Shubho Mahurat (2003)
Shubho Mahurat (2003) is an Indian Bengali detective mystery film directed by Rituparno Ghosh. The film is based on Agatha Christie's 1962 Miss Marple detective novel The Mirror Crack'd from Side to Side. It won two National Film award including Best Feature film in Bengali.
The phrase "Shubho Mahurat" is associated with the beginning of shooting for a feature film. The first shot is marked by a grand reception. This Miss Marple-esque film begins with this event. An NRI producer, Padmini Chowdhury (Sharmila Tagore), has come to India to invest in a film. Her second husband Sambit Roy (Sumanta Mukherjee), an out-of-work director, is assigned the job of direction.
The out-of-work director has a shady past. A witness to his shady past is an aspiring actor, who was subsequently thrown out of the acting circuit. This actor started a catering service for the film unit.
The NRI producer insists on casting a retired actress, Kakoli (Kalyani Mandal) in a prominent role. Kakoli, a drug addict, subsequently dies under mysterious circumstances, on the day of 'Shubho Mahurat'. The journalist Mallika Sen (Nandita Das) is the only person present at the time of the death. The suspicion naturally falls on the husband of the actress, who reportedly has an amorous relationship with another lady.
The unnatural death of the actress causes a police investigation. An IPS officer named Arindam (Tota Roy Chowdhury) takes up the investigation. During the course of investigation, Arindam befriends Mallika. Meanwhile, Mallika catches the fancy of a still photographer named Jojo (Anindya Chatterjee) who, incidentally, is closely related to the NRI producer.
This NRI producer had a past no less interesting than the other protagonists. The NRI producer was an actress of repute in her heyday. She divorced her husband and left the country to settle abroad. Before that, she had given birth to an abnormal child. The course of the film reveals that she bore a grudge against Kakoli for spreading a contagious disease to her while she was pregnant, resulting in the abnormal child.
Another amorous affair runs parallel to the main theme: The camera assistant was repenting for his past affair with the hairdresser. The hairdresser has her problems and she was extracting money very often from the camera assistant. All through the movie, the aunt of the journalist, Ranga Pishima (Raakhee), gives vital leads to the investigation through deductive logic. She is able to read the mind of the niece correctly. Her valuable inputs finally leads to solve the murder mystery.
- Sharmila Tagore as Padmini Chowdhury
- Raakhee as Ranga Pishima
- Nandita Das as Mallika Sen
- Tota Roy Chowdhury as Arindam
- Sumanta Mukherjee as Sambit Roy
- Kalyani Mandal as Kakoli
- Rajesh Sharma as Sumit
- Aparajita Adhya as Pramila
- Moumita Gupta as Kalpana
- Anindya Chatterjee as Shubhankar
- Abhijit Guha (director) (special appearance)
- Goutam Ghose (special appearance)
- Soumitra Chattopadhyay (special appearance)
- Subhendu Chattopadhyay (special appearance)
- Madhabi Mukherjee (special appearance)
- 2003 - National Film Award for Best Supporting Actress for Raakhee
- 2003 - National Film Award for Best Feature Film in Bengali