Love in Times of Infidelity
TLR Rating: 8 Reels.
The plot-line evolving around forbidden liaisons has been common in the film industry since ages. Weaving this concept attracts the audience but it is hard to accept in reality. ‘Dosar’ (The emotional companion) is one such film that brings infidelity and its aftermath, but the difference lies in ending the film without being judgmental. There has been always a thin line that separates the Bengali Cinema from the World Cinema and when it comes to Rituparno Ghosh – the name itself is enough to stir a deep satisfaction and also deep remorse at the same time, not just in the hearts of Bengalis but also all over the nation. His works have always been an inspiration not just to the Bengali Film industry but also to Bollywood.
Shooting the film in Black and White even in the year 2006, made it different from the rest. Even Rituparno said he made the film in B&W background just out of his desire but this may be also because focusing and capturing all the robust details of emotions will be more efficiently done in B&W film rather than in color where focus will be on the detailing of colors. His way of looking into things differently makes the story catchy. The movie mainly revolves around Kaushik (Prosenjit Chatterjee) and his wife Kaberi (Konkona Sen Sharma).
The film started by focusing on a lady who was crooning a Rabindrasangeet while watching the sea. The voice revealed a sadness, a longing desire to get something. In the next couple of minutes, we get to know that the lady, Mita (Chandrayee Ghosh) and the lead protagonist Kaushik have gone on a holiday in the sea beach of Mandarmoni. Yes, the fear and the tension in the breakfast table clearly showed something was awry. Mita wanted to stay back but had to leave as Kaushik forced her. She was not only annoyed but also hurt as she felt that they had spent very less time together. On the other hand, Kaushik’s hurry symbolized that he had other priorities too; was that just office or even more? While returning they met with an accident that had disturbed everyone’s life. Mita was spot dead and Kaushik survived with heavy injuries. His wife was shocked to know that her husband was cheating and was broken from inside (Can these be healed?). Kaberi was in dilemma; the revelation had made her decide to part from her husband and so she called her brother-in-law (Saswata Chatterjee) to notify him that she won’t be a part of the proceedings henceforward. But the lover inside her prevented her from doing so. We again see a couple of different reactions from different people and that shows how every person differs from each other in their perception. Kaberi’s mother advised her to forgive Kaushik and the same was advised by the brother-in-law, but her mother-in-law had a different opinion as she asked her to take decision calmly and her support would be there in any condition.
On the other side unaware of the demise of Mita, when Kaushik gained consciousness he became perplexed. He understood that he had been caught, but he was curious to know Mita’s condition. When Kaberi came to know that, she insulted him in front of his manager who had come to visit him. Meanwhile a parallel story was shown about Kaberi’s friends Bobby (Parambrata Chatterjee) and Brinda (Pallavi Chatterjee) who were also involved in an extra-marital affair. Brinda’s husband ill-treated her and on finding the love and affection from Bobby, she got involved with him. But the underlying agony shown in the movie is what makes a person indulge in adultery. Rituparno Ghosh plants seeds of doubt in the mind of the audience. Is this due to the ill-treatment from the counterpart or the lack of love and why did Kaushik take such steps? May be it can’t be explained. Loyalty is a heavy word and very few has the power to abide by this value. It is easy to get deviated but hard to stick on to the principles which is shown in the film. The film questions fidelity against the normative structure of the society.
Kaberi’s turmoil of reactions have been captured well. She was the person who had to compromise with her ego and help her husband get cured, who incidentally, was the reason for her pain. Although she behaved in a rude manner, the audience could feel her pathos. The scene which shows her crying alone reveals her suffering; the harsh truth which she cannot digest. But she did handle the situation very maturely. In contrast, Mita’s husband (Shankar Chakraborty) had no one to vent out his anger; he was not in a state to handle all the shock together – his dead wife who was involved in an affair after marriage without him being aware of everything, and now was left alone with his son. Kaberi went to meet them too, but he behaved in an insensitive manner. He was so irrational that he handed over the packet of condoms that Mita and Kaushik might have used, and didn’t even think that he was giving back to Kaberi, who is Kasushik’s wife. But later we find that the person is too weak to handle himself and just to quench his sexual hunger, he called a hooker in his home and tried to fulfill his satisfaction when his child was present in home, and it did not end here. He even went up to Kaberi to confess that he repents for his activity. But he asked a question which made people think for a while – Kasushik was still alive to argue with, but whom is he left with to ask for reasons – when the person herself is no more. No doubt, a tough time for both Kaberi and Mita’s husband. While Kaushik is truly trying to win back the lost trust of his wife, he realized his mistake and confessed everything in front of his wife. He also was in a state of loss – loss of his lover Mita and loss of his wife’s trust which was at the verge of extinction.
Rituparno did what he does best in ‘Dosar’, bring out the raw emotions which people are too scared to talk about. The film wasn’t gender biased, it merely questioned the raging infidelity amongst people. The non-linear narrative showing another couple using the same room at the Mandarmani resort testifies the film’s broader scope. Society shuns extra marital affairs and ‘Dosar’ provides answers to the why.
The ending is a bit abrupt, but this maybe the case in real life too. No choice is left else other reconciliation; a realistic ending. If two people need to stay together, due to various household pressure, they do come to a solution and the same trend follows in ‘Dosar’. Both Konkana and Prosenjit have done amazingly. The overall film was captivating, and the expressions of Konkana Sen in the film was way more than impressive, her acting skills elevated the simple story. Prosenjit was subject to mere facial expressions from his position as a bed-ridden patient. Rituparno captured his brilliant eyes which did all the talking. If there is any credible performance of the popular actor, this is the one. Saswata did his job perfectly and Parambrata was his usual too-big-for-his-boots self. ‘Dosar’ is truth and if you have the guts to digest the bitterness of it, it is a film worth a watch.
The author is a software engineer at Infosys and spends her spare time in watching movies and reading novels. She loves to analyze the literature behind the movies.