Tagore is worth reading. I had of course heard of Tagore coming from South Asia and reading your post makes me appreciate him and what he did for Indian literature more. Sign in ,hudito Facebook Other Sign in options. Refrain from posting comments that are obscene, defamatory or inflammatory, and do not indulge in personal attacks, name calling or inciting hatred against any community.
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Kshudhita Pashan is based on a short story by Nobel laureate, author, musician, and all-around revered thinker Rabindranath Tagore. But its ghostly ladies, creepy palaces, and ominous AF title—The Hungry Stones—should win it a place in these hallowed halls. Run away! Never one to let the ravings of a lunatic get in his way, the otherwise sensible hero insists on spending his nights in the palace no matter what rumors about it the locals throw in his path.
Two years earlier, the Hindi film Madhumati about reincarnated lovers had been wildly successful at the box office and in annual awards.
The deserted palace is a maze of patterned stone floors and latticework in the lantern light, and you have to wonder how a person staying here all by himself night after night could possibly avoid hallucinating classical music and dancing girls. The verbal silence also underscores how isolated the hero is—after all, whom would he talk to while he wanders the palace at night listening to the songs of the ghosts?
He tries to engage with the ghost of one of the girls, Mumtaz Arundhati Devi , but initially she refuses to speak, perfectly happy to lure him through the palace while looking sad and coy. This is not just a creative way to handle story without words; it also connects back to her history in the palace years ago.
The ghost story begins cleverly. The hero is just starting his first night in the palace, and, standing alone in the courtyard, picks up a pebble to toss into the fountain.
Just as he raises his hand to throw it, he hears a faint tinkling like anklets and follows the sound inside to the shadowy hallways. I loved this—the history of the place compels him to heed it and interact with it, and it does so by hooking into his rational side.
This hero is at the center of the film to an unusually large extent, so making him interesting enough to carry the project must have been a challenge to the writers. This character is a kind and personable bureaucrat who finds himself unable to escape a dream world that he cannot understand, almost like a fever. He bumbles along with no information.
The irony: a paper-pusher with no data. He is dreamy and confused and unwilling to stop expressing himself or to leave this woman he loves without knowing why or how. He broods in a way that expresses the character truly being troubled and thinking very hard about his problems, rather than self-absorption, laziness, or simple moping.
He gives this character and many others across his career such vulnerability without making him weak or simplistic. A lot of the characterization is in the writing, sets, and lighting, but he is an actor who can do so much with scraps of text, tiny gestures, and the simplest movement of his eyes. The one flaw in this film is that the romance, established in a flashback about three quarters of the way through the film, is unconvincing and kind of perfunctory.
Mumtaz has spent most of the film silent, so we know very little about her other than that she is a sad ghost who gets dragged away by soldiers. Giving these two characters just a few minutes more to demonstrate who they are and why they are worth the big risks of epic love would have helped significantly. Even his intense staring into her eyes does not a love story make.
Overall, Kshudhita Pashan is good ghosty fun, full of atmosphere, shadows, mysteries, a hint of tragedy, and some genuinely sweet moments. You could also just turn on this film and listen to it because the music is so wonderful. The only aspect I find different is the sense of ominous peril.
The palace in the film seems strange and unsettling rather than something that will definitely kill its inhabitants.
The stones are not as hungry. However, none of that changed my opinion of the film. An English translation of the short story is available at Project Gutenberg. Share this:.
Kshudhita Pashan: A Ghostly Love Story
Khudito Pashan By Rabindranath Tagore