It is still a Tuesday and my scouting for good content is still underway. With that, I finished watching the new Bengali film Projapati which is now streaming on Zee5. The film did have a theatrical release in December last year in what was a magnificent year for Bengali films. There is always a sense of aesthetic as far as Bengali films are concerned, be it their language or the setting. And that is what makes the Bengali films special even in terms of the storytelling. The representation of the Bengali culture is quite evident in most stories which are rooted in reality. And I was expecting nothing less in the Bengali film Projapati which did end up being a blockbuster at the Box Office in Bengal. So then does Projapati manage to impress, lets find out.
Story & Screenplay
Projapati follows the story of a father-son duo wherein the father wants his son to get married and settled in life. But the son doesn’t wish to budge. The story here is quite heartwarming and relatable. But the story does go a further notch ahead in addressing the loneliness of an individual in old age. The screenplay here standing at about a 135 minutes does make for a compelling watch but it could have been further shortened for a tauter narrative.
The drama opens with the introduction of the protagonist who is shown to be a wedding planner. His father does handle the household chores and both share a very cordial and a warm relationship. It is acknowledged that the protagonist is aware that his father had single handedly taken care of him and his sister following his mother’s demise. The conflict being that he doesn’t want to marry much to the annoyance of his father. The events unfolding do have a tinge of humour and sweetness to it, in what is almost like a slice of life drama.
The proceedings are engrossing and entertaining particularly with the antics used by the character of the father in coaxing his son to marry. There is, however, a second conflict that was introduced quite late in the tale, in perhaps the final act. I did feel that that particular conflict should have been the basis of the story. This is because not only did it tackle a very important issue of loneliness during old age but some of the conflicts leading upto this conflict felt slightly irrelevant. The writing could have stayed true to its subject and introduced this conflict earlier in the screenplay with the conflict of the son’s marriage just being a byproduct of it. Another drawback is that things do get slightly melodramatic towards the end along with things being rushed. So the transformation of the protagonist did feel abrupt too with a bizarre pre-climax.
But there are many things to like in the screenplay too. The characterization of the father-son duo is heartwarming with the emotional quotient being on-point. Also, the world building with a budding romance sprinkled in the narrative does make for a fascinating watch. Had some tweaks been made in the drama with respect to the introduction of the conflict and its ultimate resolution, this would have been a better product overall. But overall, the screenplay is sweet and breezy although flawed.
Dialogues, Music & Direction
The dialogues are decently well penned and have their emotions intact at most places. The music is excellent and just so melodious in nature. The BGM does blend well with the drama. The cinematography and colour grading is quite good, particularly the latter which does give the drama a bright look. Director Avijit Sen does a pretty good job in keeping the audience invested throughout with the right check of emotions in play.
The performances are pretty good here. Koneenica Banerjee has her moments to shine. Ambarish Bhattacharya is quite affable and does well with his subtle comic timing. Mamata Shankar as Kusum is sincere and endearing. Koushini Mukherjee has a good screen presence and she does a wonderful job. Sweta Bhattacharya as Mala has a charming presence and is well measured in her role. Mithun Chakraborty as Gaur is excellent and does a magnificent job. Dev as Joy is absolutely brilliant with the emotional aspect of his character and does a wonderful job overall.
Despite its shortcomings, Projapati is heartwarming father and son drama that does make for a good one-time watch. Available on Zee5.