It's the superstar Arun Mukherjee's sad autograph on a loveless life. And first- time director Srijit's autograph of finding significance in minutiae.
Taking a mere idea from the legendary "Nayak", Srijit weaves a story of hubris, obsession and integrity. And how, as a man finds a dream, he in turn often loses his soul.
Prosenjit is the superstar who wants to prove that his name is enough to put the marque on fire. And for him the way to prove it, is his adoption of a new director, and even becoming his producer. For wouldn't then he be the center of all attention - and prove that he makes or unmakes a film, irrespective of the director?
The chosen heroine is the director's live-in girlfriend, Srini. And as the filming of the story commences, the layers of the characters start unravelling. And the edifice of relationships start crumbling.
It is a trusim that our deepest feelings are what define us - and give us our inner success or failure, outward success notwithstanding. Thus, Arun Mukherjee's soul carries burdens which put his life into a permanent penumbra.
And then, one lonely drunk evening, he pours his heart out to Srini.
But just as radiance comes in the outpouring, the shadows build exactly where the sun shines brightest.
The irony of life is glaring, because just when the confession of the lowest point of a life results in redemption, the pendulum swings to the person who is ready to scrap the bottom of the moral barrel to reach the top.
First-time director Srijit's narrative is assured and beautifully layered, as the film's reality tears into life's fictions.
He uses side-characters as mirrors for his principal protagonists: a married couple on the tenous nature of a live-in relationship, an old production assistant to signify intolerance, an aging actor to be shown his place, and a beggar-boy to be reminded he's trash.
As Arun and Srini build a tentative, soulful closeness, Shubho seems to give space for growth to the person he's closest to - until the final ironical twist on the real nature of generosity.
In a film which starts with hubris in a superstar and ends with a recognition of kindred souls, its not of little significance that the turnarounds and the unravellings are heart-rending and true.
And nothing is as expected.
Truly, rare is this film which combines cinema sensibility with such heart-felt sensitivity.
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