|brain: What a line.|
rest of self: Take me now, Soumitra.
I had no idea what to expect of it going in because I haven't been able to find a single opinion about it online in English (though I did see something labeled "review" in Bengali on a torrent site). Maybe because the film is so straightforward and simple people haven't felt there's much to say about it. I also know nothing about what would have been hoped or expected of its director (Ajoy Kar), music director (Kalipada Sen), writer, etc. when it was made almost fifty years ago. Maybe some of you can tell me whether the film was overlooked when it was released.
Aloka (Sharmila) has a family who supports her becoming an accomplished adult, letting her stay up late at night studying and having no issues with her socializing with this kind man they've all just met. I don't know if I'm actually right about this, but Aparna in Apur Sansar seems so much a girl and not a woman until the very end; there's something more mature and well-rounded, solid, stable about Aloka. She is a young woman of deliberation and principle and carefulness, one who speaks her mind and is adult enough to admit when she's wrong.
None of this is to say that I think there is any intended reflection on Apur Sansar by Barnali; it's just that seeing Sharmila and Soumitra's faces makes me think of that indelible film and their beautiful work together.
|Which is still not an excuse for staring at her in the middle of the night while she's studying.|
There are even more ways I could rave about Barnali, like its reflection on particular social values, its purposeful quietness, and its lovely music.* Instead, out of concern of swamping it (or preaching about it so much I drive you away), I'll just finish by saying it is thoughtful, sweet, sad (but not at the very end, of course!), and delightful. Watch it on Angel Video's youtube channel here.
PS And because the world needs more pictures of this vintage of Soumitra Chatterjee in a suit....
|And here, I've even got a non-shallow reason to include it. It shows how well this movie does at saying things visually. Look at the contrast in these two characters: upright, smooth, in command; squashed, disheveled, ridiculous.|