Wednesday, September 23, 2009

ADALAT-O-EKTI MEYE (Bengali) (1982)

“Law is to ensure protection, not to hurt human dignity.”
It’s a shocking fact for our civilized society that a rape takes place in this world every five minutes. That means twelve per hour. The film is the account of one of its victim out of those twelve cases.

A young school teacher Urmila during her holiday break got ruined physically and mentally by gang rape of spoiled wealthy collegians on the beach. The culprits are soon arrested but it’s Urmila who’s treated as an outcast and shunned by her fiancé, her job, by society and even by her parents. The film starring as Tanuja in her career best role is a strong feminist statement against the humiliation and suffering of a rape victim which questions the integrity of our so called patriarchal society and judiciary system that give stigma to victim rather than punishing the criminals. Even today in most of the cases instead of fighting for justice the educated families just withdraw the case to escape themselves from murky business and social stigma.

There’s no unnecessary or obfuscating addition, introduction or role playing of any character or scene in the film. There are some memorable parts of the film. Dialogues are natural yet make us think. In one of the scene the doctor remarked, “It’s inhuman atrocity. What happened was even insulting to animals. Even they follow the law of nature.” Along with Tanuja’s fine act as protagonist, the other most noticeable character of the film is a good hearted and conscience seeking old police man named Gobind who helped Urmila in all her ups and down to seek justice. He’s more father figure to her than her own father.

Tapan Sinha is undoubtedly legendary Bengali filmmaker who made his exit this year. He is perennially rank along with Satyajit Ray and Mrinal Sen. His films were straight from the heart, aesthetically rich and favoring natural dialogues, least melodrama. It was really a bold theme set in ‘80s but Sinha made it so brilliantly and it seems even so contemporary to today’s time. Still the politics of power plays spoilsport behind the judiciary truth. Still ruling politicians corrupted misuse power to protect their kith and kin. Still common man doesn’t want to meddle with any stranger’s case, if the victim is not their dear and near one. The fault does not lie in the individuals but the powerless system where common citizen just don’t want to meddle with police and court. The sole fear of public lies in the very edifice of protection and justice.

Director Rajkumar Santoshi had snatched the subject of the plot, in some sequence even the dialogues to make ‘Damini’, a hard hitting film for wide popular audience with quite audience friendly optimistic ending. Though the film garnered Sunny Deol much coveted National Award for Best Suppoting Actor which he has well acted but the character was more typical bollywood hero driven typifying his natural flair for raw emotions. While Director Tapan Sinha’s this version is true to its salt showing the crude reality of our objective society and loophole of the Indian law for the rich and powerful. The film ends with optimistic and humanitarian point of view that Hope and innocence is not lost yet showing Urmila encounters the awaiting students to meet her.

In her tribute to Tapan Sinha actress Tanuja admitted that her best film is ‘Adalat O Ekti Meye’. Its surprising for me while checking the year of its release in IMDB that the film till day just got six votes with user rating of 9.2/10.
Needless to say Mandatory watch.

Ratings- 9/10

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