Starring: Rituparno Ghosh, Jisshu Sengupta, Raima Sen, Anasua Majumdar, Anjan Dutt
Directed by Rituparno Ghosh
If a director is only as good as his last film, Chitrangada—The Crowning Wish—is a reiteration of Rituparno Ghosh’s mastery over the medium. A gem of a movie delivered by a genius with 11 national awards under his belt—two for best director, eight for best feature film and one for best screenplay. Besides providing viewing pleasure, Chitrangada nudges us to be tolerant of the unconventional and give every human being his space. Rituparno casts himself as the gay choreographer Rudra, who has a steamy affair with junkie drummer Partho played by the handsome Jisshu Sengupta. Rudra is so madly in love with Partho that he goes in for a sex-change surgery to become a woman so that the couple, as husband and wife, can legally adopt a child and live as a ‘conventional’ family. But Rudra is betrayed. Partho falls for the dishy Kasturi (Raima Sen).
Besides Jisshu, who Rituparno casts in film after film to the amusement of many in the industry, Anjan Dutt as counsellor and Anasua Majumdar and Dipankar De as Rudra’s parents stand out. So do Avik Mukhopadhyay and Arghyakamal Mitra as cinematographer and editor respectively. Rituparno, whose own appearance has changed over the years, insists that Chitrangada is not autobiographical.
Gender fundamentalists might see red but the Bengali director’s message is timely against the background of the higher judiciary’s increasing acceptance of gays and transgenders.
Chitrangada (Glitterati, Sep 24) is Rituparno Ghosh’s way of taking revenge on the cruel society that compelled him to stay straight for the greener parts of his life.
Lopamudra, Charlotte, US
Traditional Indian society’s response to unconventional relationships has been far more mature than that of the current society. Eunuchs and homosexuals were all considered different, but thought of as victims of fate. Modern society treats them only as ‘deviants’, nothing more.
Atul Chandra, Mumbai
If it is a gem of a movie delivered by a genius, good, but the reviewer should explain why it can be called so.
Classic case of how great director enjoyed making the movie, and the actor enjoyed acting in it, but the viewer enjoyed staying at his home to watch something else.
This is Ritu's way of taking revenge to Cruel society which compelled him to stay straight for greener part of his life !!!
If we look at traditional Indian society, we find that their response to unconventional relationships have been far mature than that of the current society.
Eunuchs, gays and lesbians were all considered as different, but sufferers of fates hand. They may be ridiculed and exploited but but were still accepted as humans. .
The modern society has treated them as outcasts and has a much more brittle approach towards what it calls 'deviants'.
The LGBT movement is a profound question on modern definition of humanity.
Any way, perverse as it may appear, the story as narrated above appears to be a repetition of the tired narrative of the weak getting exploited. Used and thrown.
Sad. Unless, the reviewer has left out some twist for the viewers to discover.
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