Until the last few minutes of Sandcastle, I had no idea how to describe the film or its director. For the first half, I had a lot of expectations for the film and writer and director Das totally headed those off–she directly confronts the viewer’s expectations, actually. She manages to do it twice in the film; the second time is a surprise again.
Das splits the film into twenty-two parts, each with a title, each involving protagonist Shahana Chatterjee having a conversation with someone. Usually she’s having a conversation with her free-spirited friend, played by Malvika Jethwani. Chatterjee’s trying to figure out how to be both a working woman and a housewife. Sort of. Jethwani acts as agitator and supporter.
Rajat Sharma plays Chatterjee’s husband. Sharma is outstanding, even though he goes through the entire film without giving too much away about his character. He gets one of the scenes to himself… only he’s just on the phone talking to a friend. It’s a strange approach but a successful one.
Chatterjee is outstanding. She runs Sandcastle with her quiet, thoughtful lead, even when she’s got far flashier acting going on around her. For instance, Jethwani’s straight from the id gets to be a little much.
Ritam Banerjee’s photography is wonderful–Das’s composition is so fantastic, her use of quick cuts distracts from her skill. Editor Shashi Kumar handles them well, but letting them linger would have been nice too.
Great music from Ankur Mukherjee.
Sandcastle’s a success.
Written and directed by Shomshuklla Das; director of photography, Ritam Banerjee; edited by Shashi Kumar; music by Ankur Mukherjee; production designer, Shomshuklla Das; produced by Bhaskar Das.
Starring Shahana Chatterjee (Sheila), Malvika Jethwani (Maya), Rajat Sharma (Vikram), Uditvanu Das (Koushik), Iti Pawar (Iti), Sohini Mukherjee (Roopa), Sagnik Mukherjee (Sameer), Mitra Das (Mother), Purab Mehta (Ashok) and Indrajit Sen (Father).