Agnibho Gangopadhyay
Film: Jor Jaar Muluk Tar  
Cast: Prosenjit Chatterjee, Aksshat, Shaan, Laboni Sarkar, Rajatava Dutta, Rudronil, Arpita, Megha
Directior: Haranath Chakraborty
Rating: Poor

The opening credits for the film were accompanied by a realistic and jarring collage of the precarious condition of our college campuses — ragging, deaths, gang-wars, political hooliganism, substance abuse. It made one think the film would be pertinent, taking a serious look at problems of youth, educational system and politics. But only a little into the film, that proved to be a false hope. A noble intention doesn’t ensure that the makers would do away with mundane story-telling, atrocious dance sequences and stereotypes that pervade mainstream Bengali films. Jor Jar Muluk Tar, a film by the veteran Haranath Chakraborty, is a text-book example of how shoddy execution can mar good intent.
Now to the story. A college is the cynosure of corporate attention due to its prized location. Shopping malls and high rises are to replace the college buildings and playgrounds. The students of this college are extremely unruly, pugnacious and violent. Two groups fight constantly with each other in a rather artificial, unconvincing manner. Ragging and substance abuse reigns supreme. A local political goon exacerbates this situation by instilling his cronies in the college, so that its reputation is sullied, the college gets closed — and they can destroy the college! Meanwhile, Prasenjit Chatterjee comes in as the new teacher with a secret revenge angle, and becomes the much needed messiah. He reconciles the warring factions within the college, saves girls from voyeurism and drugs, and bashes up one and all who opposes him. The college students, led and mobilised by him, wins a legal battle with the villainous land sharks.
But wait. Strangely Prasenjit agrees to decide the fate of the college in a rugby match, for ultimately, strength and its assertion decides everything! In this match, two debutant actors in the role of the most intrepid students, goaded on by two college hotties, win the match for their institution. The game is shot unconvincingly, especially after we have seen films like Lagaan, The Longest Yard or Invictus. It cannot even create the magic that football had in the old Bengali film Dhonyi Meye.
Prosenjit injects his unmistakable star-power in the film. But his character is not well-constructed. The teacher seems to be impatient and violent, rather than being persuasive and reflective. The title of the film means might is right. So rather than taking a nuanced approach, the film and its soul, Prasenjit’s character takes a simplistic path. One should not expect a Dead Poets Society or Taare Zameen Par because of the good teacher-wayward student scenario. The acting of the newcomers would leave you cringing. Even ace actors like Rajatava Dutta and Rudranil appear more ridiculous than funny or malicious in their roles.
The film looks like a very hurried product, with mediocre cinematography and ludicrous dialogues. After a point the story seems to move arbitrarily, without any justification. This solution to social problems is in itself spurious.

Advertisements