The Lonesome Lass (2017) – By Shari K. Green

 

Directed by: Bhaskar Banerjee
Starring: Mou Saha, Kakali Dan, Mahendra Dan, Madhumita Kundu
Story: Ms. Eva Khashobish
Screenplay: Bhaskar Banerjee

Rated: N/R
Run Time: 50mins
Genre: Drama, Short
*Subtitled

No more complaining about your life. No matter your struggles, there’s always worse. After watching “The Lonesome Lass” I found out that it was written, directed and shot by the same person, Bhaskar Banerjee, and I can’t help but worry about him now. I’m joking, of course, but this is an abnormally dark film. It’s a wicked story about Tiya (Saha), a young woman with only love for life who has that love squashed, destroyed by someone who should have loved her while also helping guide her through it. Her mother ends up needing to send her to live with her older sister (Kakali Dan), who is jealous of her youth and beauty. She makes Tiya do all the household work for her, her son and her husband, and I mean all. They can’t even get a glass of water on their own. They treat her as a slave and as someone who’s wasting their money and time, as if her joy and self-worth are not important because she dare burden them. She’s called a bastard and watched constantly. If she pauses in her chores for one moment, she’s pounced on; if she’s attempting to complete one chore, but not the one that’s expected of her at that very moment, she’s attacked. Her young nephew treats her half decently but if she has anything to do with him her sis insinuates that she’s trying to pull one over on her by sneaking around and doing too much for him. It’s a classic case of abuse… the poor thing is damned if she does and damned if she doesn’t as he sister viciously accuses her of costing them their happiness.

A girl her age, Bula (Kundu), lives next door with her mother and brother and Tiya dreams of a normal life like hers. They’ve developed a friendship but her sister doesn’t allow her much contact with her. All the neighbors realize she’s treated poorly but stay clear of her business. Tiya hopes for a normal existence in the future and asks Bula about her brother. By comparison, Bula has the perfect family and maybe with a happy marriage she can have the same some day. What you wish for is that her brother-in-law, who is always ogling her, will not be her only impression of men. Seeing Bula happy with her boyfriend but always being mistreated and always being alone, Tiya is wearing down to the point that she sees no hope. Suddenly we cut to two years and, not wanting to give too much away, I’ll leave it there for you. Check out the film if you want to see what happens to the pitiful damsel in distress.

I have no problems with the story itself. Kudos to anyone who can go that deep into a tragic family plot that doesn’t involve gangsters but perhaps with Banerjee taking on the role of producer as well as story teller, he missed some adjustments he should have made. There were some sound and editing mistakes that were subtle but that happened often enough that it could be a little distracting. Long drawn out sequences of Tiya performing simple household tasks did tend to get old and fast, however, it set the pace for her milling about. Also, Mou Saha may not have been the best choice for lead actress because her inability to be distinct when she’s sad, upset, daydreaming or somewhat pleased frustrated me the entire time. One last thing to mention… the subtitles were so fast that I’m glad I didn’t see this at the theatre or I would have walked out not knowing at all what happened in the film. Luckily I had pause but sadly, had to use it the entire time.

If you’d like more information about the film, please visit: https://www.facebook.com/the.story.of.a.village.girl