Nirontor (The Prologue)
I must be honest with you, I may have watched tons of movies from down South and a bit of Marathi and Gujarati regional films too. But I have not watched too many Bengali films unfortunately. Infact it was sometime last year when I had watched the Bengali film Dracula Sir and was totally blown away by it. And that was the moment when I had decided to watch and review more Bengali content which I find isn’t talked about much outside the region. It was recently that I was recommended a Bengali film on Anmol’s Youtube channel, Tried and Refused Productions that made me jump. The film was Nirontor and I have finished watching it. Is it worth your time, stay tuned.
Story & Screenplay
Nirontor follows the story of two individuals in a thorny relationship who are off to recce a location. Soon they strike an unlikely friendship. And that is all you need to know. The story might seem simple on the surface but it is the most nuanced and layered work that I have seen in recent times that tactfully yet deftly tackles the complexities in relationships. The screenplay is a slow burn and relies more on the silence rather than highlighting the proceedings. And it is another outstanding portrayal of depression that is accurate in every sense of the word. Through an exchange of dialogues, you get to know more about the lives of the two protagonists who have distinctly different situations leading to the same emotion of depression. Also the production design featuring fog in the hills correctly depict the mood of the drama. There is a twist around the halfway mark that paves the way forward for the drama. I also feel, the screenplay is philosophical in many ways that depicts that despite all the hardships and the depressive circumstances that we find ourselves in, life goes on at the end and it is during this period that we can choose the way we wish to live – whether to bottle depression within us or face it and eventually let it go! Just an outstanding screenplay of the highest order.
Dialogues, Music & Direction
The dialogues are minimal and conversational, they add some amount of depth to the poignant drama. Also notice the shift between Bengali, Hindi and Nepalese that is done very effectively. There is minimal use of BGM to keep things real. Director Chandrashish Ray has done an emaculate job here dealing with such a layered story. He does well to not let it become melodramatic, instead he lets it simmer just like the protagonists do throughout the runtime. Outstanding direction.
The performances are brilliant. Poonam Gurung as Binsa is so natural in her cameo. She leaves a lasting impact. Ekavali Khanna is superb again in a cameo. I haven’t seen anyone portraying depression onscreen as effectively as Ankita Majhi. As Jonaki she is really outstanding. Satyam Bhattacharya as Bhaskar is fabulous in a role that had so many layers. Prosenjit Chatterjee as Biplab is wonderfully restrained. He is so natural that you can feel every beat of his character that is depressed and is looking for an escape from reality. Just so brilliant, I cannot emphasize much! This is a collective masterclass of the highest order!
Nirontor is a layered and complex portrayal of relationships and depression. It is one movie you cannot afford to miss! Available on Zee5 and Highly Highly Highly Recommended.