The flavour of Kolkata

The flavour of Kolkata
The bridge, the river and kids' play. Brilliantly captured by Sujay Kumar Das.

Sunday, January 26, 2014

The lunch at Mezban

Revisited a long lost joy on working days: A lunch outing with colleagues. The initiative was from A of my team. The venue was Mezban (on my wishlist for long for its biriyani). For the uninitiated, it is located next to the small triangular park on Rafi Ahmed Kidwai Rd (near Elliot Rd Bata). We were seated in Dustarkhwan, next to Mezban (basically its AC section). We ordered mutton biriyani (Rs 130) for each of four of us (A, P, K and me) and shared a mutton pasinda and salad. P was hungry, so was A. So these guys ordred a naan and a lachchha paratha. Contrary to feedback, I found the rice and potato (an important indicator of quality of Kolkata biriyani) average. The piece of mutton was succulent though. The biriyani wasn't rich as I had heard, rather light, like Shiraz (not my type). My favourite Aliah beats it any day. The pasinda was rich, heavily spicy and tasty, as expected.

Monday, January 13, 2014

Chander Pahar: A short take


Here's sharing my take on Chander Pahar (Posted on Facebook), which I watched last night in a night show (as tickets for two evening shows in the fourth week had sold out by afternoon in each of the two close by theatres in Hatibagan). Not sure when I can (and if I can) post a full-fledged review, so here it is, suitably edited:


Loved Chander Pahar....despite its flaws and the desperate, 'market-driven' attempt to be a mass product. Kudos to the makers - director Kamaleshwar Mukhopadhyay and Shree Venkatesh Films- for attempting something as different and as grand as this, and telling the world that we CAN do this!

The cinematography is at a different level! Looked like a Hollywood film in many a frame. Soumik Halder, take a bow! The background score (Indradeep Dasgupta and Debajyoti Mishra) and title track (Debajyoti Mishra) are also competent job.

Wish it was less over-simplistic ..... and the lion and black mamba scenes weren't as over the top. Too much of Bengali lines by the Europeans and Africans, including the tribes (making it unintentionally funny in places). A spattering of English and native language wouldn't be that difficult for the 'mass' audience to handle. The special effects in a couple of scenes could be better (especially the volcanic eruption)....but guys (to those finding it all tacky), ever imagined we could reach this level? And though look-wise Bunyip disappointed many a CP fan, I think imagination and execution-wise it was pretty good! We must allow creative liberties in cinema. So let's not judge a classic on screen by the deviations from the book. We need to spare a thought on how could it be to recreate such an old classic it in this age and appeal to audiences at an international level.

And yes, a word on Dev as Shankar. Well. it suffices to say that he has worked hard on the role, especially the look. Acting-wise, I expected Kamaleshwar to have a better job extracted from him. Yes, a star of his stature was probably needed to mass market a film on such a mammoth budget.