Review: ‘The Demolition Man’

A government zoning official charged with bulldozing illegal sidewalk market stalls employs a similar methodology to his marriage and life in overlong yet provocative Bengali drama "The Demolition Man." On the strength of thought-ful central metaphor, pic could fit at fests; though offshore theatrical is unlikely, ancillary outlets are possible.

A government zoning official charged with bulldozing illegal sidewalk market stalls employs a similar methodology to his marriage and life in overlong yet provocative Bengali drama “The Demolition Man.” On the strength of thoughtful central metaphor, pic could fit at fests; though offshore theatrical is unlikely, ancillary outlets are possible.

To the outside world, Biman Dutta (vet Chiranjeet) is a tough and efficient Calcutta bureaucrat, but the human toll of his workaholic approach is causing nightmares and fits of self-loathing. He’s long since grown apart from his loving yet exasperated wife, Mouli (Debasree Roy), who complains that “all day, I chat up the parrot and watch TV.” The arrival of adman Indra (Rajit Kapoor), Mouli’s true love prior to her arranged mar-riage to Biman, results in a rekindling of their long-dormant feelings. When Biman discovers the affair, he decides on a fresh start, offering Mouli to Indra via an uncontested divorce, and quitting his job. Pic gets points for originality (it was scripted by same team who wrote helmer Gul Bahar Singh’s 2001 generational drama “The Adopted”), but would benefit from overall tightening. Tech credits are competent.

The Demolition Man

India

Production

A Sunrise Media & Effects production. (International sales: Sunrise Media & Effects, Calcutta.) Produced by S.M. Bhura, Siddharth Bhura. Executive producer, Sharad Bhura. Directed by Gul Bahar Singh. Screenplay, Partha Banerjee, Subir MookerjeeBanerjee, Subir Mookerjee.

Crew

Camera (Eastmancolor), Sakti Banerjee; editor, Ujjal Nandi; music, Kalyan Sen Barat; art director, Asoke Bose. Reviewed at Montreal World Film Festival (World Cinema: Reflections of Our Time), Aug. 25, 2002. Bengali dialogue. Running time: 114 MIN.

With

Chiranjeet, Debasree Roy, Rajit Ka-poor, Sumitra Mookherjee, Dulal Lahiri, Monu Mukherjee, Manjushree, Chandan Sen. Bengali dialogue.
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