17 July 2020 | msunando
HE STANDS AT THE GATEWAY BETWEEN TWO WORLDS, THE REAL ONE AND THE OTHER OF HIS DREAMS. SHALL WE ALLOW HIM TO CROSS OVER?
Nagarkirtan (2017) written and directed by Kaushik Ganguly is a sensitive essay of Puti's (Riddhi Sen) life. Puti is actually born as Parimal, a trans woman who faces hurdles and gender identity issues from the very childhood. Having faced deception in a relationship early in life, Parimal escapes from Bagnan to Kolkata, where he is inducted into a clan of eunuchs and other trans women and earns a living from begging. Love blooms yet again in his life in the form of Madhu (Ritwick Chakraborty), who doesn't care about Puti's sexual identity but wants to lead a life together. Nagarkirtan charts their journey as they plan their own little bubble where outsiders will not be able to judge them, and how Puti will undergo the physical and hormonal transformation to achieve his own desired gender identity.
In a place like India, it's still early days, and albeit there may be sympathisers and broad minded individuals, they remain far and few. Puti and Madhu's journey isn't an easy one - as they find themselves cornered by the insensitive and uninformed population that pushes them to the edge of a tragic consequence.
Riddhi Sen is simply awe inspiring. His performance is well nuanced, delicate and evokes instantaneous compassion with the character. Ritwick Chakraborty is natural with his flair for realism as always, helping Riddhi Sen bring out the very best. Together it's a crackling combination that stirs up a degree of discomfort initially, and then blends in empathy to the extent that makes us root for the couple and a happy ending. Nagarkirtan finally belongs to Kaushik Ganguly for his competent direction, costume design by Gobinda Mondal, cinematography by Sirsha Ray and a classic editing by Subhajit Singha.