(Last Updated on : 19/04/2014)
The Indian film, 'The Bong Connection' is directed by actor-singer turned director-writer Anjan Dutta. Though Bong may be politically incorrect slang for all things Bengali, in 'The Bong Connection,' the director brews self-irony into watchable, good-humored satire. In two alternating stories, a young Indian musician from New York returns to his native Kolkata, while an ambitious young computer engineer seizes his chance to take a big job in Houston.
The movie keeps its balance between dramatic narrative and broad comedy. It's a delightful canvas of introspective comment which captures the psyche of the young Bengalis, even as it brings forth stirring performances by all the characters. The film deserves a special mention for bindaas Haas, the Bangladeshi cabbie man who dreams of getting back someday.
The film is essentially a documentation of two Gen new journeys. On the one hand, young Apu sets out for the US to go roller coasting on the great IT wave. And on the other, Andy, the young NRI musician, comes down to Kolkata in search of the muse. And all along this grass root hunting, there is an attempt to mirror the archetypal Bengali mindset and laugh gently at its oddities. So you have the Bong 'ghetto' in America, which confesses that the quintessential Bengali can never decide whether Subhash Chandra Bose is dead or alive, and the 'bhadralok' in Kolkata, which still hasn't moved out of the Tagore time warp
Synopsis of the Indian movie 'The Bong Connection'
The story of 'The Bong Connection' is quite different from the Bollywood masala movies. This is the story of two young men trying to achieve their dreams in a foreign land. For one, Kolkata is dying and stagnant whereas for the other one Kolkata is still the Mecca of culture and arts. Two stories that run parallel, erratically, never quite merging, yet colliding. This can be called as a warm hearted, hilarious, yet deeply touching drama about two men in this crazy, global world.
The story revolves around two young men, Apu played by Parambrata Chatterjee and Andy played by Shayan Munshi, trying to achieve their dreams. Apu is a Bengali who has lived in Kolkata all his life and works for an IT company. He has dreams of going to the US and become something someday. He gets his chance when a relative offers him a job in Houston, Texas. As he is leaving he promises his girlfriend, Sheela played by Raima Sen that he will come back soon and take her to the US. However, Sheela makes it clear that she prefers the young Kolkata scene, and she is not going to leave Kolkata. She also requests Apu not to go to the U. S. and do something in Kolkata but apu is determined and they part on an uncertain note.
On the other hand Andy, a second-generation Bengali born and brought up in New York, has dreams of becoming a musician and working in films. He comes to Kolkata to pursue his passion and stays at the house of his paternal uncle and grandfather.
In Kolkata he meets Sheela, befriends her and falls in love with her. Andy is rather welcomed into his grandfather's civilized and rambling old home. In contrast to Apu's comic fumbling in Houston as he tries to adapt to muggings, gay roommates and a high-pressure white collar job, Andy takes the reverse journey of struggling to find a way to work and express himself artistically in a charming but opportunity-challenged Old World.
Meanwhile Apu, arrives in the US and struggles to find his way in an alien nation. Apu gets acquainted with Rita played by Peeya Rai Chowdhary whose parents want to get her married off to Apu. Apu and Peeya spend some time together and gets attracted to each other. But Apu finds her too childish and he does not like the proposal of marrying her. Though later she changed herself a lot for Apu. Eventually Apu finds difficult to adjust to the ambience of sharing his flat with a gay and also with his boss Garry played by Victor Banerjee who is an immigrant of Bengal but now has turned a typical Republican American.
Some typical and naked truth comes in front of Apu. The streets of Houston at night are too violent and he is mugged. U.S. is not at all like the Hollywood dreamland that he had imagined to be. It is a ruthless world and Apu has to undergo sheer physical pressure that he never faced in his secure, pampered home in Kolkata. In Houston he meets a man Hass who is a Bangladeshi presently working as a cabbie. He has a wife and a daughter whom he left there. Hass is a simple man but he is stuck between the rules and regulations of U.S. embassy, as he has no extended visa. And in the process one day he is shot by the U. S. police while going somewhere with Apu. Apu becomes shattered and decides to come back to Kolkata.
On the other hand Andy, 26-year-old second generation Bengali, born and brought up in New York is a brilliant guitarist and has a tremendous inclination towards Indian classical and folk music, specially a typical Bengali folk 'baul'. He sets off to Kolkata. Andy's story is about his various attempts to come to terms with Kolkata's reality, which is completely alien to him. At this point Sheela shows him around. He neither can adjust to the growing non-Bengali disco culture of 'Tantra', nor can he empathize with the pettiness and mediocrity of the traditional Bengalis who are eventually losers.
Andy eventually gets chance to work on a film with Meera Nair where sheela offers every help in his career. Apu as decided comes back to India with another job. Sheela comes to the airport to see-off Andy and finds Apu there. It is a mixed feeling for her where she looses a friend but gets back her boyfriend.
Kolkata, in its own way, makes Andy release his inner self whereas Houston makes Apu a tougher, more adventurous Bengali. Andy and Apu return to their lands to pursue and better their dream. Both Andy and Apu needed to find themselves. They find their identities and their strength in foreign lands.
Cast and Crew of 'The Bong Connection'
The Bollywood movie 'The Bong Connection' includes star cast as Parambrata Chatterjee, Shayan Munshi, Raima Sen, Victor Banerjee, Samrat Chakrabarti, Shauvik Kundagrami, Peeya Rai Chowdhary, Dhritiman Chatterjee, Arindam sil, etc. the movie is directed by anjan Dutta while it is produced by Joy Ganguly, music is given by Neel Dutt. Indranil Mukherjee has done the cinematography.