Review: Moner Manush

Moner Manush (Dir.: Goutam Ghose)

Moner Manush is Goutam Ghose’ screen adaptation of the Sunil Gangopadhyay novel bearing the same title. Moner Manush is a depiction of Lalan Fakir, an Indian saint who lived in the 18th century.

This is the story of a simpleton from an Indian village in the region of Bengal and about how he escaped death from smallpox and in the process, was not just reborn physically but was also born a new man spiritually. Lalan spent the rest of his life preaching in a low-key manner the message of human unity across boundaries of religion. His legend lives on in the form of his songs which are as easy on the ear as bright they are with the pure light of Lalan’s awakened mind.

Moner Manush successfully captures this essence of this mysterious man. Goutam Ghose splendidly portrays the legend and spirit of Lalan in a moving manner. Lalan’s transformation happens in a gradual manner, not striking but uplifting. The source material was a class work by Sunil Gangopadhyay and Goutam Ghose infuses it with life as divinely as one can imagine.

Prosenjit Chatterjee stands out, way out, of both the rest of the cast in this film and also his own body of work, delivering a remarkable performance in terms of perhaps his entire career

The cinematography brings out the beauty of unspoilt rural Bengal magically and one can almost smell the earth and experience the enthralling beauty of a boat sailing across the serene river, transported back a few centuries. The music is composed of multiple Lalangeetis (songs composed by Lalan himself), each more moving than the previous one and with the intense feeling conveyed by the individuals on-screen, the songs ring in the ear and the heart of the audience alike.

Talking of acting, Prosenjit Chatterjee stands out, way out, of both the rest of the cast in this film and also his own body of work, delivering a remarkable performance in terms of perhaps his entire career.

Moner Manush is a beautiful film, which builds the mood and then delivers silently yet powerfully, through its sights and sounds and of course, through Prosenjit.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *