What’s the weather doing where you are? Here in Barcelona autumn is definitely knocking at the door. It’s cooling down to chilly in the evenings, drizzling slightly and I’m on the verge of hibernation (which involves foraging for comfort food, good movies and burying myself under the bedcovers.)
I’m a girlie-girl at heart – which means romantic comedies and gallons of hot chocolate, and nestling in with the cats for some slushy viewing. A friend told me that there was a Bengali take on Erich Segal’s classic, “Love Story” and I was at the DVD store quicker than you could say “marshmallows and pillows.”
I saw Rajashree’s Hindi version (with chronic subtitles – I’m sad to say), a few years ago, and I thought it was great; sadly the critics were a bit less enamoured. I really hope they will be kinder to Raj Mukherjee for his brave and vivid, Bengali version of this romance-lovers classic.
Brave, Bengali, and Brilliant…
If you’ve seen any of Raj’s other films, such as the 2007 teenage love story “I Love You” or “Nagordola” and “Raat Bhor”, both of which ballet-danced around the themes of illicit love with grace and poise, you’ll know he likes to gently touch sore spots and portray them with incredible beauty and poignancy.
The Bengali version of Love Story is a subtle take on the same underlying theme of teenage romance with all its treasures, torments, trials, triumphs and tribulations. And I for one, jumped up and down on my bed applauding.
Separated by Circumstance, United by Desire
Love Story’s plot revolves around two central characters, Saheb and Nandini who are born in the same nursing home on the same day. But circumstances drive Saheb into a lower class home, while Nandini grows up in another surrounded by wealth and affluence. As fate would have it, one day Saheb comes to Nandini’s house for a painting job. The two fall in love and naturally; Nandini’s father is not best pleased.
Varsha Priyadarshini plays the female lead in Mukherjee’s film. Angsuman Parashar, an Assamese actor, makes his debut as the leading love-struck male.
Mukherjee: A Bengali Man With More than one String to His Bow
Mukherjee wrote the song lyrics as well as the screenplay, which was written by Randhir De. Love Story contains 7 songs, sung by Amit Kumar, Kumar Shanu, Abhijeet and Priya Bhattacharjee.
Just like love itself, this story is well worth making a song and dance about and made me feel very slushy and simultaneously glad to be alive: Girls – make sure you have a box of Kleenex at the ready – for the errrr…. hot chocolate stains of course!