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Starring: Rituparna Sengupta, Ananya Chatterjee, Unnati Davara
Directed by Agnidev Chatterjee
If it weren’t for gripping performances by Rituparna Sengupta and Ananya Chatterjee, who play a neurotic newscaster and rape victim respectively, Teen Kanya would have been a film to miss. The director would have us believe that his theme is socially conscious and politically correct, ‘women’s empowerment’.
Injected into the otherwise insensitive script are lines like this one by Ananya’s victim to her mother, “It is now time for rapists to shut themselves in out of shame, not the woman who has been raped.” But we are not convinced. The treatment belies this ostensibly noble intention with a highly derivative plot patched together with sensationalism sourced from both reel (Hollywood horror) and real life. Though the director has denied it, there are uncanny resemblances to the recent incident in Calcutta in which a woman was raped after coming out of a swanky night club on Park Street.
All this is stitched together using an assortment of low-grade titillation techniques. The film’s other problems pale in comparison, like Unnati’s unconvincing “tough lady cop” who appears to be flirting with the baddie more than threatening him. Like in his earlier Charulata 2011, Chatterjee has depicted what has come to be known as “bold lovemaking scenes” in Teen Kanya too. But there is a thin line between aesthetic depictions, however bold, and well, non-aesthetic. This film has crossed the border to the wrong side.