(Last Updated on : 19-04-2014)
The Indian film, 'Bow Barracks forever', is a portrait of the rapidly disintegrating Anglo-Indian community in Kolkata. The film is based on a real life story, shows the trials and tribulations of the Anglo-Indian community living in Bow Barracks i.e. an old dilapidated building in north Kolkata. This is written and directed by the multi-talented filmmaker Anjan Dutta. His directorial debut film 'Bada Din' also explored the world of Anglo-Indians in a small aspect. But this time the expression is explicit. The area bow Barracks is a dilapidated old mansion placed close to Bow Bazaar Street. This mansion is house of many Anglo-Indians each having a very small world of his own. They fiercely guard the building with the strange passion that defines the survivors. They are desperately trying to keep alive its hopes, aspiration, dreams and its identity. The director finds the topic interesting as he finds this unique Anglo-Indian world in the heart of a predominantly Hindu North Kolkata. He mentioned it as stepping into Goa in Kolkata. The fragrance of Bibinca, home-made wine, the voice of Cliff Richards thrown up by a battered record player, the dancing and hockey matches on the street, foul-mouthed people who can foul-mouth anyone and also love the same person with equal passion all gains an utterance in this movie.
Synopsis of the film 'Bow Barracks forever'
The film 'Bow Barracks forever' starts with a little history about 'Bow Barracks', which is actually the name of a housing society used for American troops, built after the second World war, and houses about 120 Anglo-Indian families today. The film contains stories of each of the families living there.
Anne played by Neha Dubey is Tom's played by Sabyasachi Chakraborty wife, who gets beaten up every now and then by him. They have a son who cowers in fear, whenever he hears his father's voice. In some of the scenes, she is slapped around a couple of times, and lashed with a belt.
Emily Lobo played by Lilette Dubey is a middle aged woman who lives with her younger grown up son, with hopes that someday her elder son will make arrangements, and call them to London, before Christmas. She often calls his son and narrates him everything that happens in the building. She specializes in homemade wine, and baked goods. In her daily phone calls to London, she leaves long, emotional messages on the answering machine, literally begging to take her to London. Bradley Lobo played by Clayton Rogers is Emily's younger son, who is constantly between jobs. He is idolized by Sally played by Sohini Pal, who is his neighbour. But he can't stand Sally. He plays the guitar, and even has his own band, but is not too sure about himself, mostly because that's the way he is, and the fact that he is in a torrid relationship with Anne. Tom knows little about it but not too sure. Bradley doesn't like his mother's escaping nature and tries to make her understand that on one will come to take her to London.
Rosa played by Moon Moon Sen is an unsatisfied or bored wife, who just wants to get out of Bow Barracks. She has a lover in the form of an ageing insurance agent.
Peter the cheater played by Victor Banerjee is a retired saxophonist, who is drunk most of the time. He often swindles people. He also likes Emily and makes frequent, innocent passes at her, which are instantly shot down. This is a very interesting character in the movie who has deep seriousness lying inside his heart.
The residents of 'Bow Barracks' face a problem when some people decide to make a multiplex in the place of this building. And the reason is that the building is not in good condition and any accident can happen at any time. Though the people living there don't think like this and they want it to declare it as a heritage building. While trying to establish their demand the opposite party commits one murder there to frighten the people. But Peter along with some other people fights back and the bad people runs away. Bradley shoots Tom in order to save himself and also gets injured. Mrs Lobo understands her son's love and arranges Anne and Bradley's marriage after his returning from hospital. At the marriage party Emily i.e. Mrs Lobo gives her daughter-in-law an ancestral necklace worth Rs. 2 lakhs and asks her to wear. Anne gets a way out and she tells her mother-in-law that she will sell this necklace and give the money to renovate the building 'Bow Barracks'. And in this way they will be free from any outsider or intruders. Mrs Lobo becomes happy to see the greatness of Anne. She understands that peace can be found anywhere if the person is good. The film has a happy ending with all the residents being united and work for one mission i.e. the renovation of the building.
Cast and crew of 'Bow Barracks forever'
The star cast of the Indian film 'Bow Barracks forever' includes Lilette Dubey, Victor Banerjee, Neha Dubey, Clayton Rodgers, Moon Moon Sen, Sabyasachi Chakravarty, Sohini Pal, Avijit Dutt, Kunal Padhi, Arijit Dutt, Arindam Sil, Roopa Ganguly, Chandan Sen, Jorge Bekar, etc. The film is written and directed by Anjan Dutta and it is produced by Tapan Biswas, Rangita Pritish Nandy and Bobbie Ghosh. Music in the film is given by Neel Dutt, Anjan Dutt and Usha Uthup while cinematography is done by Indranil Mukherjee.
Awards for 'Bow Barracks forever'
Though its Indian release has been delayed for nearly two years, 'Bow Barracks Forever' has traveled far and wide to international film festivals. Some of these can be mentioned as follows Cinemanila International Film Festival Phillipines, Festival of Indian Films in Delhi, The International Film Festival in Mumbai, 35th International Film Festival of India in Goa, Angloscapes Film Festival at Chennai, 18th International Film Festival in Singapore, Atlanta Indo-American Film Festival, Filmfest Munchen and Festroia International Film Festival of Setubal in Portugal.