Home Drama Good Music and Acting Couldn’t Save this Period Piece Movie Review
Good Music and Acting Couldn’t Save this Period Piece

Good Music and Acting Couldn’t Save this Period Piece Movie Review

by rameshe

Critic’s Rating : 3.0 / 5

Maayakumari Movie Review

A recent influx of period pieces seems to have taken over Tollywood, and Arindam Sil’s Maya Kumari is his tribute to 100 years of Bengali cinema, with an elaborate ensemble, both on and off the screen. The film starts off with a young woman, Runi (Arunima Ghosh), being selected for the role of a legendary diva who was popular during 1930s and 40s, and was a part of a famous on-screen pair. Maya Kumari (Rituparna Sengupta) and Kanan Kumar (Abir Chatterjee) had acted in many films before her sudden departure from the film industry post-marriage.

However, when the director of the biopic (Indrasish Roy) takes the cast and crew to a shoot location, strange things start happening around Runi and the star of the film, Ahir Chatterjee (Abir Chatterjee), who is also the grandson of Kanan Kumar. The premises of the plot has definite shades of Om Shanti Om, Madhumati, but then it veers off towards a slightly different, but predictable direction.
Sil tries to merge the present with the past in the script, combining the two primary narratives to provide a glimpse into the life of the titular character and what she faces during and after her career. Here, several important issues that women in cinema faced, like misogyny and nepotism, is shown quite starkly, however, the characters, including Maya Kumari, are mostly unidimensional, working as an instrument to reveal the final truth. This takes away from the story considerably, together with a sheer lack of chemistry between the lead pair.

Despite good acting, neither Rituparna nor Abir seems to be convincing in their assigned roles, and dialogues form a big part of that. The writer seemed to be rather confused as to which genre Maya Kumari was assigned to, and so, the character ends up neither here nor there, a little like the ghost she portrays. In contrast, the chemistry between Sauraseni Maitra and Arna Mukhopadhyay is rather cute. In a short but sweet role, Rajatava Dutta is delightful as Maya Kumari’s husband.

Music is a big part of this film, with music composed by Bikram Ghosh and sung by, notably, Haimanti Shukla, Manomay Bhattacharya, Madhubanti Bagchi, Ujjaini Mukherjee, Iman Chakraborty, where the seductive “Madhumashe phool phote”, soulful “Ami Ke”, playful “Phoole jodi etoi kanta” and the haunting “Chilekotha” play a big part in setting the ambiance and establishing relationships in the course of the film. But the script could have been far tighter, especially around the character of Runi, who is probably the weakest link in the tale. This is perhaps why despite the ensemble cast, the film fails to retain the attention of the audience in certain areas, making this a one-time watch at best.

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