Chokher Bali DVD
Aishwarya Rai, Prosenjit, Riama Sen/Audio Hindi and Bengali/
Subitles: French, Spanish, German, Dutch, Portugese, Arabic, Chinese, Japanese and English.
Based on Rabindranath Tagore`s novel of the same name, Chokher Bali is a psychological study of relationships between the sexes in a landed family, of shifting eternal triangles, complex motivations, a subtle play of emotions; all of which have interesting parallels as well as contrasts to our times. The story of the film is about the relationships between four young people, two men and two women. Mahendra (Prosenjit), is a spoilt young dandy, the pride and despair of his widowed mother Rajlakshmi (Lily Chakraborty). Behari (Tota Roychowdhury), his closest friend is almost like another son to Rajlakshmi. Like all doting mothers Rajlakshmi wants to see her son happily married and she would like to see Behari settled as well. She has a girl in mind for Mahendra, the daughter of a friend of hers. Binodini (Aishwarya Rai) is beautiful and accomplished, but the whimsical Mahendra chooses to refuse her as a wife, having seen only her photograph. So does Behari. Binodini, therefore, finds another husband, only to be widowed within a year. Mahendra finally settles down with Ashalata (Raima Sen), a girl who was originally engaged to Behari. Rajlakshmi meets Binodini in her childhood home and impulsively brings her back to Calcutta with her. In Calcutta, Binodini meets the two young men who she might have married. She is also keenly aware of the life she has lost and resents the fact that the naïve Ashalata has what she cannot. She begins to manipulate Ashalata so as to get closer to the young men. Ashalata, on the other hand, is delighted to have someone else to confide in. She gives Binodini a pet name, ‘Chokher Bali’ literally meaning sand in the eye. Binodini uses her intellect to intrigue Mahendra and Behari. She embarks on an affair with Mahendra. However, the affair does not stay a secret for long. Rajlakshmi,wise to Binodini’s intrigues,insults her and forces her to leave the house. In despair, Binodini appeals to Behari, asking him to marry her or make her his mistress. Behari refuses. Binodini decides to return to her country home and chooses exile to Benares. Benares is a kind of revelation for Binodini, a melting pot of death, despair and lost hopes set against the canvas of eternity where she decides to renounce Mahendra. At this crucial moment, Behari arrives at Benares bringing the news of Rajlakshmi’s death with him. He realizes Binodini’s plight and asks her to marry him. Binodini agrees, but when the wedding day arrives, she is nowhere to be found. She leaves a note for Ashalata saying that freedom is the final reality,the place where one belongs,the only thing that one can call one’s own. The story ends with a widow’s struggle for freedom being similar to a country’s struggle for independence!