Kalpurush (Buddhadeb Dasgupta) Retrospective. Imagineindia 2018

Kalpurush
Buddhadeb Dasgupta
India. 2005. 120 min

In a film adaptation loosely based on his own novel, “America, America”, the grand old man of Indian auteur cinema, Buddhadeb Dasgupta, tells the story of a family living in modern-day Calcutta – focussing in particular on the complicated relationship between father and son.
Sumanta is an office worker – a quiet, decent and, as far as his career is concerned, not particularly successful man. His marriage to Supriya is an unhappy one – just like his parents’ marriage has been. Sumanta is still trying to cope with his domineering father and is often obliged to remember his childhood. Sumanta grew up in an ostensibly happy home environment with his family by the sea. But in reality his home life was far from happy, for his father had a mistress. This was the cause of much argument between his parents and finally led to their separation.
But Sumanta’s own marital problems have quite another cause. His wife Supriya appears to be possessed by greed. Frustrated by her middle class existence, this ambitious housewife dreams of a career as a writer. To Sumanta’s great surprise, she does indeed enjoy some success with a book she writes about France – although she knows no more about the country than what she was able to glean from a video about Paris.
When Sumanta’s own career suddenly takes turn for the worse he searches for support – and hopes he will find it from his father…

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