#DirectorsCut: Subhadro Choudhury’s ‘Clerk’ Attempts a New Transcendent Art Language | Bengali Cinema News

What the golden age of Bengali cinema has left us is a legacy of endless possibilities. If today, the films of Satyajit Ray, Mrinal Sen, Ritwik Ghatak, Buddhadeb Dasgupta or Tapan Sinha are part of our consciousness, it is thanks to their ability to illuminate the “dark chambers of our souls” and to offer us a perspective – to live and let live. These cinematographic works rich in history and heritage continue to influence our discourse and our consciousness. The “essential humanism” of these master filmmakers has crossed time and space. It’s a treasure trove of cult classics, but there’s also a certain section of films that are criminally underrated.

In this new series of #DirectorsCut, ETimes talks about those relatively lesser-known, yet brilliant films by iconic directors who have been overshadowed by their more popular cinematic works. This week we take a look at Subhadro Choudhury’s 2010 film “Clerk”.

A film ahead of its time

Some might like it, others might not. But it’s not entirely possible to ignore a film like Subhadro Choudhury’s “Clerk”. Even if the form of the narration seems too experimental with its shifts between the real and the surreal, Sirsha Ray’s lens gives the film such an international aspect that it is quite teasing for lay viewers.

Perfect mix of real and surreal

Clerk explores the schizophrenic nature of an average middle-class Bengali typist, lonely by day and incorrigibly romantic by night. A labor issue in his office that threatens to shut down the business doesn’t annoy him. But what registers as a much more intense problem is the turmoil in his eccentric dream world – a world where he relentlessly calls Bollywood heroines every night and in a drunken stupor, reports stories of how he saved each of them in distress. . And most of the time, he is also heard stating on the phone that although he has always been their savior, he knows they might not return the favor. However, things take a completely different turn when he falls in love with Ash and asks for her hand in marriage. The real and the surreal intersect even as the clerk tries to figure out whether his interest lies in falling in love with his real-life neighbor or the Bollywood diva, who is about to marry Abhishek Bachchan.


Prosenjit’s Stellar Act

Prosenjit Chatterjee, in the role of a clerk, undergoes a phenomenal process of reinvention. It’s hard for a star to strip off an aura and play a loser who, in his dream world, is also a hell of a hero. Cleverly assisted by Sirsha’s camerawork, Prosenjit’s bathtub scene could go down as a milestone in the history of Bengali cinema. And again, there are those intriguing moments of him as a romantic, enjoying a few drinks within the familiar confines of his candlelit bedroom which is aesthetically designed by art director Tanmoy Chakraborty.

A new transcendental art language


Of course, the director deserves credit for coming up with a film that is refreshing and original in its perspective and that attempts to speak in a new language of transcendental art. While it is indeed heartening to see a star like Prosenjit be part of such a film, one cannot help but wonder if today’s Bengali film-loving audience has the sensibility and willingness to spend money to discover the finer nuances of a film. movie that otherwise has a very fine plot.

About Monty S. Maynard

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