- 2 hr 33 min
Bandhabi is a Bengali film directed by Ursula Roy and released in 1989. The movie stars Devika Mukherjee, Madhavi Mukherjee, and Santu Mukherjee in the lead roles. The film is a heartwarming story of the relationship between two sisters-in-law who could not be more different from each other. The elder sister-in-law Surama (played by Devika Mukherjee) is a traditional and conservative woman who values family above all else. She is married to a wealthy businessman named Shibaprasad (played by Santu Mukherjee) who dotes on her and fulfills all her wishes. On the other hand, the younger sister-in-law Radha (played by Madhavi Mukherjee) is free-spirited and independent, and she dreams of making a life for herself away from her marital home.
As the movie progresses, the conflicts between the two women become more apparent. Surama is constantly critical of Radha's behavior, which often goes against her traditional values. She scolds Radha for wearing western clothes, going out alone, and talking to male friends, while Radha resents Surama's authority over her and her constant interference in her personal life. However, despite their differences, they soon discover a bond that links them irretrievably.
The film takes an emotional turn when Shibaprasad dies suddenly, throwing Surama's world into chaos. She is left alone to deal with the grief and loss of her husband, and in this time of need, it is Radha who steps in to offer her support. Radha's strength and empathy help Surama to cope with her grief, and they soon realize that they need each other more than they had thought.
The movie delves deep into the complexities of relationships, especially those between women. The filmmakers explore how jealousy, insecurity, and love can coexist within a family, and how women must often navigate these burdens alone. In Bandhabi, the focus is solely on the relationship between two sisters-in-law, who find themselves pitted against each other due to their differing personalities, yet strongly bonded because of their shared love for the same man.
Bandhabi is a well-crafted and beautifully acted movie that portrays the cultural traditions and values of Bengali society starkly. The performances of the lead actors, Devika Mukherjee, Madhavi Mukherjee, and Santu Mukherjee, are exemplary. Their portrayal of the characters is nuanced, and they gracefully navigate the complicated emotional landscape of the film. Additionally, the cinematography is exquisite, and the scenes are shot in such a way that it allows the viewer to immerse themselves fully in the world of the movie.
Overall, Bandhabi is a touching and evocative film that tells an important story about family, love, and sisterhood. It highlights the importance of understanding and compassion in relationships, and how sometimes, our perceptions of people can be misleading. The film remains a classic of Bengali cinema and is a must-watch for fans of regional cinema.