A gentle school teacher, in hinterland Bengal, makes a pen-pal of a Japanese girl who is a shopkeeper on the outskirts of a Japanese city. Soon, they marry. But not once in their married lives do they meet.
With this wisp of a story, Aparna Sen weaves a film of utmost magic. Capturing the integrity of an almost-impossible relationship, with artistry and lyricism, she gives one of her finest films till date.
Each character is perfectly cast, the music and the editing are at one with the pace and cadences of the story. And the cinematography captures colours and shades with an artist's palette.
Its hard to think of innocence treated without cynicism, in these times of reality television and encouraged skullduggery ("the end is all that matters"). And to do so with a lightness of touch and humour is an even more difficult task.
And as this small gem on love, longing and loneliness draws to a close, one is reminded of the small things which keep people together, however far they may be.
(Out in halls in early April)
~ Sunil Bhandari
March 5, 2010
Sent on my BlackBerry