When art imitates life, life feeds art. The merit of both depends on the value of the connector: stories. Rohan Sen’s Ebhabei Golpo Hok is concerned with portraying the extent to which one leaks into the other. But the frustratingly ineffective film lacks both the craftsmanship and vision to tell them apart.
It begins with a director announcing his decision to make a love story after the failure of his last few films. He sits with who appears to be an agent and tells the script in hopes of convincing the producer. Sen uses this as a starting point to show the love story in question. What comes out is so lethargic that it makes no sense why anyone would choose to revive their career. But during the film’s runtime, there’s also no evidence whatsoever that director Avijit Mukherjee (Joy Sengupta straight from the Hate Story sets) knows his work. Granted, he’s just a segue, but the characterization is so lazy it doesn’t even fit into a cliché.
Made like a movie within a story, Ebhabei Golpo Hok buffers clear criticism with its format. For example, when Avijit tells a story in which a middle-class mother bribes lakhs to break up with her daughter, the heightened exaggeration for it acts on our suspension of disbelief regarding movies. You can read it as a critique of the many mainstream outings that lack logic as a plot point. This is almost smart, even if it drags on for an hour and feels like three. But Ebhabei Golpo Hok is a kind of movie where you feel smart by being so stupid.
It highlights that the love story in question, which barely works in the fictional realm, is in fact real. The second half shifts to the man who, after being cheated on by a middle-aged woman from Northern Calcutta, returns to the city from Asansol. When he lost the love of his life, he became an author. Avijit is interested in adapting his story and decides to meet him.
Once these two storylines intersect, the film turns into a relentlessly dull affair. With the saving grace of vagueness removed, Ebhabei Golpo Hok reveals himself as a train wreck with no foresight to distinguish between art and life. It’s a film so naive that it probably believes that every word in personal essays is true, stories write themselves, and the only condition for writing is that you’re sad.
The performances are in line with the movie, that is, they are uniformly uninteresting. Picking one would be doing the other a disservice. One can exonerate Ebhabei Golpo Hok as a parody. But then again, it would give the film more credit than it deserves.
Ebhabei Golpo Hok is streaming on KliKK