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Mahalaya Review

U Drama, Periodical 1 hrs 48 mins Mar 1, 2019





Mahalaya Review & Rating

Mahalaya Review: A documentation of Bengal's history

The premise

Mahalaya reopens a chapter of Bengali history revolving around the radio programme Mahishasur Mardini. The radio programme Mahsishashur Mardini comprising devotional songs and chant is an inseparable part of Durga Puja. The programme directed by Pankaj Mullick where Birendra Krishna Bhadra did the chant was once replaced with one conducted by Bengal's matinee idol Uttam Kumar. Despite having the most-loved Mahanayak in it, they had to witness huge protest and had to replace it with the old one which stays the same and unchanged till now.  The movie revolves around that incident.

The Cast

Mahalaya has a more documentary-like approach when it comes to its characters. The characters are much-inspired to the real iconic figures. Jisshu did a commendable job as Uttam Kumar capturing his enigma quite well. However, the film tried to establish his stardom through others rather than by the character itself. Subhasish’s portrayal of Birendra Krishna is precise. The baritone that gives goosebumps in the morning of Mahalaya is actually an ordinary looking man with no attractive feature in his physical appearance. Subhashish nailed it with his performance. Prosenjit Chatterjee left his mark in a negative character. Kanchan Mullick too did his part aptly. 

The Direction

Mahalaya is more like a docudrama that captured a significant part of Bengali history. The filmmaker did a good job in capturing the iconic figures and documenting the incident keeping it close to reality. However, the dialogue could have been a little less dramatic. The film's direction is more like a documentary rather than a film. Though it doesn't get boring for the very reason.

Finally, the film is definitely a watch-worthy one. Watch it to see nice documentation of a history that will take you closer to your root. 



  • Performances
  • The plot
  • The realistic approach


  • The length of the film
  • Dragged in places

Pycker Rating : 3.5 out of 5

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What is the film all about?

Mahalaya is a periodical drama that reopens the glorious chapter of Bengali history regarding the iconic radio programme Mahalaya. It is said, with the radio programme Mahsishashur Mardini that comprises devotional songs and chant, Durga Puja starts for every Bengali. As we hear the recorded version of the same on Mahalaya, previously the artists would perform it in the morning of Mahalaya. The programme directed by Pankaj Mullick where Birendra Krishna Bhadra did the chant was once replaced with a new programme arranged by Mahanayak Uttam Kumar which was scrapped down within a day. The movie revolves around that incident.

What to expect from the film? 

A nostalgic and emotional drama

The film deals with some iconic figure of Bengal's cultural figure with whom common Bengali men and women fee emotional connection. While Bengal's matinee idol Mahanayak Uttam Kumar is one side of the story, legends like Birendra Krishna Bhadra and Pankaj Mullick is the other. There is hardly anyone in a Bengali household, who has never heard Mahishasur Mardini on the day of Mahalaya. No wonder a story comprising all these elements will have an emotional value that can excite nostalgia. 

Amazing starcast 

When a movie deals with not one but many legends of a culture, the cast has to be topnotch. The ensemble cast of the movie doesn't disappoint at all. The audience will look forward to watch Jisshu Sengupta as Uttam Kumar and Subhasish Mukherjee as Birendra Krishna Bhadra. Well, they can be criticized or praised depending on their work in the film. Prosenjit Chatterjee also plays a key role, a grey shaded one, in this venture.


When the film is about Mahalaya, the viewers will expect heartwarming music from the movie. No song, except a beautiful Rabindra Sangeet, has been released yet. The viewers have to head to the theatre to see if the much-loved songs from Mahishashur Mardini have been used in the film and how they have been utilized in it. 

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