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The Casual Cruelty Of Ours: A Death In The Gunj 1

The Casual Cruelty Of Ours: A Death In The Gunj

By Amrik Chakraborty

“I’ve always admired Konkona Sen Sharma as an actor but after watching A Death In The Gunj, I can’t help but admire her film-making skills. A Death In The Gunj was like a breath of fresh air when I started watching it. And it left me with a shattered heart. I’ve seen very few film makers who can propound humanistic elements in their movies, Satyajit Ray being one of them, and I am definitely not comparing here but the portrayal of human nature by Konkona Sen in this film very much gave me the kind of vibes I get while watching Ray’s cinema.

A Death In The Gunj tells a story about many things, many people, but primarily about Shuttu. A 23- year old, gentle, soft-spoken boy who can hardly fit in the group of adults in the family, and probably doesn’t want to fit in. He spends most his time with his 8-year old niece and enjoys himself. He often gets invited by the adults to join them and their gatherings, only to find himself being bullied and made fun of. The adults aren’t showed as evil people, they are us, they are careless, selfish. They never consider their harsh words and casual cruelties towards Shuttu. They never look back at their careless deeds, ‘fun’ is what they describe it. All of these events leading up to a tragic death, the death of innocence.

A Death In The Gunj really made me question myself. What if this is the case with me too? Maybe what I consider just casual fun, is not just ‘fun’ to some people. Whenever i make fun of anybody, I ask myself, is it really ‘fun’ for both of us? Or is it just fun for me and an insult for the other person? After watching this film, I remain more cautious towards my actions. You never know what the person sitting beside you is going through, and your one joke may scar that person for the entire day.”

By Amrik Chakraborty

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