WBRi | Washington Bangla Radio on internet
Director Rajaditya Banerjee is on stage with his Debut Feature Film "Death Certificate".
A Synopsis and Review of the film..."Death Certificate".
Death Certificate revolves around the life of a tribal woman Sabitri and her search for her husband Ramlokhon who happily served water to thirsty rail passengers in a remote corner in Eastern India. Ramlokhon doesn’t return home one evening. Ramlokhon’s friend Shibu comes to look for him in his village and informs Sabitri and the grand old man (dadu) in the village that he is missing. Sabitri, Dadu and Shibu embark on a journey to look for Ramlokhon through the mountains and forests filled with memories of the missing man. They arrive at the station only to hear that someone has been runover by a passenger train. Station Master informs Sabitri that he hopes it isn’t Ramlokhon but in the worst case scenario in case the dead body is his she must obtain a death certificate. Where is Ramlokhon? Is death certificate merely a document? The film is a strong statement against bureaucracy, corruption and human rights abuses inflicted on the voiceless people who exist on the fringes of India.
Rajaditya had rightly chosen a subject that was close to his Father, the author of this very story, Late Sri Debashish Bandyopadhya. A great tribute indeed at the very onset of Rajaditya's film career, to his illustrious Father and Brother, the Late film director Bappaditya Bandyopadhya. The film portrays the gruesome struggles of the marginalized in this very society. Their very basic and existential needs are not taken care of and remain neglected. In this film a poor simple tribal woman who is completely alien to the modern day complexities, is faced with a situation where she realizes that obtaining of a "Death Certificate" is more important than the loss and death of the person so dear to her. She (Savitri) finds herself helpless and engulfed in a world corrupted to the core. Her husband (Ram Lakhan) who earned his living serving water to passengers at the small train station dies in a train accident. And there begins her journey and foray to a world so far unknown to her. In her quest to find her husband's whereabouts she encounters the heartless, amoral and a vice-ridden world that she knew not. The cruel reality hits her, absolutely jarring to her senses. She can only despise and rip apart such a 'civilization' that is shallow, hollow, superficial and empty to the core. Rajaditya, the director rightly kindles that awakening and awareness in us, "we have globalized technology, when do we globalize humanity?" And hereby he unifies the reel with the real world.
"Death Certificate " has depicted life in a quiet, beautiful, picturesque hamlet in a hilly terrain , brilliantly enacted by Rajaditya (Ram Lakhan) and his team of actors . It is a walk through a reality which we have overlooked too long. So let us watch this film, which is much relevant today, more so to give this society a much needed reality check.
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