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Athhoi Review : A Cinematic Experiment with Uneven Execution

Movie Rating

 

Story: Athhoi, directed by Arna Mukhopadhyay, is a contemporary Bengali adaptation of Shakespeare’s Othello. The film tells the story of Athhoi Lodha (played by Arna Mukhopadhyay), a Dalit doctor who dreams of building a healthcare center in his village, Vinsura. His childhood frenemy, Gogo (Anirban Bhattacharya), returns from the US with malicious intentions. Gogo, now a cancer researcher, is envious of Athhoi’s success and his marriage to Diyamona Mukherjee (Sohini Sarkar). The story explores themes of jealousy, casteism, and betrayal, with Gogo orchestrating a series of events to ignite jealousy in Athhoi.

Good Aspects:

  1. Cinematography: Soumik Haldar’s cinematography is a standout feature. The film is visually captivating, with lush outdoor scenes and intimate indoor shots. The use of light, fire, and darkness enhances the narrative, creating a visually rich experience.
  2. Music: The music in Athhoi is another high point. The songs, composed and rendered by artists like Titash Bhromor Sen and Durnibar Saha, are beautifully integrated into the film. The Lalon song “Bod Hawa,” in particular, bookends the film with a poignant touch.
  3. Experimentation: Athhoi is a bold experiment in the Bengali film industry. Arna Mukhopadhyay attempts to create something out-of-the-box with this adaptation of Othello, blending traditional elements with contemporary issues.

Bad Aspects:

  1. Character Development: The characters in Athhoi lack depth. Athhoi himself is depicted as overly prudish, an unrealistic trait given his background. Gogo’s character, while initially intriguing, becomes tiresome with excessive screen time and theatrical antics that overshadow other characters and their emotional arcs.
  2. Portrayal of Women: The film’s portrayal of female characters is problematic. Characters like Mili (Mimi Dutta) and Pinky (Ditipriya Roy) are depicted as weak and easily manipulated, lacking the strength and resistance seen in other adaptations like Vishal Bhardwaj’s Omkara. This borderline misogyny detracts from the film’s overall impact.
  3. Forced Social Commentary: The inclusion of global issues such as malnutrition, climate change, and conflicts feels out of place and pretentious. These elements seem imposed rather than organically integrated into the narrative, diluting the film’s core themes.
  4. Overemphasis on Gogo: Gogo’s character dominates the screen time, resulting in a lack of balance. His constant breaking of the fourth wall, while initially engaging, becomes repetitive and detracts from the development of other characters and subplots.

Watch or Not:

Athhoi is an average film that is worth watching for its visual appeal and experimental approach. However, it may leave viewers wanting more in terms of narrative depth and character development.

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Written by Souvik Saha

Discover the mind behind Cine Kolkata – Souvik Saha, an innovative entrepreneur and editor. With a passion for authentic news, he's the driving force behind Cine Kolkata's captivating film, atoz entertainment, sports, and lifestyle coverage. Souvik also heads Cine Digital, a digital marketing agency, expanding his impact across the digital realm.

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