Sabar Uparey (1955)

Above All, and no here it is not Him or may be Him? Since in this movie it is truth which is Above all. 

Though the movie (as is normal) doesn’t give credit, but wiki tells me (as well as IMDb refers) that it is based on A J Cronin’s Beyond This Place, a novel published around this time. I must confess that I have not read this novel, in fact as far as I remember AJC had been out of my syllabi (that is I haven’t read any).  In this state I am unable to compare the amount of adaptation and naturalisation that had been done to the original. But considering most of the cases where there had been significant variations between the original, even contemporary, Bengali novels vis a vis the movie version, I assume this also might have undergone major mutation. Whether the attempt or the result was Sue Storm or Victor Von Doom I can’t tell without studying the original. 

It is a Uttam, Suchitra starrer with direction by the group Agradoot. This is again when I had to disagree with the IMDb ranking, which had been more than generous in giving it 7.9 points as on date.  I? I am not so generous. 

In Bengali to English (or for that matter even other Indian language) translation, as I have mentioned elsewhere there are certain words that do not have any equivalent and the explanation has to be done through sentences or may even need paragraphs (e.g. Abhiman). While watching this movie one of this words kept on hitting my mind again and again, and it is Nyaka. In fact several times in the movie I felt like twitching my nose and blurt out Neku (even a more derogatory term). Of course I didn’t due to the dog in forest situation, there was no one to hear my voice. The major contributor was the heroine, aptly aided by the dialogues suiting to it, but the others too weren’t totally unaffected by this or  the over-acting. 

Only persons who remained natural, amongst the major characters, were Kamal Mitra, may be up to some extent Jayashri Sen and Pahari Sanyal. All others identified – Sova, Chhabi, Uttam, Suchitra, Nitish, Kali – or those unidentified,  did their best to contribute to the over acting or Nekamo, and of course I shouldn’t forget, as they say last but the most, the director(s) and the dialogue/ screen play writers.

We have one budding lawyer of Patna Sessions court, Shankar Choudhury (Uttam Kumar), who would soon change his name. He had just the got one criminal proved non-criminal, at least of murder charges and hence acquitted. He was thoroughly congratulated for his free defence of the poor man, and winning the hopeless case against the named and famed public prosecutors. With so much of high profile act, why I don’t know, but he told that it would take at least another decade for him to become economically viable. I would have thought that with it there would be a queue of the murderers (innocent or not) in front of his chamber, but it seems that those were not the case, or may be on those days (1954) there were not many murders in Bihar.

Shankar came home to his mother, Mahamaya (Sova Sen) and told her of his victory, obviously to get an emotional blessing and hug, and he got that. Of course his next act wasn’t approved happily. This mother was a stitching teacher in local school, and with her salary and Shankar’s tuition, his education was financed. Obviously now Shankar wanted to make some money, for him, her and their soon to be larger family. For which, the would be addition, his girl friend Ira (Tapati Ghosh), or rather her father, had offered him a position in his prosperous law firm. 

Nothing doing, your job is only to search out and defend the murderers. No Firm job for you” Was the veto given. Despite his pleadings, doubled after a meeting with Ira the veto wasn’t withdrawn. However in that effort he got the shock of his life, the change in name. He was no more Shankar Choudhury, whose father Prashanta Choudhury had gone to Rangoon 12 years back and then gone missing, probably (as they always used to say then), turned into a Sheep by some Burmese woman. He was Shankar Chatterjee, whose father Prashanta Chatterjee (Chhabi Biswas) had gone to Presidency jail twelve years back for brutally murdering a woman. Choudhury was Mahamaya’s maiden name, so probably her school certificates didn’t need any manipulation or affidavit for change in name. 

He said he was innocent. Whether he was or not, he would have to say that. Who can tell his wife that he had been murdering women brutally under mysterious and scandalous circumstances? Mahamaya being the devoted wife believed he was, and automatically being an obedient son, Shankar too did. As a proof Mahamaya brought out a twelve year old letter, his last one, and gave him to read. After all those claims of innocence he had directed/ pleaded/ begged Mahamaya to cut of all links from him or his name and move off elsewhere far away and start a new life, where no one would be able to link her or him with him.  And take an oath not to tell of all this to anyone ever.

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Mahamaya broke her oath and did an tell-all to Shanker. Bad girl, you have broken promise given to your husband, the most sacred thing a devoted wife like you could think of even more sacred than any oath taken, even in temple in front of deities. So now it was fixed  that whatever Ira might think, Shankar would keep on defending murderers. However there were no immediate murders in the vicinity. So Shankar moved to Calcutta, and then to Presidency Jail. 

In Presidency he couldn’t, despite his identity, or may be due to that, a murderer’s son, meet his father. He was told by an affable but not kindly guard that Prashanta was at the moment under solitary confinement for breaking jail rules, and even after that term, of six months (do they give so much?) it wasn’t very necessary that the meeting would be possible. No he was not dying, at least physically, just that he was insane.

Do they keep insanes in Jails? I doubt it, an insane ex-murderer would be high risk to other poor ex-murderers. But the Presidency was firm, if caged for life here, it had to be here, not in any alternative, though similar, cage.

Our lawyer was not interested in taking some legal recourse for some immediate relief. “If he was getting insane, let him, I have to do what the script writer said” must be in his mind, so he didn’t file even a petition there. In fact almost till the end the lawyer kept on doing unlawful activities, even when some legal help could be sought.

Rather than whiling away those six months roaming around the Presidency Jail, may be he would have had it been Presidency College, Shankar decided to go for a change. What better place he could get than Krishnanagar, the place of murder?

He got down of the train, hired a rickshaw for hotel, and started his affair, in the most hackneyed manner (and dialogues). The rickshaw was flagged by another, a few seconds after him, Miss Rita Mukherjee (Suchitra Sen). As a first step to a major share-holding of the private, initially limited, company they shared the Rickshaw. Due to the unavailability of the exchange with Shanker, the MCP philosophy was not adhered to. It also might be that they thought about the future, the would be controller of the purse strings then, and brought that forward to present. At those times, and even now, the finances would be under their control, though the big-spender had changed the gender over time. 

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Anyway, the first alighting, Rita, paid not only her, but his share too. She stayed in a rented house with a couple of her girl friends, who had seen them arriving, and curious, which she had to say in words.

After the initial mother-son theatrics, now from the time Shankar had moved out of Railway station (and encountered Rita), hackneyed dialogues, acts and Nekami had started.  It went on through. Rita had been bent on seducing Shankar from the first sight (at least it looked to me). Though she denies it later, when Shankar tells him “You are a real friend to me, for being of helping me in need” she tells “If you knew about me, you won’t say that” it probably was worse than the murderer’s son, since she was a “Nigrihita refugee” from across the border, and the “Nigrihita” could even mean and usually meant the assaulted. That though didn’t deter Shankar, or caused his eyes to blink, or even stare.

Shankar moved on and suddenly passed by to a place, which was noted by him. How I don’t know, probably the old records had some address. Unlikely but he had recognised the house number. It was supposed to be the office of “Bengal Insurance Company” local branch of the company in which his father worked.

Shankar had a crash not on, but with, a girl coming out . She didn’t mind the minor interruption and discomfort and instead of frown, preferred to smile.

Every girl in Krishnanagar seemed to be openly hell bent on dropping a line with or without bait for him. Where were these types when he was in Patna? May be Ira kept a protective net around him, and now that was torn, the fish had swam out in the open for other fisher (wo)men to have a go.

The company, he came to understand, had closed the local chapter and now the building housed a curio shop. Except that the owner-manager Sahadeb Dutta (Kamal Mitra) couldn’t give any further information. He didn’t know where the then local agent of the company, Sahadeb Dutta (i.e. he himself) had moved to, after the branch was closed, Might have gone back to the head quarters he helpfully hinted. An idiot would have caught the lie? or hiding his entity?, but Shankar was clearly one of quite exceptional level, since he didn’t suspect even when he came to know that the manager, whom he didn’t know then, was Sahadeb. Exactly at that moment onwards, due to these lies, Sahadeb should have been prime suspect, since there was a presumption that Prashanta didn’t kill. 

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Shankar went to the hotel, advised by Rita and paid the advance rent and wrote all the details honestly and truthfully, including father’s name. I don’t know what he wrote of “Place next to” – I don’t suppose it was Presidency Jail? He was to write that, since the list to be filled was read by the hotel manager, and one of the item was this.

Shanker went to his room, opened the newspaper(s) – he had brought quite a few with him- and started reading till he found an advertisement of a local weekly, specialising in court cases. I don’t know what would be the sale of a weekly paper, which only gives detailed court news. But it seemed to have some dedicated readers – probably criminals and lawyers and their family members.

He barged into the newspaper office demanding (requesting) to meet the editor. The Editor (Tulsi Chakraborty) not only was ready to help find out the old issues, even 12 years old, but also once the name of the case “Hemangini Devi Murder case” was mentioned, he even told the months (June/July – 1942) for some money of course, the reading room charges.

While he went to bring it, the stalker appeared. It seemed the editor was some relative of Rita, and she did a part time job here. So despite the initial apprehensions (our, obviously not who should have, Shankar), she could for the time being escaped being branded as a stalker or spy or both.

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The case was very simple. There was a young woman named Hemangini Devi, living in a rented house. The other inmates of the rented house was some Beena Roy (Jayashri Sen), Haripada Compounder and Tarapada Sarkar (Puru Mullick ??). Except Haripada we don’t know the professions of other three, Hemangini, Beena or Tarapada. Tarapada’s was interesting, since Haripada quite dutifully served him evening tea. Anyway that fateful evening when Tarapada was sipping, or about to sip, the tea served by Haripada, he heard a woman (Hemangini) scream, of pain. He didn’t bother, why I don’t know nor he told. Probably Hemangini lived a painful life. But after few minutes there was second scream. That somehow was not deemed normal and Tarapada decided to investigate. I don’t know why he felt it unnatural, if one can scream naturally once, she could again. When he knocked at the door, a heavily over-coated, heavyset (could well be Chhabi Biswas size) face covered person pushed him to ground and walked away. Tarapada though down but wasn’t out, on his screams (or shouts), Haripada and Bina came out and tried to follow the person, who was by then out of the gate, and soon disappeared.

During post-mortem it was found that Hemangini had been heavily sedated and her throat was slit. She was at that time four month’s pregnant and the police theory was that she was murdered to avoid the scandal.

Why two screams? In later informations (that were not presented to the court), it would come out that she shouldn’t have screamed even once. The doctor who did the post mortem, told that the neck was slit by a sharp instrument, severing the veins off. With the windpipe severed, I didn’t know one could scream, that too twice. The first scream? Under heavily sedated condition the throat was slit by one who seemed to know his job. The doctor who did the post-mortem told that it was done by one who knew human anatomy very well. 

During the cross examination Tarapada was sure it wasn’t Prashanta, but since he was without spectacles at that time hence his statement wasn’t depended upon. The other two witnesses, Haripada compounder was first a hostile witness, refusing to accept that he had seen the face, but later un-hostiled himself and duly identified the murderer. Bina of course was a truthful witness from the beginning and never flinched in pointing her finger at the criminal.

The doctor when shown the shaving blade and asked, told that it could be the instrument used. These followed by the fact that Prashanta, when arrested was about to board a ship to Rangoon, sealed his fate. 

But was that ‘could be‘ instrument ‘it’? That the court would have asked, not could be. Blood stains? There were hundreds of loopholes. I agree that the witnesses and the others including the police, were bought. But what about Judge? What about defence attorney? In fact it seemed there was none. Later Mahamaya told that she got the information only after the verdict was pronounced. Is that possible? Is it probable? No police enquiry at his office or home, even it was to falsely nail him? 

The story writer decided and Prashanta was sent to life imprisonment. It could have been hanging (brutally killing his pregnant mistress). But the prosecution itself didn’t want capital and asked for the life. “Let him stay there and spend the life repenting than getting rid of it in one go

Had he been rid of, probably there won’t have been melodramas. Again strangely, may be he had written something to his wife, buts shouldn’t she have written a few to him, just once in a while, if not meet him despite his instructions? That could have preserved his sanity. Even a few letters once in a while would have done. But clearly the wife didn’t look at the whole thing with a logical eyes. 

By now Shankar was sure that Prashanta was framed. I don’t know how he was, with the fact that he (and we too) read from the court-journal. We would be sure only after we got the story (about half of what I told above, the other half even later) when he  went to meet the first witness, the hostile who remained and hence deleted from reliable witness list, Tarapada. 

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There he got some other informations. The two witnesses had suddenly become rich, Haripada had a big medicine shop in city center, and Beena, even more successful, was the joint-owner of the curio shop, and a few of the real-estate properties, including this, the murder house. Tarapada was confident that it wasn’t Prashanta, though not sure who he was. But there was one who had quite a bit of the information, Sushil Roy (Kali Bannerjee) , the inspector who handled the case. While coming out he met the second witness, Beena Roy (Jayashri Sen) whom he had already bumped against what was now known to be her shop. But knowing she was a witness of the enemies, he didn’t cross-examine her immediately. 

The search for Sushil Roy failed till his stalker again came to his rescue. Finding him roaming around her home, though clearly not for her, she might have felt offended or threatened. She confronted him and found that it wasn’t a girl he was looking for but a man. It should have shocked and horrified her, but it didn’t and she found his man for him, through her Foster Grandfather, the encyclopaedic Editor (Tulsi) and presented him, at least his location, at her room, over a plate of food (with some more quite inane dialogues- like after mother you are the first person to feed me so tenderly).(No double-meaning intended, it wasn’t in Bengali, but in translation that turned out to be quite insinuative) 

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The man had some serious accident, but was still alive and in Government Hospital, and there Shankar went. to get the rest of the story what I told, and also few other critical informations.

During the search of the room, they had found a gold Cigarette case with the letters S and H embossed. That couldn’t be Prashanta by a long throw. It had fingerprints which didn’t resembled Prashanta’s. This was never put in the court or discussed amongst the prosecution items. In addition there was an unsigned letter, asking to keep the back door open for a critical meeting in the evening, to solve her critical problem (which was correctly attributed to her pregnancy). It was without signature, and handwriting didn’t resemble Prashant’s. The experts told that it was written by left hand, and Prashanta didn’t cooperate by writing it, so the hand writing check couldn’t be done. 

The police was in dark and hitting their heads on wall, when suddenly Sahadeb Dutta came to the police station. His version was that Prashanta was a regular visitor to Hemangini, from the time he himself got them introduced. It was with relation to a life insurance policy worth a few lacs, that she had taken. Prashanta was the investigating officer who was sent from Headquarter to investigate and then recommend to thumb the policy up or down, depending on his checks on her.

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Prashanta didn’t deny any of this even the fact that he used to frequently come to her house, but that it was purely professional visit, and on that day, he didn’t even do that.

Hemangini was not with sufficient means to afford the policy. But Prashanta didn’t flag it down. Why?

That was a question asked and not answered, even I will ask that. Unless one has a sufficient income to justify that the permia could be paid without starving, the company won’t accept a policy. She didn’t have it from her pay-check (at least that’s what they told in court), that meant some one else was being her guarantor (or may be paying the premia). If I do a policy for a neighbour’s wife or daughter, or even a spinster, would the insurance company process it? If I am the sole beneficiary then it is as good as she is writing a suicide note by signing on the policy. The Insurance companies don’t like suicides, and prefer natural, even through illness, death or even murders, like this, but suicide? No way. In fact some time back the policies were annulled in suicides, now I think that restriction is removed. 

If there was a financial backer, it would be her lover (unborn child’s father) or the beneficiary, Sahadeb Dutta. Considering the large amount involved, why they won’t be prime suspects or in league if they were different persons? The identity of backer had to be known to Prashanta why shouldn’t he tell that, unless he himself was one, or in league with the beneficiary, Sahadeb, aware that the default in premia won’t take place, and she herself would be encashed before long?

Looking at this way and despite question Prashanta never mentioning the financier, it wasn’t a mistake in assuming that he was one of the parties to the murder. Since he was not the beneficiary, he had to be in it from the second angle. But why did the beneficiary got off scot-free? Insufficient checks done on that account. I agree that the concentration was on this angle. The against the soon arriving insurance money, advance spending  was done to keep all the parts smooth and well lubricated, police, prosecutors, witnesses. Suresh Roy, the inspector was asked by his boss that the case was resolved, and in face of his reluctance, ordered to withdraw and look at other cases. 

In the court Sahadeba mentioned (denied hotly by Prashanta), that Prashanta had met him the previous day and told him of a private meeting with Hemangini the next evening (that of murder) and asked him to keep mum about it (Why should he do that?). On that day Sahadeba was in Nabadwip, and though Prashanta too was supposed to be with him (again denied by Prashanta of any such appointment) he wasn’t there. Why this point is again and again stressed? Nabadwip is walking distance, almost (only about 15 Kilometers) from Krishnanagar. So any one could stay there murder and go back. Even on those days, a bicycle would have done, you don’t need train/ bus/ cars. But like so many mess one more.

Sahadeva was in Nabadwip that day, there was a proof. That was not brought out initially, but the last defining trial it was.  He had gone into a fracas, and was arrested. However by afternoon he got out on bail. So he could still have walked (or cycled over). But what he told was that he was their not in custody, the proof of being there, in custody, which could have strengthened his non-involvement was avoided.

At the end of the well managed show, Prashanta was declared guilty. The hot and angry and cursing murderer was put into a place where society would be safe from him.

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To disturb the safety of the civilisation, now his son wanted him out and goes forward now to interview the second witness. Beena Roy. That was easy, he had already used his masculine charm on her, and she was not affected any less than Ira and probably Rita (I would put the ascending order as Ira, Beena, Rita, hence that probably word

However he hadn’t done much of homework, and not found about Sahadeba, whom a child would identify to be a main player (and Kamal and Chhabi both being large men he could have been the one). So the innocent and non-enterprising youngman tried to seduce the fact out of Bani in the Curio Shop where Sahadeba was there, out of view of course, in the office.

His antennae up, Sahadeba went to find the details, and from the hotel he found it, including a letter that had (perchance they do in the nick of the moment), from Ila. Who aware of the facts, had written him to come back to her, despite all his antecedents. The letter written for other was given without objection to Sahadeba by the hotel owner/manager. Sahadeba read, understood and went to his friend, the ex-police chief 12 years back, who still was. 

Shankar was arrested and produced at the police station and was asked to leave the town within 24 hours. Being a lawyer, he didn’t object, even to his arrest and production without warrant. But not being law abiding he decided not to follow the order. He went to the hospital where the ex-policeman Suresh Roy had done something illegal, he had got all the case papers of Prashanta Choudhury arranged (By whom? From where? How? He was bedridden, and for practical purposes seemed to be sans a family) and he gave them to Shankar. 

At hotel there was a surprise waiting, Shankar was asked to vacate the hotel, being a persona non grata, without belongings. He had a overdue payment, which he could clear and then get the belongings (only a suitcase) back.

Uh oh – he hadn’t even the money to pay the rentals, what did he expect the hotel to do? Let him leave with all his belongings? He had paid for 3 days and already was there for 7 days. The four days rental was only what the hotel owner asked for, was it unjustified? It was, since he should have asked a few days earlier, not after four days overstay. Anyway better late than never, he did, and without a penny in pocket (he seems to have either come without funds or had spent all on Rita, which I couldn’t see doing) Shankar walked out on roads.

Obviously the hero couldn’t go to the heroine, his only well wisher, for help and shelter, so he preferred to live under open sky and drink water, and eat nothing, giving out hungry looks at the roadside shops like Jean Valjean. However he stopped himself from stealing or might have been saved. 

Though he was poor but his girlfriend wasn’t (She should have been but wasn’t from her actions). After a few hours (it couldn’t have been more than that) separation it became unbearable, and she landed up in his hotel, to be told of the happenings. She immediately shelled out the pending due (She had a wad) and took his suitcase along with her, to her home, and went on a rickshaw ride across town to search for him, obviously coming within feets several times, taking wrong turn on the bends. Do the hotel owners give away boarder’s property like that to unknown persons, just since the pending bill amount was paid by them and not him? 

Now while Shankar was in moral dilemma whether to follow the path shown by Jean Valjean or not, he was saved by Rita, who finally found him and arresting him, brought him to her cell.

He had to become sick, with only one day in the open and a day of no food (Despite being a poor sewing teacher’s son). So he had to stay in her room, despite “What the neighbours’ would say? They would throw mud on your character” and the usual “I don’t bother“. She had already read one letter of her mother from his attache, which for all purposes blessed the unknown and unseen in advance.

After some time she was expected to read any letter addressed to Shankar, in feminine handwritings, and I won’t question. Even if the feminine hand writing was known to her, his mother (or in this case non-existent) sister’s. She had to know what they think of her and prepare strong and pre-emptive counter-moves. But wasn’t in this case she was being too forward? Or she already thought that he was doomed, so a few days in advance didn’t matter, and that’s why she didn’t bother his spending night (and the calumny associated) in her bedroom? 

Now another interesting part. We were always made to understand that this portion was shared by 3 girls (Reeta, Geeta and Seeta, the names also rhymed). We have seen the other two even a couple of days back. But now where did they go? If they were there, definitely that “What will other’s say” won’t even come in.  But we have to show the “Let them talk anything about us, I care damn of it” attitude of the girl, so the two inmates had to disappear for a few days. 

The man was starving having gone without food for a day. So Rita brought out her food and served him. The quantity was, well significant (I don’t eat even half of that). Shankar knew that she had given her portion (Do girls eat that much? I thought they control diets to stay slim, at least before marriage?) and would go hungry (why should she? She had only a day before shown us that she had a wad of notes and just across the road there was a sweetmeat shop, from where she could have had something brought from, and if nothing else at least, she could still cook something for her and eat?) But she was to go hungry and Shankar didn’t do anything to take off from her (unnecessary) sacrifice and left the plate thoroughly polished, as if washed. I have to note that he was running fever, in that condition could one eat that much? I land up in trouble (at home front) whenever I have fever (though thankfully not frequent), due to the quantity of intake.  He proved that he could, and either he or I am not normal. The director should have controlled urge to go over the edge in creating melodrama and cliché, but the whole movie is made of it.

It had to continue, the next morning he had disappeared. Why he had to cover his bed lined with pillows to impersonate him with sheet cover? Not explainable since he was going to come back, he told so when he did after some morning investigations eavesdropping into the discussions Sahadeb was having with Haripada and Beena, telling them that he had been involved in the murder and they were false witnesses. It could only be for the benefit of the audience and Shankar, since the other two already were aware of it all.

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Now with all the information at his disposal the final step had to be taken. But before that he wanted some help from Rita. She would have to get the handwriting sample from all the suspects.

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, to reopen the case. To do it, he does what the people are now doing, influence the judiciary through public meetings and crowd. Shankar calls for a meeting in court compound and exhorts the people to protest against miscarriage of justice. Why the people should be convinced I don’t know, since a son saying his father is innocent is nothing strange, and he didn’t bring all or in fact any of the facts out to prove his point. But people are convinced and Shankar was arrested for not leaving the town as well as disturbing the public peace by holding meetings without permission.

The first charge was  debatable without any magisterial order, but the second anyway was an undoubtedly true charge to send him to give company to his father, at least for a few days.Probably he did want to meet his father in jail. Since despite being a lawyer himself, neither he nor anyone else defended him. But I doubt whether he would have been sent there, for these minor charges. Probably he would have been boxed up in a local cell. 

However his plan was disturbed, since there came a person out of blue, Prasad Roy (Pahadi Sanyal), a self professed brother of Rita, “who loves any one Rita loves“, an advocate in Calcutta high court and the chief editor of a newspaper. He took Shankar’s bail, studied his proofs, was convinced and went for a publicity campaign, free, in his news paper, forcing the government to order an enquiry.

The case was reopened and the same old public prosecutor instrumental in the earlier conviction, Suren Das (Nitish Mukherjee) .

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There were many more questions raised or errors noticed during the re-trial (by me, in my mind, not by the people on screen.

  • The Good Friday of 1942 is declared to be on 20th April however the web shows that it fell on 3rd April. of course they didn’t have the advantage of web search in 1954, (when the movie was shot), so I will over-look this error.
  • Hemangini (Biswas) was  in medical college , most likely a fresher student, and her eventual murderer was a senior student. They had an affair (even then) and became pregnant then too. As a result both were expelled. It came out since Shankar as per Inspector Roy’s advice, his last before death, checked the history, since there, as per him, the clue are often available. It explained the medical expertise of the person. But in that case Hemangini was getting pregnant for at least the second time (assuming nothing further happened in between). Leave aside the utter carelessness of both, but why the murder, which he avoided in the first time, commit on the second (or further)? 
  • There were two people at the scene of crime, the murderer (left handed person) and Sahadeb. They entered through back door and after murder, the murderer escaped through it. Why did Sahadeb not use that avenue and attempt front door? Had he done so, still Prashanta could have been framed, but Beena won’t have seen, recognised, and probably black-mail him. 
  • Beena remained young and alluring even after 12 years? 
  • The crime was committed 12 years back. Now let us see timeline. Shankar was doing practice for one year (“I have been already in court for one year and earning only about 30 to 40 Rupees per month”). He had completed his MA and then the law (I assume LLB). So that makes – 3 years LLB+ 2 years MA+ 3 Years (at least 2) Graduation + 1 year in court = 8 years. That means at the time of the incidence he was at least in class 8 (Class 12 – 4). A student of class 8 doesn’t recall his father or his own surname? Or he could be totally shielded from all this upheaval? 
  • The daylight saving street lighting, common in Europe, I wasn’t aware ever happened in India happened in India. The murder happened around 19:00 Hours. Kolkata is in eastern part, and hence sun sets early, as per my own knowledge 19:00 hours is quite late in any time of year. Just a check on web showed me that the June sunset is around 18:20 and the murder took place (as per record) at exact 19:00. Won’t then by 19:00 Hrs street lights be on? Whether you have or not a daylight saving scheme? (Krishnanagar is even further east to Kolkata). I am not local, (rarely stayed there), but this type of mess by locals? Just trying to bring in the daylight saving concept of the original novel? Even if it was the Shuklapaksha, except on full moon or around that, I don’t think the moon will be able to overcome the darkness. June? The Monsoon has already set in, in Eastern India at least. 
  • The murderer (who wasn’t) i.e. Sahadeb was running away not walking towards Beena or Haripada. He had a cloth to hide his face. Of course that we know, not the police or judge. Still with him walking away, how could Beena see his face? Why no one asked that then (or even in the final examination)? 
  • Could the medical college head-clerk recall the expelled student (though it was a juicy story) was a left handed person? Recalling that he was a very good student or future surgeon might be possible, after around twenty years (12 years plus the student has changed line and gone into some other field). A mentor professor, of whom he was a favourite student, may be, but head clerk?
  • All other mess-ups, over actings, and other things I have noted as they took place.

In this condition I have no other choice than to place Sabar Uparey as Sabar Neechey the original story might not have had all these errors, but the movie version had. And with these errors, over acting,  I didn’t find anything worthwhile to even move it by a single step up, to just bearable category.