A Tale of a Naughty Girl | Chicago Reader

A Tale of a Naughty Girl

Veteran Bengali filmmaker Buddhadev Dasgupta aims for picturesque humanism in this kaleidoscopic drama (2002) set in and around a rural brothel. A prostitute plans to sell her daughter to a wealthy older man to save the girl from a whore's life, but the studious daughter dreams of going to Calcutta to further her education. But this is only one of a half-dozen narrative strands: others involve a goodhearted cabdriver, an elderly couple, and another prostitute with an abusive husband. All the characters are struggling to escape the traps of class and tradition, but Dasgupta doesn't stay with any of them long enough for an emotional payoff. Still, his juxtaposition of bleak interiors with the arid open plains of west Bengal is striking. In Hindi and Bengali with subtitles. 89 min.

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