Monday, October 20, 2014

Ramdhanu- (Rainbow)

Watched a really good Bangla movie after some time! It is called Ramdhanu.

This movie examines the process of admission to English Medium Private Schools (EMPS) in Kolkata for kids under the age of 5 years! No it is not another boring documentary.. it is more of satire..  it gives us a glimpse of the irony prevalent in a society I grew up, masked with humour.

I have never experienced this madness and for the first time in a long time I felt glad that I was born a long time ago (no, I'm not letting you how old I am! just know it was a longgg time ago)

So it starts off with parent's education level, their bank balance, their status in the society.  Cars driven,  last vacation destination are all taken into consideration to gauge their status. So basically, what it comes down to is - if you slacked off in school and your mark sheet from grade 10 and grade 12 reflect that - your kid's future is F-I-N-SS-E-D!

So if I had kids, my kids would never make it to any prestigious EMPS in Kolkata.. oh but wait, my achievements does not matter that much - I can cook and clean, and that should be good enough. Dad has money rolling in and good education right??.. that's the ONLY thing that matters. So much so that if someone is a single mother, she might have to hire a fake dad to go to the interviews with her. Just to show she has a man who can take care of her! Oh makes me MAADD!

I bet you are thinking getting into a MBA program is a lot easier.

So basically the message of this movie is best summarized in the movie poster above. Focus on a good wholesome education, not just the best school. 

The directors drive the point home and does it in a wonderful way. The comic timing of the male protagonist, Laltu Dutta ( who is the co-director), owner of Dutta Medical Hall is brilliant. His portrayal of a middle class medicine shop(pronounce SOP) owner is very relatable - you see the once para r morere changra chele who has settled down in him. 

Notable mention is Khwaraj Mujherjee - he is simply awesome. He plays the character of a non- Bengali ( possible Marwari) businessman who "helps" your kid get into a good EMPS at a small fee. 

Mitali and Gogol played by Rachna Banerjee and Akashnil Mitra is very natural. No overacting, no nekami that is so common in Bengali commercial movies. As you know in the Bengali masala movies if you are the female protagonist you are either extra neka .. .  or you are rude with an attitude issue.. why else would our heros fall for you?? Din't you know according to the commercial Bangla movies a girl can't be intelligent and sexy at the same time! too much to handle aparently..You have to match the hero's intellectual level after all.

Anyway the reality that Mitali deals with really struck a chord with me. The over inquisitive "friend" who wants to constantly know if her son got into a good school or not, the constant questioning of the neighbours about the status of little Gogol's application... all too familiar!

I have to point out some side story lines used to drive home the point that was not necessary - Mitali's brother's Memsheb girl friend learning Bangla. As if that wasn't enough - she actually asked oh how come you guys are trying to teach your son English and I'm trying to learn Bangla here.. too obvious what tactic you are using.. didn't need to be so blatant! 

Anyway.. great movie, great entertainer that leaves us with something to think about, even try to take baby steps to make the process better, maybe?? 

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