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Story of a struggle

Master Moshai serves as a strong moral lesson for both students and guardians who tend to pressurise their wards, often culminating in cases of suicide. New discovery Niladri Ghosh as the young Aniruddha Sanyal excels in his role, moving between shadow and light in symbolising the early struggles to achieve success.

ANIT MUKERJEA |

When offbeat cinematic ideas moving away from the mainstream explore possibilities through celluloid exposure, they target an audience seeking change from mundane potboilers. Avik Roy’s Master Moshai (Tutor) which premiered at the Indira Cinema, Kolkata on September 16 delves into the burning issue of mental pressure and the emotional state of a weak student of maths who is constantly grilled and scolded for failing in the subject.

Master Moshai marks the third film of Avik Roy, the other two being Siddhanto (Decision) and Reen (loan). Roy graduated from a theatre actor to assistant director and is now an independent film maker. Adapted from a short story by Saurab Mukhopadhyay,

Master Moshai follows a narrative structure, tracing the travails, ordeals and trials of a weak maths student who finally hits the jackpot. Not only does he prove his excellence by scoring in exams, but he also turns the tables on his maths mentors by tutoring them. The film opens with an award ceremony where the grown-up Aniruddha Sanyal, the erstwhile weak maths student (played by Kaushik Sen) is felicitated by none other than the Chief Minister who showers him with praise.

When Aniruddha is asked to express his reaction on receiving the award, he feels he is not worthy to receive it; it ought to have gone to his Master Moshai who died suddenly of a malignant illness. Almost the entire film is in flashback as Aniruddha recounts the saga of his evolution from a struggler in a subject he hated to becoming an expert under his new tutor. Despite some technical glitches, Master Moshai sustains audience interest by the strong content of the subject matter and the message in the film.

The images on the screen lack sharpness of focus, the dialogues seem loud, and the colour tones a bit faded and obscure. This may partly be attributed to the poor projection system of the auditorium. But a plus point in the film is the background musical score that enhances the mood, and lends the film the desired edge.

Master Moshai serves as a strong moral lesson for both students and guardians who tend to pressurise their wards, often culminating in cases of suicide. New discovery Niladri Ghosh as the young Aniruddha Sanyal excels in his role, moving between shadow and light in symbolising the early struggles to achieve success.

Both Amit Kumar Ganguly as the cane-wielding maths tutor and Pallav Kirttyania projecting the humane facet bring out the contrasts in characters. Mention must be made of Gourinath Banerjee as the senior maths class teacher who effectively projects both the tormentor in his mild reproaches as well as the sympathiser of human values.