Thursday, July 12, 2012

Days and Nights in Forest (1970) - Bengali Movie

Another classic from Satyajit Ray in the 70’s which got nominated for Golden Bear for Best Film at 20th Berlin International Film Festival – and now I know why.  It’s a simple story of four friends from a metro breaking the routine of daily life – go out for a drive in the jungle, stay at a guest house, come across another family from the city, gel well, enjoy, relax, chill and get back to their regular life after couple of days. Like any other typical Satyajit Ray movie – my eyes search for a visual of a Train and he didn't disappoint me here too as this had a goods train passing by their guest house in the dead of the night – I totally love his fetish for trains in almost all his movies. What I loved about this movie is Gorgeous Sharmila Tagore looking damn good in trousers and the way he projected her widowed sister in law, I am sure none other Director would have dared to show her the way he did, gelling well with strangers in front of her father in law, wanting to live life as it should be for all. It’s a damn good one time watch for all cinema lovers as haven’t we all done the same at some point in our life? Too good and what fun it was to see this one.  

The Movie: It’s a very simple story of a group of four friends, who are on a road trip to some part of Bihar which they have never visited earlier. They just look forward to some good quality time in each others company. In the first half hour of the movie, we realize they all are way too different and are all unique characters. Asim (Soumitra Chatterjee) being their leader, owns the car that they drive in with three of his friends Sanjay, Hari and Shekhar. They bribe the caretaker of forest rest house to allow them to stay without the knowledge of the forest ranger. All the characters are so well written and cut out from the regular people like you and me, who do not plan to shave or do anything on the vacation but just chill relax and have fun. They all get drunken big time drinking the local wines barring one of them who is the joker of the pack so he could control them and bring back to the guest house once they are totally drunk. They do come across a gang of local tribal girls getting drunk in the local liquor bar cum shop – one of them happens to be Simi Grewal and that was a shocker for us to see her in that kind of a role, they call her Miss India jokingly.

Sharmila Tagore and her Sis in Law
While they stay in the forest rest house, the twist comes in the shape of the forest officer that visits them and informs that the ranger may come and visit one of these days but they pay no heed to it. They do come across a family quite close to their rest house and they become friends with them quite fast as they become the only company to each other from the same life style back in town. It has its own little twist and turns with some shocking moments which I am sure would have got debated back then, but for now they aren’t that big a shocker – you’ve got to see it to believe what I am trying to say here. Like, the way Sharmila’s sister in law falls for one of the guys and the scene following that. The game that they play in the woods, one of the friends falls for the tribal beauty and what comes out of it, the ranger’s visit to the rest house, getting drunk and making a scene on the road etc. But it’s too good a movie and totally hilarious in parts cause of the lively cast it had. Sharmila Tagore and Soumitra Chatterjee are a revelation for me at least in this one, never imagined that she could look this good that too in a Ray movie of all. Check it out guys – if nothing else – it does entertains you thoroughly.

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