A Strange Shadow

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Film

Ochena Chaya (Bengali: এক অচেনা ছায়া ) (Template:Lang-en) is a 2015 Indian Bengali language drama film directed by Bhaskar Banerjee and produced by the Gray Dreams Entertainment. This was the first short film of Bhaskar and is a paranoid fiction dealing with an apparitional effect caused in the mind of SARBANI. SARBANI, a young journalist.

Plot

Sarbani, a young journalist works for a Bengali newspaper titled Bengal News. She gets involved in an assignment to cover an article on Nirmala Devi, a lady who claims to have an incarnated life. Strange things start happening in the life of Sarbani after she meets Nirmala Devi. One night she tries to refresh herself, standing in front of the mirror. Suddenly she feels awkward. Inside the mirror she sees the image of Nirmala Devi staring and laughing sarcastically at her. Sarbani cannot trust her eyes. She turns back to see if anyone else was there in the room, but finds none. She gets confused as she could think of no explanation of what she saw. Moments later, feeling very tired she relaxes on her bed. She sleeps but in her dreams she sees Nirmala again sitting in front of her and laughing. Horrified Sarbani wakes up. She realizes it was a nightmare. She feels very scared alone in the room. Gets up and tries to come out of her room. From the threshold of the door, she looks up and gets shocked. At a distance she sees Nirmala Devi sitting and staring at her. Sarbani shouts out of fear. Her grandma rushes to her. She comforts Sarbani. Sarbani enquires from her who was there sitting outside. Her grandma says she was sitting there and stitching the clothes. Sarbani gets confused. If it was her grandma sitting there how can she see Nirmala?

At home another night Sarbani writes an article on Nirmal. She gets scared hearing the sudden sound of a small glass falling on the floor. She sees the glass rolling. Initially she pacifies herself thinking that it must have been a casual incident hoping that the glass must have been placed wrongly on the table in an awkward position. But immediately after as she goes to check her laptop which was by then in sleeping mode, she figures out the face of Nirmala Devi peeping in the laptop and laughing out at her. Sjaarbani feels horrified.

Her article on Nirmala Devi and reincarnation gets printed in the newspaper. But Sarbani was still not convinced that she has learnt all about Nirmala Devi. A daring Sarbani goes back to meet Nirmala Devi again. This time also Nirmala Devi greets her in the same apparent way. Sarbani’s disbelief on the ideas of rebirth gets suppressed in her mind as Nirmala Devi tells her all about universal time and eternity. An over excited Nirmala Devi claims before Sarbani that she had been in life in several births and in future also she will always keep coming. Sarbani returns home with lot more questions in mind.

News flashes. The incarnated lady Nirmala is no more. The flight in which she was travelling to Pune, has met with a severe accident. That night tired Sarbani returns from work dejected. Speechless on the incident she could still not believe that Nirmala Devi is no more. She walks inside her room. Picks up the notebook where she used to write her experiences and thoughts on Nirmala Devi. A sudden jerk. Darkness engulfs all around. Sarbani gets unconscious. In her dreams she sees Nirmala Devi taking her to a place surrounded by two distinct world, the world of life and the world of death. Sarbani hears Nirmala Devi saying,

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Sarbani gains consciousness to find herself in a hospital. The story ends abruptly as Sarbani is seen in the cabin of a Psychriatic Home. Momentarily she laughs aloud in pain. And then she again becomes silent. She looks up and says, "Don’t grieve. Anything you lose comes round in another form."

Production

Shooting started in Kolkata with a five pax team in the mid of the year 2015. Since there was not too much budget involved, the entire film was shot in a standard DSRL with only two kit lenses. The entire film was shot in locations, at times the shooting venues were the residences of the casts themselves. For instance the sequences of Nirmala Devi were all shoot in the personal residence of Susmita who was casting the character. The hospital scenes including the psychiatric home was shoot in Antara_(hospital), with their support and cooperation. The special effects in the film was designed by the director and the entire film was edited in a laptop.

Screening

The film was officially realised by Pocket Films, the Mumbai-based distributors for films of shorter versions, on their YouTube channel on 14th January 2016 at 11.30 am. Later the film got selected to be screened on NDTV[1] Profit Prime Channel for the television show named “Prime Talkies with Pocket Films” on 24th March 2016. The film was also screened by Chhatrapati Shivaji International Film Festival on 25th December, 2016 at Kushal Swarnali in Pune.

Castings

  • Ipsita Moitra as Sarbani
  • Susmita Bhattacharya as Nirmala
  • Debraj Sengupta as Debraj

References