Konkona Sen Sharma’s, a highly challenging personality has acted in various films and has shown her versatility in differerent roles and when it comes to the very first directorial venture, she is no exception and has proved the entire world of cinema like what hr mom has once done in 1981 with the release of 36 Chowringee Lane.
In the tragic movie “A death in the Gunj”, set in the backdrop of the winters of 1979 in McCluskieganj, Bihar (now in Jharkhand), is based on her father’s short story. Sen Sharma has depicted the protagonist Shutu’s character in a pensive and painful manner against the hands of his ruthless relatives and friends who has constantly bullied him and it has finally led him commit suicide out of frustration and tedious grief.The planchet played by the guests on the eve of New Year just before the party has petrified Shutu to the core as he is always afraid of the very thought of the spirits.
What is more thought provoking is that, Shutu is seen as a spirit , who goes to his home town ultimately to meet his mother in Burdwan, West Bengal, in a taxi with his relatives, but after his obnoxious death which has left the audience dumbstruck.
Shutu has been portrayed as a brilliant student of Applied Mathematics in the University of Calcutta, sent by the unseen mother Aparna Sen, in the movie. But, one can easily make out the actor’s charming and mesmerising voice, when she asks Shutu to come back from Bihar. What saddens the audience is, Shutu does come back to her mother, but not alive.But why does Shutu commit suicide? Is it only because of his failure in the final exams, or when he finds his love mingling with the other man, Vikram played by Ranvir Shorey, that he takes a weapon to destroy himself?
The other actors like Tanuja and Om Puri have played their roles skilfully which could finally helped the debutant director bag the most prestigious International awards sucessfully.
The soft and sensible music coupled with humble locales make the movie more dramatic.
However, is it fate, or God , or Shutu himself responsible to claim his own life?- that’s a big question, an enigma to solve.