'Just Another Love Story'

Noted helmer Rituparno Ghosh makes an inauspicious thesping debut in Kaushik Ganguly's sudsy pic.

Noted helmer Rituparno Ghosh makes an inauspicious thesping debut in Kaushik Ganguly’s sudsy “third sex” meller “Just Another Love Story.” Aspiring toward a transgender version of a Susan Hayward drama, the pic isn’t helped by Ghosh’s exceedingly arch performance or the forced parallels between a gay director’s stormy affair with his bisexual lover and the life of a transgender Bengali stage star whose story is brought to the screen. Even as a plea for tolerance, this messy, occasionally attractive production is unlikely to make a mark outside gay fests.

Transgender director Abhiroop (Ghosh, “The Last Lear”) is making a docudrama about Chapal Bhaduri (playing himself), an older, now-impoverished transgender stage actor. During the troubled shoot, Abhiroop’s cameraman and lover Basu (Indraneil Sengupta) gets a visit from his wife, Rani (Churni Ganguly), forcing the oh-so-discreetly suffering Abhiroop to see parallels between his supposedly liberated life and Chapal’s masochistic past. Casting stars like Sengupta, Jisshu Sengupta and Raima Sen, all doing double duty in flashback roles, might help chances at home, but old-fashioned “third sex” discussions are out of synch with queer discourse elsewhere. Post-production dubbing is distracting.

Just Another Love Story

India

Production

A Cinewalla production. Produced by Tapan Biswas. Executive producer, Arijit Biswas. Directed, written by Kaushik Ganguly.

Crew

Camera (color, widescreen), Soumik Haldar; editor, Mainak Bhaumik; music, Debajyoti Mishra; production designers, Rituparno Ghosh, Tanmay Sengupta; costume designer, Sandipan Majumdar. Reviewed at Berlin Film Festival (Panorama), Feb.16, 2010. Bengali, English dialogue. Running time: 132 MIN (I: 60 MIN.; II: 72 MIN.).

With

Rituparno Ghosh, Indraneil Sengupta, Jisshu Sengupta, Chapal Bhaduri, Churni Ganguly, Raima Sen, Arindam Sil, Arindam Bagchi, Taranga, Bimal Chakraborty, Charlotte Haywards.

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