A Cross-Connection of Cultures

Anjan Dutta’s, ‘The Bong Connection’ fits well into the niche carved out for ‘multiplex’ movies. It has a contemporary feel and at the same time, the vital ‘desi’ link. The genre created keeping in mind the urbane that now enjoy watching ‘different’ movies. One of the first cross-over movies in Benglish, it fails to live up to producer Joy Brata Ganguly’s desire to give a ‘Dil Chahta hai’ from his part of the world, but manages to be one of those ‘likeable’ movies.

We have the typical Bengali geek, Apu (Parambrata Chattopadhay) who goes to live the ‘American Dream’, gets mugged, lives with a homosexual roommate, almost falls in love with an Avril Lavigne-inspired American Bengali girl (Peeya Rai Choudhary), makes friends with the very random ’Haas’ (a illegal Bangladeshi immigrant) and then finally comes back home to Kolkata and to his dusky Bengali girlfriend (Raima Sen).

It also has the ‘dude’ (a.k.a Andy, Shayan Munshi) who comes back to his roots, back to Kolkata, only to find out that his extended family consists of the lifeless body of his coma-stricken grandfather, his uncle, a glorified-clerk who wishes to sell his ancestral house (incidentally the reason why his grandfather suffered a brain-hemorrhage) and an alcoholic cousin who beats up his wife. He finds recluse in his music (fusion inspired by ‘Baul’) and in the same dusky Bengali girl.

The screenplay swings from Kolkata to Huston effortlessly, and the ‘Oh! Majhi re….’ track is brilliantly used to question the cross-cultural confusion. Neel Dutt’s music is a definitely a one-up on his career. The movie is a must-watch for all the ‘eleesh-maach’ lovers and also for anyone who wishes to watch yet another film on the Indian Diaspora with an innovative ’bong connection’.