In a fully packed auditorium [the fellow sitting next to me, informed it has accommodation capacity for 360+ people] at main theater in SRFTI campus, mostly the student and alumni of this esteemed institute and a few outsiders like me, I saw the première of Rajdeep Paul and Sarmistha Maiti’s 32 minutes short film ‘3 on a bed’, on Saturday, March 24, 2012. Produced by Satyajit Ray Film & Television Institute (SRFTI) and inspired by Girish Karnad’s Kannada play ‘Hayavadana’, this is said to be India’s first polyamoric film about a ménage-à-trois or a threesome of two men and a woman.
As the name suggests, the story revolves around three friends, Kapil, Debdutta and Padmini, all art college pass-outs, sharing their bodies, soul, food and a bed. The narration is done, mostly as flashback of Debdutta; who correlate the moments of togetherness as team building exercise, while facing an interview for the job of creative artist in an advertisement agency.
The subject appears bold in current Indian social context, however, the reference given about existence of such a system in earlier days, through reference of books Hayavadana, Peter Pan and Ebong Himu; as well in an interaction between Debdutta and Padmini; the Director duo reminded us, how narrow-mindedness has grasped our thinking process. Moreover, in spite of three bare scenes on the bed, the director duo deserved accolades for handling the subject of the story avoiding distraction, and not allowing this film to become a soft-porn, and earn cheap publicity.
When two adults of opposite sexes stay together in a love relationship, the binding link between them used to be a complex chemistry of love and sexuality; which not only keep them together but also, develop a feeling of possessiveness on each other. Any threat towards this chemistry creates uproar and induces feelings of anger and jealousy between the relationships.
While watching ‘3 on a bed’, I recalled an article published in popular Bengali news daily about the life-story of a business person; living at Garia in Kolkata; who is married to two women, who are sisters. He also has had children from his wives and they all are living together happily, under one roof. Perhaps, people may term this as an exceptional incidence of our society, but the truth is, it exists and relationship is successful.
The concept of this film raises the same issue; can this kind of love and sexual relationship exists in our society? If so, what shall be their terms? What should be the model of our social system? I know there are more complicated questions, which might arise; but kudos to Rajdeep and Sarmistha, to think of such an issue and made their films to discuss the same.
Though following points were, if explained further, I believe, it would have been more pleasurable viewing experience for the audiences:
- What was the secret of Padmini’s past life, for which Kapil was avoiding her? And, why all of a sudden, Kapil forgot her past and pulled her closer?
- If Debdutta was so matured and practical thinking fellow, then why he appeared so immature and childish towards Padmini, on the sea beach and the hotel room, at the beginning of the movie.
- This movie is based upon relationship among three people, which can be aptly explored visually. Won’t it be better if the amounts of dialogues were trimmed a bit?
However, as a film, the script is well made and the acting by the lead characters demands appreciation. I would specially like to mention the names of Tanusree Goswami for portraying the complexity of Padmini’s character with such ease and Saurav Das, for his natural expression of Kapil’s simplicity. The Editing by Sarmistha Maiti and cinematography by K Appala Swamy, perfectly matched the moods of the story and sound design by Amit Kumar Dutta completes the viewing experience. Anupam Roy, as music director, does not need any introduction. Merging the song “Borne Gondhe Chonde Geetite” in Sachin Dev Burman’s voice with the background score, is a smart decision by the directors’ duo and the music director, to depict emotional struggle between the central characters perfectly.
As the film ends, it leaves the audience with a feel good feeling. When we see the three characters to unite again, it’s a strong message given by the director duo; yes, a new world is possible, what we all need to do is to love others selflessly.
As Debdutta, replied in his interview, “it might be your dream; but you need a team to realize your dream”, I wish, the team of Rajdeep and Sarmistha will continue making films and keep sharing their dreams with us.