Goutam Ghosh’s upcoming film “Shankhachil” is the director’s third Indo-Bangladesh collaboration following his earlier successes of Padma Nadir Majhi and Moner Maanush. The trailer of the film is a carefully done selection of shots and sounds, put together to create a semblance of what can be perceived as the emotional curve of the film.
Although the trailer is somewhat obscure about the crisis in the film, it is evident that it deals with a family dwelling near the border running between the two countries. One of the thing that immediately strikes is the use of a young girl and the manner in which she encounters the world. There has been numerous instances in cinema where the use of children within the narrative have produced exciting results when dealing with a political issue or more precisely in the face of a monolith of oppression. The best examples can be found in Italian and Iranian Cinema, countries where the respective religions have turned into oppressive machineries. The inherent innocence and naiveté in children usually facilitates in raising the most essential questions. Even the Shankhachil trailer also opens with a set of questions asked by the girl regarding the concept of nation, borders and the nature-culture divide. It’d remains to be seen how this aspect unfolds in the film.
Setting aside the aforementioned point, the rest of the trailer is slightly disappointing. Of course, the images look very appealing as they’re mostly well composed and well shot. Mr. Ghosh’s eye for images is quite well known. But since the film apparently addresses the bleak realities of Indo-Bangladesh border issues and the sufferings of the people dwelling there, the framing and compositions appear to be well balanced and rather familiar in that regard. Even the outdoor shots of meadows and rivers are something which have been experienced before and that too in films of Goutam Ghosh only! What remains to be seen is how the film takes off from the familiar settings and charters into more exciting territories in cinematic terms.
Arup Ratan Samajdar