The year is 2008, the year of global recession and its deep impact. Aniket (Indraneel Sengupta) is an executive in a IT firm, who wakes up one day in a resort hotel. He looks at his mobile phone, and finds a number of messages in his mailbox. As he starts to delete the messages, memories of the past year come flooding to him. Each message is a reminder of an incident (or a series of incidents) which has shaped his life and helped it disintegrate. There is the message from Subhash (Biswanath Bose), his friend and a workman at a factory who is facing desperately hard times as his factory is closed. His son is suffering from acute depression and his wife Sudha (Locket Chatterjee), in sheer desperation starts a massage parlour and gets arrested for prostitution. There is Kevin (Rudranil) the event manager, and his live-in girlfriend Sonia (Sudipta Chatterjee), a fashion designer, who start a family, only to have their world crashing around them as the child will be born with disabilities. Sonia undergoes an abortion. Then there is Mohit, Aniket's father (Biswajit Chakraborty), who dies of lung disease, wracked by the pain of distance from his only son. And there is Aniket himself and his wife Raka (Srilekha) who drift apart as Aniket driven by a sense of failure cheats on her, only to have their marriage fall apart. Even his girlfriend Lilette (Tanushree) is not spared by tragedy, as she finds she is HIV positive, is abandoned by Aniket and has to go into self imposed exile. There are the stories of Shalini, of Manish, of Farhad and many others. It is a year of tragedy and pain and stress, in which lives are torn apart by circumstances beyond the control of the protagonists. In a sense it is a Greek tragedy, with each protagonist being overtaken by nemesis...
And yet it is a story of life, where everyone undergoes searing tragedy and still picks up their lives. Life goes on, despite the pain and the tragedy. Despite all his travails, Subhash picks up his life and starts a small business. If farhad has lost his only daughter, he is still able to rationalise his loss and find meaning. If Aniket & Raka drift apart, there is also a hint that they will not separate permanently and that life will take a turn for the better after all. Each protagonist is devastated by circumstances but finds in himself (or herself) an inner strength to go on with life...
Urochithi is a dark brooding film. It may have its sense of optimism, but the Director looks around and only finds human tragedies. Aniket's life is itself a Greek tragedy as he is tossed about in a sea of troubles. It is a time when there are no moments of joy to light up the gloom. When you see this film you will feel the pain of each protagonist, but rarely will you share a moment of joy. The Director may have his point of view, but life is rarely a tale of relentless gloom. But he is a young director, and youth finds intellectual satisfaction in presuming that life is only there to deal you the worst of hands!
That aside, the film has some memorable performances. The first that comes to mind is Biswanath Bose. He has been given only comic roles, sometimes caricatures. And when he gets a role with meat, he shines. His Subhash is nuanced and very very real. Keeping him company is Locket Chatterjee, for a change underplaying emotions and thus putting them across to her audience with finesse. I liked Srilekha Mitra as Raka as well. The part where she learns of her husband's infidelity and tries to commit suicide is very well played. Indranil himself is somewhat stilted. I have seen him do much better. Others are good too.
Debajyoti Mishra excels with the musical store. There is no lilting song as in Titli, but the music is often harsh and loud, adding to the sense of tragedy. Editing by Arghyakamal is outstanding. It must have taken a great deal of effort to edit a film in which there are so many subplot. It is to the credit of of the director that he does not lose his way in a host of maudlin subplots. Instead, through these sub-plots, he manages to convey a sense of gloom and desperation that the global recession brought in its wake. This is a multi-faceted film, but one with few light moments. Even the moments of joy are tinged with gloom.
An excellent debut film.