Kedara Review & Rating
Kedara Review: Loneliness Cannot Be Depicted More Beautifully
Kaushik Ganguly is a master. Both in performing and making others perform to his tunes. Of course, as a director. After mesmerizing and making the audience use kleenexes with his National Award-winning classic Nagarkirtan this year, he's now back to business, right after Pujo-Diwali season with another gut-wrenchingly beautiful film. Now, he danced to the tunes of the debutant director. But no less in stature. Indraadip Dasgupta! The noted music composer who collaborated with Ganguly for Bijoya early this year. And obviously, sparks fly.
The world of Narasingha
Kedara is a catalyst in the life of Narasingha. When he was gifted with a wooden armchair (Kedara in Bengali - for non-native readers), Narasimgha's life takes a turn for the positive. Or has it, really? Before going deeper into the details, let's take a break and look into the life of Narasingha and his passion. He is a ventriloquist. He is a master of that dying art. He can reproduce the voices of anyone he comes into contact with. That helps him in the initial parts of the film to keep his sanity intact.
But as the times are not at all hopeful and the art is in its final stages of lifeblood, he is now a nobody. He is not particularly good looking. Dark, to be exact. He has no one in the world. Or so it seems. He's living away from his wife. But there's no divorce. He has no friends. And the guys around in the colony/place he resides ridicule for fun. Narasingha is even looked down upon by his maid. He insults him like he is a perpetual dependent on him.
Is that it? No. In one of his greatest performances or even the greatest performances of all time in Bengali Cinema (arguably - as this writer is under the spell of Kaushik Ganguly - and of course, shall we say, in recent times?), Kaushik Ganguly's Narasingha converses within himself with people from his past. And even the animals and objects from his past. Using his art. Ventriloquism. He perfectly reproduces their voices, right down to the highs and lows and emotions.
But the outside world treats him harshly. He couldn't even be spared when he goes to drink his chai at the corner of the road where his dilapidated house stands. He deals with a junk dealer Keshto. And earns meager amounts to keep going. Life is a boring long march to nothingness, which is quite well depicted by the filmmaker Indraadip in surrealistic imagery.
But like they say, nothing is permanent. Yes. Nothing is permanent. Life takes a different turn for Narasingha when Keshto presents him with the eponymous Kedara. He always coveted to have one. When it comes into his possession, it brings about a transformation in his personality. His confidence is restored. And his bravado. But this transformation comes at the cost of his sanity which he has been keeping up all these days, leading to a series of misfortunes and unexpected turns. What's in store for Narasingha post his possession of Kedara form the rest of the story.
Kaushik Ganguly's act as Narasingha slowly consumes our senses as the film progresses. He never acted like Narasingha. He just recreated himself into Narasingha. Every moment, even to the minute movements of his vocal cord, the eyes which are full of emptiness splashed with a painful sort of childish innocence and spark all drags the audience into his world. The transformation of Narasingha post his possession of Kedara is subtly executed. No melodrama. It's all organic.
His transformation is cerebral initially. Just like his performance consumes us, his physical transformation occurs in a profound manner. Rudranil Ghosh is pitch-perfect as a man who has a lot of affection for Narasingha. Bidipta Chakraborty is neat as Narasingha's estranged wife. There's an air of distance between which feels real. Mousumi Sanyal Dasgupta as the maid who relishes at insulting the protagonist is irritatingly good in her role. Though they have limited screen-time, these two women add to the completeness of the plot.
The music by Arijit Singh is temperamental. It has become a character in the film. It has the similarly surrealistic feel of the narration. As we often encounter in great films, the score went hand in hand with the narration. The cinematography is first-rate and captured the lackadaisical world of Narasingha. Cinematographer Subhankar Bhar and editor Sujoy Dutta Roy carefully crafted the film, with a lot of close-up shots of Narasingha’s face. The film is performance-based after all. The production design and production values deserve appreciation for delivering a realistic feel.
Writing and direction
The direction by Indraadip is mercurial. The writing is superb for a film that has as much cerebral storytelling as it has visual. The screenplay is gripping. Srijato's dialogues are right out of life. Realistic. Rings truth. And represents the world of Narasingha organically.
The film is predictable for seasoned movie buffs. But this is not a potboiler. It's a film that must be cherished. To be experienced. Go and join Narasingha in a misadventure where he may not be safe but leads us to cinematic nirvana. For sure.
- Kaushik Ganguly masterclass in acting
- Indraadip's assured direction
- Brilliant score and cinematography
- Not any we can think of
Pycker Rating: 4 out of 5
Reviewed by: GitacharYa
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