Goynar Baksho – Kolkata Bengali/Bangla Movie Full Movie Watch Online
This scene, in many ways, captures the essence of Aparna Sen’s latest offering. Past encounters present, old meets new and two visions of Bengal, pre-Partition and Bangladesh War, face up to each other. And this is just one of many juxtapositions in the film. Goynar Baksho succeeds because it operates at many levels. There are intensely personal vignettes: pishima asking a blushing Somlata — Konkona in an endearing, nuanced performance (honestly, Daayan or no Daayan, why can’t we offer her more such roles in Tollywood?) — about her first night of lovemaking with her husband; pishima talking about the taste of shuntki maachh in her native Faridpur. But Aparna flags each such moment for her commentary on Bengal’s changing fortunes over much of 20th century.
The film opens with Somlata’s entry as the new bride into the decadent zamindar family presided over by the imperious Chandranath (Paran). The expenses for the wedding are paid off with an old Burma teak four-poster and a luxurious carpet. But no man of this family has worked for a living, so his two sons — Chandan (Saswata) and Chanchal (Pijush) — while away their time fishing and marking time at their favourite courtesan’s. Everyone in the extended family eyes the goynar baksho — a jewellery hoard of 500 bhari — that’s guarded by the hawk-eyed, foul-mouthed, venom-spitting pishima. Once she croaks, the treasure can be divided. But pishima has other plans. Within moments of he death, she entrusts the box to Somlata, with the rider that she has to safeguard it. But Somlata uses her native intelligence to convince pishima to pawn the jewels and use the capital to set up a sari shop. Thus the landed gentry enter the realm of commerce. Inevitably, the wheels of industry and industriousness turn, as do the fortunes of the family.
Through the tale of this one family and it’s members, Aparna deftly captures the grand sweep of history. The trauma of Partition, of lands and inheritances lost, of unfamiliar adjustments after years of zamindari grandeur — it’s all there. But the men are in some ways the paraphernalia of this film. At the centre stand the three women — Pishima, Somlata, Chaitali — as they fight against patriarchy and social mores in their unique ways. Pishima is vitriolic, Somlata quiet but intelligent, Chaitali couldn’t care less about societal norms — or the goynar baksho. Mind you, the feminism is not heavy-handed, but dovetails smoothly with the comic elements. Somlata calls Chandan “purush singha”, but manages to send him scouting for the best saris across the country.
What do you say about the acting of these three women? Moushumi is superlative. Beneath all her expletives is a lonely, unfulfilled woman, rejected by society, consigned to the periphery of familial existence. At the same time, she’s straight out of a Sirshendu Mukherjee book, comical, unpredictable, sharp as nails. With Konkona, you always expect something special, and she doesn’t disappoint. Timid yet charming, fearful yet strong-willed, she’s so 1950s that you almost forget that her last Bengali release was Shunyo Awnko, where she plays a fearless journalist. She’s the bridge between pishima and her own daughter, Chaitali. Srabanti — both as the younger Moushumi and as Chaitali — holds her own against the other two. The men, of course, turn in stellar performances, from Saswata to Paran, Pijush and the others.
A word about the music and camerawork. Debajyoti Mishra has done a lovely score, the high point being the soulful Sakhi re by Subha Mudgal, which tugs at your heartstrings long after it’s over. Soumik Halder does brilliantly again, working in tandem with Aparna, to create a lush, small-town Bengali landscape.
A few pointers in an almost-perfect film: the genesis of Somlata’s nebulous affair with Rafique (Kaushik) seems under-explored; the special effects — the shower of rose petals, the flying utensils in the kitchen — are a bit amateurish; and did Chaitali, growing up in the mofussils of the ’70s, have to have a layered hair cut? Aparna, who works on the minutest details — during the Bangladesh war, even the cover of a mag lying casually on the table has a Sheikh Mujib photo — could have given this more thought.
But these are minor quibbles. It’s one of the funniest, smartest movies of the year and a viewer’s delight. If you think otherwise, as pishima would say, kochupora!
Rashmoni dies a peaceful death and is quite relaxed to leave her earthly existence, but is not to keen to leave her belongings especially her ‘goynar baksho’ (jewellery box) behind. Director Aparna Sen’s latest Goynar Baksho explores the possibilities of a jewellery box that travels through time and through which several lives around it alters. After the successful screen adaptation of ‘Japanese wife’ Aparna Sen adapts Shirshendu Mukhopadhyay’s story Goynar Baksho with equal ease. Goynar Baksho is a period-drama exploring the various nuances of life. From marriage to family rivalry to the bigger problems of the crisis of the nation everything gets a place in the narrative.
Somlata (Konkona Sen Sharma) marries Saswata Chatterjee and becomes the younger daughter-in-law of the Mitra household. Her family being poor she has to succumb to the duties of being a part of the zamindar household. Pardon, the Mitra’s are no more zamindar’s but they still keep alive the sentiments of being one and can go on to do anything from fighting a case for their ancestors house, to selling off their valuables to fuel their aristocracies.
One afternoon Somlata discovers her aunt-in-law (pishima) dead, she tries to run away scared of the consequences. The ghost of Rashmoni (Moushumi Chatterjee) stops her. She insists her to take her goynar baksho and keep the same in lock and key, so that no one finds it. Rashmoni lived the life of a widow who was married to an aged man, who died by the time she was 12 years old. The 50 grams of gold in her goynar baksho (Jewellery box) , has saved her through her life and has forced her brother’s to take care of her, she knew they would not take much time to sell off her gold, once she closes her eyes. Somlata eventually becomes the caretaker of Rashmoni’s gold and slowly becomes her confidante by winning her trust. When her in-laws face a turbulent blow financially, Somlata holds the rein of the family together by utilizing the jewellery to open a sari shop with her husband- ‘Rashmoni Saree house’. Yet much to the ghost’s prophecy she can only mortgage the jewels for the timing, to arrange for a capital. Over the time with a close guidance from Rashmoni, the business begins to flourish and the Mitra household starts to get back their lost splendor. The narrative then moves ahead to 1971 when Somlata’s daughter Chaitali (Srabanti Biswas) has grown of age and is 19. She holds an uncanny similarity with Rashmoni and quite strangely can see her grand aunt, much like her mother.
The intricacies of the political scenario, the position of women in the society and the flaws of the zamindari are represented quite well through the narrative. There is a layered story in almost every detail of the film. Finally through Chaitali the goynar baksho ends up in the hands of the ‘Muktijoddha’ (freedom fighters) who are fundless and require a sufficient resource of arms and medicine to sustain their struggle.
The perfectionist in director Aparna Sen is bang-on with the mis-en-scene and the old Bengal charm is maintained with precision in the film.
Cinematography and acting are the other two rich areas of the film that truly deserves special mention. Dialogues, told much in rhythm and verse adds to the narrative and validates the period-drama existence of Goynar Baksho.
To summarize, Goynar Baksho is a must watch and is a story of many stories.
Cast: Moushumi Chatterjee, Konkona Sen Sharma, Saswata Chatterjee, Paran Bandyopadhyay, Srabanti, Kaushik Sen
Direction: Aparna Sen
Duration: 2 hours 21 minutes