Bengali cinema is unlucky to have lost some of its most prodigious talent before they could reach anywhere near the end of their career - Ritwik Ghatak, Rituparna Ghosh, Bappaditya Bandopadhyay, Nabyendu Chaterjee and … Anjan Das. The last named is the director of Sanjhbatir Roopkathara.
This film starts on a predictable note. One was beginning to feel that it was just another ‘exploitation of women’ kind of film about the protagonist daughter Saajhbati (Indrani Halder) of a well-known painter (Soumitro Chattopadhyay). Midway through the movie, the film unfolds an unexpected development and thereafter the film becomes a powerful exploration of the perils of fame, the father-daughter relationship, love and betrayal, lust and insanity, hope and longings, setbacks and comebacks.
The performances are praiseworthy. Indrani Halder in the titular role is convincing. After Pramathesh Barua’s MUKTI in the 1930s, we have the painter as a major character in Bengali films like Swet Patharer Thala and this one. The supporting cast includes Paran Bandopadhyay, Ketaki Dutta, Firdaus and others.
I discovered that the film was based on a story by eminent poet Joy Goswami which is why the film appears lyrical in several parts...
Rating: 4.1 out of 5