Labour of Love (Asha Jaoar Majhe): Romance in recession time

What happens to love when Sensex starts falling and job security starts waning. Debutant Aditya Vikram Sengupta paints a meditative picture of romance in the times of recession. Set in Kolkata in times when unemployment is becoming an everyday reality, the National Award winning film focuses on a young couple who work in different shifts. When she works, he sleeps and vice versa.

Genre: Drama
Director: Aditya Vikram Sengupta
Cast: Ritwick Chakraborty, Basabdutta Chatterjee

An introspection of the times we live in, on the surface it seems like a mechanical process. As if you have been asked to watch the paint dry but slowly and surely the film sucks you in with its rhythm and lyrical mood. Once again here is a filmmaker who underlines that cinema is a visual medium and you don’t need dialogues to make your point. Howsoever complex the emotions might be. There are only some background voices (in Bangla with English subtitles) that help you join the dots. However, there is a rhythm, a certain grace in the way Sengupta has set the mise-en-scene and you don’t need the verbal language to put the point across. His images are so painterly and detailed that at times you wonder that you might have slipped into an art gallery.

Through cross cuts, the cyclical nature of the narrative expresses itself. You don’t really need to be physically present to express your love. Here it come through the washing and cooking that one does for the other and in between both of them yearn for that meeting that happens at the end of the day. Or is it at the start of the new one! Sengupta has given those moments a dreamy treatment but even in that reverie the couple doesn’t lose touch with the ground. Have the pressures of job turned them mechanical in their romance? Oh! Not quite. It is as tender as the first kiss. Go check!

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Printable version | Apr 23, 2021 6:38:13 AM |

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