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Chander Pahar, an Unfocused Adventure-Cum-Travelogue

<I>Chander Pahar</I>, an Unfocused Adventure-Cum-Travelogue
© 2013 - IABA Inc.

Based on the popular Bengali novel of the same name, Chander Pahar is an unfocused adventure-cum-travelogue.

At first, writer-director Kamaleswar Mukherjee's adaptation is an homage to the domestic melodramas of Ritwik Ghatak, the subject of Mukherjee's directorial debut. Pressured by his concerned mother, 20-year-old daydreamer Shankar Chowdhury (Dev Adhikari) leaves home and becomes a stationmaster for the Uganda Railway, resulting in a preposterous man-vs.-nature narrative.

Shankar stubbornly ignores multiple lion assaults and one black mamba molestation — all captured in slow-motion, compounding Dev's already awkward performance — so he can make like David Livingstone and master, in Shankar's words, "the Dark Continent." Then, after saving fellow explorer-tourist Diego Alvarez (Gerard Rudolf) from a pack of hyenas, Shankar quits his job and looks for diamonds in the mountains of South Africa.

Details

Chander Pahar
Directed by Kamaleswar Mukherjee
IABA LLC
Opens January 10



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These scenes are a desert-set variation on Robinson Crusoe, except unlike Daniel Defoe's civilized hero out in nature, Shankar winds up fighting a giant purple lizard-monster called a "bunyip" — a beast that, once seen, makes it impossible to take Chander Pahar seriously.

Like a walking concept sketch for an aborted H.R. Pufnstuf-style Diablo expansion pack, the bunyip is two beady yellow eyes, crooked sabertooth-tiger fangs, and a bullfrog-like neck bulge on a fat purple dinosaur's body.

Mukherjee's chimera, like the movie around it, is too ungainly to live.

 
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1 comments
shantanab.banerjee
shantanab.banerjee

This was the costliest film yet in bengali film industry..and still shoestring compared to hollywood junks like transformers (and some big bollywood movies also, which typically has budget 5-10 times than it). The director and producers showed courage in bringing the wonderful source material which many, including satyajit ray tried to bring onscreen but failed-believing it to be unfilmable. The team deserves praise at least for their endevaour.

 

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