the entire runtime is seeking for affection,love which she hardly experienced in her childhood home where a drunkard father,abusive uncle had made her life a nightmare.The affection she seeks is also somewhat twisted,unorthodox.She indicates somewhat blasphemous signs of intimacies which is a taboo in our society when she shifts to his maternal uncle’s house.The characters of her maternal aunt and uncle are the two most affectionate presence in her life.Her aunt lives in a subtle solitude,her eyes speak volumes but her mouth remain shut.What seems like a happy marriage is indeed a tale of two souls drifting farther apart day by day although sharing the same bed and roof.Our protagonist contemplates this complex state of relationship and fears of similar future in her life too.
The film mainly works due to its restrain in showing delicate emotions by bits and pieces,the gentle cuts between different timelines.The rough terrains of Bihar and Jharkhand acts like a proper allegory to the characters in the film.
Shantanu De beautifully shot the wide terrains and the occasional intimate frames,the dimly lit interiors which resonates with the film’s meditative brilliance.Joy Sarkar ‘s instrumental compositions also fits the film like water.
Anuradha’s performance as Deepa is supposedly her best till now,she plays such a complex character with astounding expertise.The main factor being that she understands her role very well.Shilajit Majumdar plays his equally complex role of her uncle with natural brilliance.Mallika Majumdar’s role although being shorter makes the most impact,her eyes and forced pretense of living a happy life is brought skillfully into screen by effortless Mallika Majumdar. Anindya Sengupta also impresses in his role,his character is poles apart from other ones,being a city boy there is always a sharp contrast between perspectives among them.
The film although ends in a satisfactory note it would be far fetched to be hailed as a happy ending.Our protagonist learns to live with herself and her search for a perfect soulmate ends with finding herself in an isolated abode in a serene hamlet.
Niharika sure have its share of flaws,like with the excessive inclination to blank framings which works few times but sometimes they are too much ambiguous.Some characters apart from the leads have very negligent presence,although their importance was needed.The performances are also very one note from them.
Still Acharya again proves to be a mature storyteller in his fourth film .Adapted from Sanjeeb Chattopadhay’s “Bhoy”,it’s such a multilayered story to tell on screen but Acharya has done it with sincerity and precision.
Disclaimer: The above review solely illustrates the views of the writer.