Blogadda Who are you reading today?

Visit blogadda.com to discover Indian blogs


Monday, 27 August 2012

Lacking the courage (Kaapurush from Kaapurush O Mahapurush)

I've been absent from the blogging world for quite some time now. I've had my reasons...
On the 7th of this month, my husband and I got blessed with a beautiful baby boy. Yes! I'm a proud mother now, to my doll-faced bundle of joy. And yes, he's kept me on my toes ever since his arrival. Though all he does is eat, sleep, pee and poop, yet somehow not a moment passes everyday when I'm not staring at his face. Yes, he's occupying my entire life now!!
I've named him Dingding. And occasionally I call him things such as White Kitten, Chini and Shona. We are yet to christen him. I'm still searching for a unique name that starts with S. Yes, I want my son to have the same initials as his mother :)
Suggestions are welcome...

Since Dingding has kept me busy, I haven't had much time to catch up on golden oldies. So, I'll write about a film that I saw a few months back. It's a good one directed by Satyajit Ray, and which is a complete contrast to another film that is celebrated for as much its humour as for its sarcasm, multiple layers and its characterisation.
Kapurush is the serious foil to Mahapurush. While Mahapurush is an ovation to the gall and charisma of a cunning man, a man who will not crumble under pressure, Kapurush throws light on the meekness of a man who doesn't have the mental strength to rise up to the occasion on any count. There are situations when fate gives him a chance to deliver, but he never can cough up enough courage to stand up and deliver. It is a love story gone wrong, a tale of a woman's belief and trust unrequitted and it is a strange case of three individuals brought under one roof that brings forth the true traits of these characters.
Kapurush, made in 1965, starts with Amitabha Roy (Soumitra Chatterjee) stranded on the roads of North Bengal. He is a Calcutta-based scriptwriter in the process of collecting material for his new film. But on the event of his car breaking down, he is looking for help, which arrives in the form of Bimal Gupta (Haradhan Bandopadhyay), the manager of a tea estate. Gupta offers Roy hospitality for the night, which Roy accepts because he has no other alternative.
When the men reach Gupta's bungalow, Roy is shocked to meet Gupta's wife. He recognises Karuna (Madhabi Mukherjee) to be the girl he had once let down. She has relied on him once and loved him dearly. She was ready to fight her family who disapproved of her relation with him. But Amitabha despite loving her, had disappointed her royally.
Unaware of their past affair, Gupta entertains Amitabha and comes across as a simple man, devoid of the physical and intellectual charms of the scriptwriter. It's obvious that what Karuna got from her relation with Amitabha is lacking in her relation with her husband. He is too engrossed in his profession to see that his wife is bored and just fulfilling her duties as a wife. There is no spark between the couple, no attraction whatsoever. Flashbacks of Karuna and Amitabha's time together depict the tangible sexual chemistry between the two, thereby showing the complete contrast between the two relations. But what chemistry alone cannot help further a relationship...
Amitabha manages to steal a few moments with Karuna, whereby he tells her that he still loves her and is repenting his past deeds. He tells Karuna that if she is ready he is eager to take her away from her husband. He tells her that he realises that what he did before was wrong and is dying to rejigg his deeds. But can Karuna now trust Amitabha? Can she rest her faith on the man who let her down in such a big way at a time when she most needed him?
Haradhan Bandopadhyay plays Bimal Gupta marvellously. He is simple, gregarious and extremely practical. He isn't the dishy hero, he is a burly tea estate manager with no airs of a handsome man. He gives Karuna the stability she was once ready to barter for romance. But is he capable of giving her the love that she desired from a relationship?
Madhabi Mukherjee appears the perfect, sophisticated wife. Somehow Ray paints Mukherjee in the best lights in all his films. I say best because only in Ray's films do we see Mukherjee with such layers. She looks great (not that she was a very good looking woman) and acts so well. Her restraint only shows how the vivacious part of her is dead after being ditched in love. She is just fulfilling her duties and is happy with the stability that her marriage has offered her. In the scene where she comes rushing to Amitabha to rescue her, it's a brilliant stroke by Ray when he shows her face changing on seeing Amitabha's dilemma. Initially she tells him that she doesn't care about riches and money, she only wants to be with him. But when she sees his palpable fear in plunging into a lifelong relationship that might destabilise his future for a while, Karuna recognises that Amitabha doesn't deserve to be loves and trusted. She wipes her tears and goes away, never to return. Here is a woman hurt and jilted, but she does not sacrifice her pride. Even the ending shows how Karuna only deserves respect...
Soumitra Chatterjee is superlative as the coward lover. Handsome and polished, yet absolutely lacking the determination and strength of character, Amitabha is the lover that no woman would like to have. He crumbles under pressure too quickly and even when he shows courage, he doesn't have the gall to pull off a brave deed. There is a certain scene that shows the storm brewing in his mind. The three people go for a picnic in a jeep. Gupta and Karuna are sitting in front and Amitabha sits in the rear seat. When the jeep takes a sharp turn, Karuna rests her hand on her husband's shoulder. Amitabha watches the action keenly. Perhaps he feels jealous when his past lover touches another man. Perhaps, he thinks that the man who Karuna touches could have been him if he had done things differently. Perhaps, Amitabha deliberates on whether Karuna is really happy in the marriage or is she just acting. Too many questions flutter in Amitabha's mind. And it is Ray's brilliance in bringing out the multiple thoughts that flit in and out of Amitabha's mind. And of course, Chatterjee is the fascinating actor who brings this coward to life with such aplomb...

28 comments:

  1. Will have to watch it then.

    PS: Congratulations!!! Enjoy your time with your baby; they grow up soooo fast. And here’s my pick: Shaurya, Shauryaman, Soumitra, Samar, Sachchit, Satrujit, Sean, Shawn, Shaun, Seymour, Shailesh, Shane, Sheehan, Shelley, Shen, Sherlock, Sherman, Sherwood, Shyam, Siddharth, Silas, Sylvester, Sinclair, Spencer, Suryaman, Sudarshan and Sullivan.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Congratulations again, Sharmi! Happy mommyhood. :-)

    What a coincidence that both you and Beth reviewed Kapurush on the same day. I haven't read Beth's review yet, but this one tempts me to watch the film. Especially as I loved the Soumitra Chatterjee-Madhabi Mukherjee pairing in Charulata. Thanks for the recommendation!

    ReplyDelete
  3. Congratulations, Sharmi. Much, much love to Dingding.

    ReplyDelete
  4. @Roshmi: Thank you so much for all the suggestions. Will discuss all of them with Hubby :)

    ReplyDelete
  5. @Dustedoff: Thanks Madhu :) And yes, please watch both Kapurush and Mahapurush. Both are superlative :)

    ReplyDelete
  6. @Banno: Dingding sends huggs and kisses to Aunt Banno :)

    ReplyDelete
  7. Hi,
    Congratulations, you were missed.

    ReplyDelete
  8. Dear Sharmi,
    Many congratulations on that magnificent event, lots of love to you and your new family! I was especially pleased to land here and see that you'd finally gotten round to review that one: so: what's your verdict? You had told me "Have you seen Mahapurush. That one is the masterpiece, I tell you!!!"... Don't you think that even if Mahapurush (as you put it very well) "is an ovation to the gall and charisma of a cunning man", isn't Kapurush an ovation to Ray's charisma in an even deeper way? I'm off to read what Beth says now!

    ReplyDelete
  9. @Anvar: Thank you so much. I'm glad to hear so. Hopefully, I'll be able to be a bit more regular here :)

    ReplyDelete
  10. @Yves: Thank you so much for all the wishes.
    See, though I do like Kapurush quite a lot for it throwing light on the frustration and lack of determination of a man, Mahapurush, I feel is better for it dealing with so many layers of a man's psyche. And not just one man's, it deals with the multiple layers of human psyche. There are plots and sub plots. Perhaps, that's why I prefer the comedy more. Ya am off to read Beth's take, too.

    ReplyDelete
  11. Anonymous said...

    Congratulations Sharmi!!!! I had to smile at 'staring at your baby all the time'. I did that too. :-) Enjoy your motherhood.

    As for the name. What about Soumitra :-D Ever since I saw him in Charulata I'm mighty impressed. I've found Kapurush online (subtitled) and will definitely watch it.
    pacifist

    ReplyDelete
  12. Hearty congrats once again on your new arrival. Here are a few names that come to mind: Sushobhan, Srinath, Satyajit, Samaresh, Sowmya, Shantanu, Sriram, Shambhu, Saagar, Shatrughan, Sudhanshu, Suparn, Sadashiv, Shyamsunder, Suryakant, Shivshankar, Sudeep.

    I am having a tough time posting this comment. It is happening more and more these days. Blogger always gives such indecipherable letters to "prove that you are not a robot." It takes me a long while to get it right. Do others have the same problem, I wonder.

    ReplyDelete
  13. @Sharmi: Congratulations Sharmi! Great choice with the name Malhar :)

    ReplyDelete
  14. @Nivedita

    It was the same with me. I had to wait and post the next day. Actually if you change a couple of letters then it is recognised as a different comment and it starts anew, otherwise the longer you try the more difficult it gets (they probably have branded you as a robot by then, and don't want you to go any further).
    My letters were just running into each other. In fact the next day when I changed thewording the letters of the code were clearer.

    pacifist

    ReplyDelete
  15. @Pacifist: Hey do watch it.
    Thanks so much. I've named him today. It's Malhar. He was born in monsoon and Malhar being the most famous Indian monsoon raga, I thought it would be apt :)

    ReplyDelete
  16. @Nivedita: Ya I face the same problem too :(

    ReplyDelete
  17. Sharmi, congratulations! 'Malhar' -nice poetic name. :) I hope he grows up to enjoy the raaga.

    ReplyDelete
  18. That's a beautiful name Sharmi. Here's a beautifully sung Malhar Raag in a Pakistani film called Koel. It's beautiful, really!! You must listen to it. :)

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F2oySF0Dygs

    pacifist

    ReplyDelete
  19. @Anu: I hope he likes his name when he grows up :)

    ReplyDelete
  20. @Pacifist: Thanks a ton. I'm off to listen to the song :)

    ReplyDelete
  21. Hey Sharmi! Congratulations! Wish the family and the bundle of joy health and happiness. Felt really happy knowing about your new innings... hahaha.. And yeah, Malhar is such a lyrical name. Good choice.
    Haven't seen the movie. Adding to the
    to-watch' list (which is increasing by leaps n bounds)
    Again, wish you a happy motherhood. Hugs!

    ReplyDelete
  22. Soumitra Chatterjee is indeed a genius actor.He plays his characters so convincingly that the audience can relate to it.His performance in the Apu trilogy is simply brilliant. Any film with his name in credits is worth a watch.

    ReplyDelete