Some mountain in Africa

0/15, that was what I scored in my first Physics Vector test in Class XI. I remember sticking that answer sheet inside my closet for a number of days to remind me that bad days were near and also to help me forget the proficiency certificate I received a few days back in a prize distribution ceremony for my class X.

Mr. Kamaleshwar Mukherjee - Sir, Meghe dhaka taara is past tense and you have scored a zero out of hundred for all Chander Pahar enthusiasts. We were banking on you to pass the test for us.

This is the ticket of a movie that could have easily been called "Challenge nibi na Africa", but they unfortunately made a last minute decision of altering that to "Chander Pahar" and I plan to keep this ticket as a token of the torture that lasted for two and half hours this (date of the draft not that of the post) morning.

I could end up weeping, if I go on to write what went wrong in the film but I would still duel myself in trying not to.

Dev - the handsome actor (who is still trying to act) could have easily smiled in front of the Bunyip or have danced with the Matabil tribes and "Challenge nibi na Africa" would have been a lot more tolerable.

  • Narration - Today's audience is used to hearing a certain Amitabh Bacchan or Naseeruddin Shah mesmerize people through movies just by their voice. This certainly was your movie Sir, but it was "our" story. You could have let a better narrator tell it to us.
  • Dialogues - The few dialogues that were spoken throughout the movie were either incomprehensible or looked like they were created impromptu by the not-so-convincing actors. 
  • Editing - Each time Shankar was shown reflecting over his recent journey from the Salisbury hotel, he had this calm, satisfied look about him which probably Tirumal Appa could have had while dreaming about his fiance back home in India. Shankar was shown with this look in some of the oddest and most tensed up moments during the story telling. Could have been avoided.
  • Locations - The second half was about a dense rain forest and not some arid landscape (doesn't matter to me if the book was wrong). It caused me a lot of pain to witness Diego and Shankar walk through barren, brown and yellow African plains, because it was really supposed to be green, dense and dark.
  • Shankar and Diego, the two most important characters from the book shared a very special bonding which was not built properly and hence the parting of the two through Diego's death did not touch hearts. I remember going on mute-mode when I read this.
  • The bunyip in this movie had a huge orang-ish exopthalmic goitre, a tail and horns. It crawled like a lizard and its three-toed pug marks were shown so close to each other on the wet mud as if someone had tied both its legs togeher for such an act. 

Mr. Mukherjee played safe with this film on a business-perspective and the 15 crores doesn't look too far away. He would probably get his money's worth. Columnists have tirelessly written good things about this production. The first of its kind movie in Tollywood, no questions asked.


In a recent television program, a renowned singer performed a Lata Mangeshkar Gazal; she was brilliant in her rendition. After finishing, she smiled (a very pretty one indeed) and said, "You may have liked this, but please make sure to listen to the original after tuning off, that's the master piece!!"