Utsab is an Indian Bengali family drama film that was released in 2000, directed by the renowned Bengali director, Rituparno Ghosh. The name âUtsabâ means a grand ritualistic celebration or a grand gathering, which is the central theme of the movie. The movie is set in the festive season of Durga Puja in Kolkata, India, where every household celebrates the joyous occasion with their families and friends.
The movie revolves around the lives of the members of a wealthy Bengali joint family, who come together to celebrate the Durga Puja festival. The family patriarch, Baasu Kakababu (Pradip Mukherjee), is a successful businessman who is respected by all the members of his family. His sons, daughters-in-law, and grandchildren arrive from different parts of the world to celebrate the festival and spend time with each other.
Amidst the joyous celebration, the drama of life is unfolding in each family member's life. The movie includes multiple sub-plots that revolve around the individual characters of the family. The characters include the capricious and temperamental daughter-in-law of Baasu Kakababu, Aarti (Madhavi Mukherjee), who suffers from a failed marriage and is in search of true love. Her brother-in-law, Tarun (Bodhisattva Mazumdar), who is an aspiring filmmaker and is trying to make a name for himself in the industry.
The movie showcases different relationships and their complexities, including the strained relationship between Baasu Kakababu and his eldest son, and his obsession with his grandchildren. It also highlights the plight of the young generation who are caught between a traditional and modern way of living. The way the family members interact with each other and how they deal with their problems forms the crux of the story.
Utsab has an ensemble cast, with each actor delivering an impressive performance. Madhavi Mukherjee as Aarti, the firebrand daughter-in-law, steals the show with her performance. The portrayal of Aarti as a strong-willed woman with a vulnerable and emotional side garnered critical acclaim. Pradip Mukherjee as Baasu Kakababu and Bodhisattva Mazumdar as Tarun fit their characters perfectly, and their performances brought out the complexities in their characters.
The movieâs direction and cinematography are top-notch, with special attention given to capturing the essence of Durga Puja celebrations. The screenplay keeps the viewers engaged throughout the movie, and the excellent background score adds to the emotional depth of the story. It also features a beautiful song sequence by renowned Rabindra Sangeet singer, Shaan, which is one of the highlights of the movie.
Utsab is a heartfelt depiction of the complexities of a modern Bengali family. It portrays the struggles of each family member and their efforts to come closer despite the differences, blending the traditional and modern values to portray a realistic insight into the complexities of family. The movie showcases the joyous and poignant moments of the festival of Durga Puja, along with the touching emotions of the people who celebrate it.
Overall, Utsab is a family drama that is a must-watch for those who enjoy realistic and insightful movies about human nature and relationships. The film is a perfect blend of emotional depth and technical expertise, making it one of the best Bengali movies of the early 2000s. The movie has won several awards, including the National Award for Best Film on Family Welfare and the Best Director award for Rituparno Ghosh, among other notable achievements in film festivals worldwide.
Utsab is a 2001 drama. It has received mostly positive reviews from critics and viewers, who have given it an IMDb score of 7.9.