|Awards||2 wins & 5 nominations.|
|Company||Windows Production House|
Konttho (English: Voice) is a 2019 Bengali drama film directed by Nandita Roy and Shiboprosad Mukherjee. The movie is produced by Windows Production. The Malayalam rights of this movie have been acquired by Rajesh Nair immediately after the release of the trailer. Malayalam remake will be titled as Meri Awaz Suno.
A story of friendship, a story of struggle, Konttho is about the indomitable human spirit. Arjun Mallick is a popular RJ, who is not only famous but well-loved. His listeners connect with him and his voice is music to their ears. Soon he receives the prestigious "Voice of The Year" award and with a loving wife, Pritha and son, Arjun's life seems full of happiness. But before long, his perfect life comes to an absolute halt when he is diagnosed with Laryngeal cancer. The doctors had to perform Laryngectonomy to save Arjun's life. Arjun's whole life comes crashing down. He feels distanced from everybody. However, as destiny would have it, he is introduced to Romila, a speech therapist. A vibrant character herself, Romila, is a divorcee who with her daughter, Saheli, is all set to return to her country, Bangladesh. However, circumstances make her accept Arjun as her patient. With Romila's help, Arjun turns around and accepts all the challenges thrown at him by her to learn how to speak again. Throughout his therapy, Romila gives him daunting challenges to make him use his voice rather than relying on signs and writings. He gives his first slang in his new voice during a heated conversation with a taxi driver. He learns to speak with an Oesophageal voice. He cannot speak but improvises himself. This is the story of the struggle of a cancer patient and his undaunted spirit. He then takes up the job of an RJ with Laryngeal cancer and the show is a success.
- Shiboprosad Mukherjee as RJ Arjun Mallik
- Paoli Dam as Pritha Mallik
- Jaya Ahsan as Romilla Chowdhury
- Koneenica Banerjee as Indrani
- Chitra Sen as Pishima
- Jimmy Tangree as Manoj
- Paran Bandopadhyay as Somnath Da
- Tanima Sen as Somnath's wife
- Barun Chanda as himself
- Usha Uthup as herself
Konttho is inspired by the life of Bibhuti Bhushan Chakraborty, whose life was one of trauma and triumph. He fought on despite losing his voice box. Chakraborty was detected with cancer of the larynx in 1972. Two years later, he went under the knife for the elimination of his voice box. The railway officer was “dumbfounded” when doctors told him he would never speak again, but he declined to give up without combat. So, he learned the technique of developing a speech of his own with the muscles of his food pipe. Medical science terms it as “oesophageal speech”. After months of practice, he perfected the technique and started with sounds, simple phonetic ones, to begin with, followed by a combination of words and then short sentences, and in no time Chakraborty started participating in conversations, leaving cancer specialists stunned. He was soon approached by experts at the Thakurpukur cancer hospital to teach fellow patients the art of speech after voice-box surgery.
The director duo Nandita Roy and Shiboprosad Mukherjee was approached by Bhibhuti Bhusan Chakraborty in 1999–2000 on sets of a television programme, Aloy Phera, which featured people who had battled personal or professional adversities and requested them to make a film on his life. To depict such an intense subject on screen required a lot of research as a result the director duo took 18 yrs to develop the script and the concept. Talented director Nandita Roy has written the story and the screenplay. Having directed, acted and penned the dialogues for Konttho, Shiboprosad Mukherjee was an integral part of the project right from its genesis. Being a narrative about a cancer survivor, most would expect grim, dark, sorrowful stories, but Roy and Mukherjee inculcate their signature style, adding a dash of humour and a ray of hope at the end of the film. Arjun's portrayal, both Roy and Mukherjee, insisted was a mere reflection of the optimism they witnessed while researching for the film. Arjun's entire journey post laryngectomy is depicted in excruciating detail; to a point where audiences are bound to congratulate the makers on their effort to stay authentic.
Workshops and Training
Several visits to doctors and speech pathologists, along with personal interactions with families of survivors, provided enough material to the creative team to step in and build a heart-warming story. The actors of the films had to attend rigorous training sessions for months with Mr. Somnath Mukherjee, a speech therapist from Speech Plus. Dr. Sourav Dutta, Dr. Arjun Dasgupta, and Dr. Arnab Gupta, who all were associated with the project. All the performers who have portrayed the central roles had a personal guide. The director and also the central character of the movie, Shiboprosad, had to do detailed research to outline the crux of the character and the story. The actor had met several laryngectomy patients to comprehend their sufferings and emotions, he had interacted with the doctors and the speech therapists to understand the technique of the treatment. He had attended frequent workshops to learn the art of speaking with an oesophageal voice. Jaya Ahsan who played the role of Romila was so enthralled with the story and the character offered to her that she primed herself beforehand. She impressed the director duo in their very first meeting by speaking comfortably in the oesophageal voice and got selected for the character. The script was so detailed that it had helped her with the basics and besides that, she had done detailed research for the role. Jaya's guide was Mr. Somnath Mukherjee, a speech therapist. He used to teach and groom her regularly for the role. Paoli Dam, despite being a potent entertainer, attended laborious workshops and interacted with patients and their families to comprehend the mindset and the sentiments of the family members. Both the child artists, Srijoni Mukhopadhyay and Ishit Saha, also had attended workshops to understand the crux of the emotions. Speech therapists play an important role in laryngeal cancer patients’ lives as they are the ones who help them assess and treat a wide range of speech, swallowing, and communication difficulties. Speech therapist Mr. Somnath Mukherjee and ENT specialist Dr. Arjun Dasgupta have helped the directors develop the story.
Release & Reception
The movie was released on 10 May 2019 and was premiered in Nandan. The movie was released in various halls and multiplexes throughout the city. Konttho instantly struck a chord with the audience and became a runaway hit. The movie was housefull in theatres for 100 consecutive days and is still considered as one of the biggest blockbusters of the year 2019 and was highly praised by the critics. The movie was released in 25 cities in the US and was also a runaway hit in Bangladesh, where it had a run of 25 consecutive days. Konttho was being distributed in Bangladesh under the South Asian Free Trade Area (SAFTA) agreement. Impress Telefilm Limited was the film's distributor in Bangladesh. The film was screened throughout the nation. In Kolkata, a special show was held for Laryngectomy patients. Renowned actor Naseeruddin Shah has also attended an interactive session before a special screening of Konttho at Tata Memorial Hospital , Mumbai. The film was also screened in B.M Barooah hospital in Guwahati. A special screening was organized by South Point High School for their teachers and students at Navina cinema, Kolkata, on the release day. The digital premiere of the movie took place film on OTT platforms like Hoi Choi and Disney Hotstar. The television premiere of the movie took place on Star Jalsha.
Konttho was hailed from all quarters for its immaculate execution and heart-warming concept. The film was both critically acclaimed and commercially successful. The Statesman complimented Konttho as a story laced with warmth and hope. Renowned medical practitioner Dr. Devi Shetty attended the screening in Bangalore and he was in his tears by the end of it. He congratulated the makers by saying that they have finely created history and also recommended the screening of the movie in Narayana and Tata Medical Centre. The movie was highly applauded by cancer patients and their families in various hospitals throughout the country.
The music of the film was composed by Anindya Chatterjee , Anupam Roy , and Prasen. The background score was given by Prabudha Banerjee. The album of the film has songs of all flavors. The song "Bornoporichoy" has wonderful lyrics penned by none other than Anindya Chatterjee. He has also composed and sung the song along with Prashmita Paul as the female voice. Another song "Shobai Chup" is a soul-stirring love ballad. The beautifully penned lyrics by Dipangshu Acharya paint a surreal picture of love. The soothing composition of this romantic number is done by Prasen and the heart-warming track comes to life in the melodious voice of Sahana Bajpai. A soul-stirring number “Alote Alote Dhaka” sung by Anupam Roy talks about the journey of a soul from darkness to light, motivates one to fight against all odds, and inspires one to grow beyond pain. The lyrics are written by Anupam himself. "Obak Jole", a unique creation by singer, lyricist, and composer Prasen, is a peppy number that portrays the celebration of success, life, friendship and togetherness! The movie ends with a recitation of “Bidrohi” by Shiboprosad Mukherjee, a tribute to Kazi Nazrul Islam. The music of the film was a raging hit.
|1||"Alote Alote Dhaka"||Anupam Roy||Anupam Roy||05:25|
|2||"Tomar Jonmodine"||Anupam Roy||Tushar Debnath||03:01|
|4||"Shobai Chup"||Prasen||Sahana Bajpaie||04:55|
|5||"Bornoporichoy"||Prabuddha Banerjee||Anindya Chattopadhyay & Prashmita Paul||04:44|
Konttho Voice Club is a first-ever laryngectomy club in Kolkata founded by a non-profit voluntary group in association with Narayana Healthcare named after the film, Konttho. The club was formed on 28 May 2019, and was inaugurated by Nandita Roy and Shiboprosad Mukherjee. The purpose of this group is to assist the local member clubs in their efforts towards the total rehabilitation of the Laryngectomy patients, empower them and also carry forward a social responsibility to create awareness about the ill effects of tobacco.
Arjun, the main protagonist, used to wear a scarf around his neck – a symbol that the Laryngectomy patients have adopted throughout a longer period. Earlier Laryngectomy patients were not very acceptable in society because of the scar and hollow space in their throat, which makes them appear scary to a certain extent. To hide it, the patients adopted the style of wearing a scarf. This scarf became a fashion statement for the entire Laryngectomy patient community which has not only boosted their confidence but also made them socially acceptable. Konttho is not a film that depicts depression or agony; it is one that paves the path for positivity and acceptance.
- Konttho at IMDb