There are some movies which make you smile, then there are some which leave with you a heavy heart and then there is the third category which makes you ponder. It is like having a sudden whiff of smell from an unknown house and you have a gush of memories, some long-lost moments which take you down the memory lane. Mayurakshi does all these and much more.
Atanu Ghosh’s film explores many things in different layers. A middle-aged man Aryanil with a history of failed marriages comes to visit his father, a renowned historian Sushovan. The eighty-three year old Sushovan has just started to show the first signs of cognitive dysfunction and geriatric dementia. And it seems that Sushovan is looking for someone known as Mayurakshi. Soumitra Chatterjee, as an aged patriarch has led authenticity to the role. Even when he simply sits on his chair and stares at the emptiness, it truly shows that he is lost in the nothingness of life. And then there are scenes where his eyes lit up with fleeting memories, you can identify Soumitra, the man who can play at different layers of the same character.
Prosenjit Chatterjee as Aryanil offers a nuanced performance. It is not difficult to understand that there is a whirlpool of emotions going inside the son. He is tugged at various directions; he is unable to cope with Sushovan’s gradual mental decline, his strained relationship with his own son and there is no shred of hope left in his mundane existence. The only relief is probably offered by his vivacious friend Shahana who probably understands him more than anyone else and offers rock-solid support in his struggle.
There are three women in the movie, Sudipta Chakraborty as the housekeeper, Indrani Halder as Sahana and Gargi Roychowdhuri, the woman who gives the address of Mayurakshi to Aryanil. And all three of them deserve a round of applause for the significant impression that they have created.
Undoubtedly, there are gaps in the movie which could be better treated by the director. At times, the movie borders on the abstract which makes it difficult for the audience to connect with a lot of things in the movie. The meanderings of the mind puzzle you at times and you feel a bit disoriented questioning why Atanu Ghosh has ended the movie abruptly. The audience has to decide whether it is a deliberate move on the part of the director.