Season's Greetings Movie Review: Celina Jaitly Haag and Lillette Dubey's film is poetic and mesmerising | PINKVILLA



Season’s Greetings Movie Review: Celina Jaitly Haag and Lillette Dubey’s film came out today. Here’s what we feel about it.

Season's Greetings Movie Review: Celina Jaitly Haag and Lillette Dubey's film is poetic and mesmerisingSeason’s Greetings Movie Review: Celina Jaitly Haag and Lillette Dubey’s film is poetic and mesmerising


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Movie Name: Season’s Greetings

Director: Ram Kamal Mukherjee

Writers: Ranjib Mazumder, Ram Kamal Mukherjee

Cast: Lillette Dubey, Celina Jaitly, Azhar Khan, Shree Ghatak

Stars: 4

How can an ardent disciple of cinema offer a tribute to one of the finest directors Rituparno Ghosh? Simple, by making him a part of the film’s soul. Ram Kamal Mukherjee’s Season’s Greetings isn’t an attempt to offer a customary tribute to Rituparno. He etches it in between the spoken and unspoken elements of this film. So, one shouldn’t be surprised that the film is named Season’s Greetings. Of course, because the Sanskrit word Ritu is translated as Season in English. Thankfully, Ram Kamal Mukherjee ensures that the ode to the skillful director is not wasted. He ends up creating a film that does complete justice to it.


Ram offers a beautiful synopsis of the film in one dialogue: ‘Yeh Guru Dutt wala pyar hai, Sex and The City wale nahi samjhenge…’ For someone who has grown watching Guru Dutt’s masterpieces, and then fallen in love with the unconditional love defined by the 90s era, this was a virtual hook. The story revolves around the changing dynamics of a mother and daughter relationship, which seems picture-perfect till the cracks of discomfort surface.

Romita (Celina Jaitly Haag) decides to introduce her live-in partner of two years Usmaan (Azhar Khan) to her mother Suchitra (Lillette Dubey). Suchitra has been living alone for 15 years since her husband decided one day to leave his family. At home, her support is a transgender house-help Chapala (Shree Ghatak) who found Suchitra as her pillar when she realized her fluid sexuality. 

Things unfold over the dinner, and Romita is taken by a surprise that changes everything. As the film progresses, the implicit undercurrent of the plot, the shaky moral compasses, is just not seen but felt. Watch the climax closely to see how they all face a quandary that challenges their belief.

ALSO READ | EXCLUSIVE: Lilette Dubey on Season’s Greetings: The film is very pertinent to our lockdown times

Season’s Greetings also highlights the struggle of the new generation’s Romita who expects her mother to understand her relationship but even a slight thought about her parent moving-on from a toxic relationship, not just troubles her but makes her furious. One of the best parts of the film is that the director manages to showcase certain undertones and discriminations which exist in society. Yet he never questions them. He just makes them face a mirror. 

The film inevitably ends with a twist, but Ram Kamal Mukherjee manages to retain the simplicity of complex relationships. In the world of web, fast-dating fad, and of course lazy screenplay attempts, everything is pushed right out on your face. It’s blissful to watch, the director took a conscious effort to adopt a graceful show-don’t-tell approach.  

The plot, dialogues, background music complement each other. There are noteworthy inferences to Rituparna’s films also. The poetic romance, the perfume, and many other crumbs are thrown for Rituparna fans. The dialogues are real, natural and honest. The background music helps ease out scenes that border on emotional tensions. No wonder, the film has been critically acclaimed at various national and International Film Festivals.

However, the most critical part of the film is Celina Jaitly Haag. She is back and how! The film marks the return of the Bollywood actress post her marriage and motherhood. We really don’t know who met who. Whether it’s Celina who met the director or is it the director who met the ‘actor’ Celina. But one thing we are sure they met at a sweet spot. Celina as Romita will undoubtedly surprise you all. The actress has always been thrashed with an epithet of a glamour girl. In this film, however, she is fighting for screen space with an established actor like Lillette Dubey. 

Undoubtedly, Lillette as Suchitra is the soul of the film. She manages to touch your heart with her graceful and elegant on-screen presence. She is like any other woman, but there is something extremely uncommon about Suchitra. Her vulnerability as a mother, her confidence in her passion, firmness in her decisions – allows her to stay with you even after the curtains fall.  Azhar Khan as Usmaan complements many scenes and his presence in this story of relationships seems effortless. Shree Ghatak doesn’t get much screen space but surely not irrelevant.

ALSO READ | Celina Jaitly & Lillette Dubey’s feature film Season’s Greetings to release on a digital platform on April 15

Producer Aritra Das and director Ram Kamal Mukherjee have kept the film short and crisp which helps them arrest the attention with many contemporary social aspects that need to be addressed. The climax is shocking, overwhelming, but definitely not uncomfortable. Season’s Greeting will expose you to many lockdowns which are imposed but hardly discussed. We are free yet so caged with our own thoughts, reservations, and above all expectations to be the one others expect us to be. This is a film that should definitely be on your watchlist.

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