A Death in the Gunj

A kind of an avant garde film by Konkona Sen Sharma “A Death in the Gunj” deals with the sensitive issue of a nervous, introverted person failing to come upto the standards of an upward high society. Shutu (Vikrant Massey in a brilliant role) is a young kid just out of college, but not having confidence despite his bright academic record, he plays chess, solves the difficult crossword puzzles and yet he has failed in his college semester. The film does’nt give much background on his character save to throw him amongst the group of friends who descend into McCluskieganj, to celebrate the 1979 new year. Shutu knows only one family of the Bakshis (Tanuja and Om Puri and their son and his family. When he is thrown in with the others, he flounders. There is lot of nervousness in the air, palpable tension due to Shutu’s failures and his inability to communicate confidently. He gets infatuated with Kalki Koechlin but ultimately she also sees him as a loser student. Konkona has kept the focus on Shutu despite so many other characters in the film. Vikrant Massey is the man to watch to watch out for, he has done a searing portrayal of a highly strung young man down in the dumps. It is not a perfect movie but Konkona has got a lot of things right and Massey saves the day for her.

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