What happens when an economist turned lyricist turned screenwriter tries to capture the
essence of Manik Da’s (Sotyojit Ray) body of work in his debut film? More or less, it would
be like Anurag Kashyap making a Kuch Kuch Hota Hai. Then again, debutante Srijit Mukherji
proves us wrong with his film ‘Autograph: Lights, Camera, Love.’
The film revolves around the lives of three people- Arun (Prosenjit), the reigning star of
the contemporary Bengali cinema, Shrin (Nandana Sen) who is in a live-in relationship with
Shuvo (Indraneil Sengupta) and Shuvo, a struggling film maker who wants his big break in the
Industry with his plans of adapting and remaking Manik Da’s piece de` resistance Nayok (Circa
1966). The struggler gets to meet the Superstar and they join hands to re-make a classic from
the forgotten era. Bruised egos, infatuation, intense drama, deceit is all that follows next (not
in the order). In a nutshell, how this very film in-the-making changes the direction of three
lives forms the basic plot.
The USP of this film is an amazing screenplay, even more amazing performances by the leads
and dialogues that flaunt an impressively composed staccatissimo of words. This very literary
element has been a standing point of Mani Ratnam’s cinema where at times, the dialogues
are characterised by clever pauses and silence in order to hijack the audience’s curiosity
and at the same time, to give an artsy and an aesthetic touch to the scene. Various pictorial
and vocal references to films like Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, The Godfather and
film luminaries like Ritwik Ghatak, Satyajit Ray, Ingmar Bergman have been made which
do nothing but simply inject the ‘World Cinema’ appeal to the film. Summed up with a
cinematography that is soothing to the eyes and minds which is complemented with a
metaphoric background score, this definitely does not look like the director’s first film.
The film is available for viewing online on Dingora.
Language: Bengali (With English subtitles)
Cast: Prosenjit, Nandana Sen, Indraneil Sengupta
IMDB Rating: 8.0/ 10 from 140 users.
Runtime: 127 Minutes