Do you ever feel like you are reading a novel while you are actually watching a movie? That is the exact experience that A Death in the Gunj going to give your senses. It is slow, immersive and layered. It is going to give you characters which are fully fleshed out, with their individual quirks and their interactions with each other which define their relations. I mean even the maid in the movie has a personality. Set in 1979, the movie is a flashback of a week’s time with a family vacationing around New Years celebrations.
You are also introduced to Shutu (His name is Shyamal but then when have we settled on calling Bengali characters with their actual names!) He is this subdued being in the family with no real implication in anybody’s life. He is loved but not admired. He is acknowledged but not respected. And most of all he is not understood. He is bullied, made fun of and the worst- he is treated like a kid. It’s his journey at the end of the day and you accompany him on this ride. You connect with him because you can see yourself in him and more so because Vikrant Massey, the actor who plays him, is just pure amazeballs!
If Lootera had better acting, Finding Fanny was less star studded and Kapoor & Sons was not from Dharma- they would be A Death in the Gunj. However, I do have to admit that the trailer seemed more fast paced and hence might be a mismatch for some of the people. You need to be patient to enjoy this one and once you invest in the characters and what drives them- you will enjoy the journey.
I do have to give it to Konkana for making such subtle progressive undertones to the movie. It is a world where eating a cake offered to a grave is just frisked away. It is a world where an afternoon of a couple going at it is nothing unnatural. It is a world where desires are expressed and acted upon.
It is not a movie for people who like them flashy and song-ey! It is for people who are inclined to invest. It’s an experience.
Hits- Vikrant Massey, Konkana Sen Sharma’s direction, Simple yet effective plot
Misses- The Indian Accent!