Premieres on Zee 5 on April 15th
First the title of the film. For those of us who have grown up in the world of buying and gifting greeting cards, will identify the word ” Season’s Greeting” – that is a generic card handed out at good occasions that could include festivals like Diwali or the summers or a seasonal greeting as the word suggests. But receiving the card would always be good news. The film, directed by Ram Kamal Mukherjee, (who directed Esha Deol’s comeback film Cakewalk and has written 5 books that includes Hema Malini’s autobiography – Hema Malini : Beyond the Dream Girl)) is filled with poetry, beautifully rendered songs in Maithili composed by Rabindranath Tagore and has been shot in beautiful locales in Kolkata by cinematographer Pravatendu Mondal.
Seasons’ Greetings revolves around a mother and daughter and their individual relationships. While the daughter is in a live-in relationship that the mother is accepting about, the daughter scrambles to come to terms with her mother’s relationship status. The very talented Lilette Dubey in an endearing role, plays Suchitra, a dancer, patron of the arts while Celina Jaitley Haag who makes a comeback, plays her head-strong daughter Romita who is visiting her with her boy-friend Usmaan played by Azhar Khan. Usmaan is the quintessential progressive man who defies religion and societal norms to live a life his family is slowly growing to accept.Each character of the film pushes a boundary we set as a society, and in the course of the film realise, that they need to push further. The film celebrates freedom in a world where there is growing judgement towards issues such as sexuality, gender, marriage, separation, ageism and love.
When you watch Ram Kamal’s Seasons’ Greetings directed by Ram Kamal Mukherjee, you are compelled to think. why didn’t Celina Jaitley Haag contemplate this space before.
This mother of three kids who returns to the screen after personal tragedies that includes passing away of her parents and loss of a child, has stood her ground in this film that quietly and essentially blasts stereotypes we associate with women and men. Celina, who has been usually associated with glamourous roles till now, in a matured performance, is the highlight of the film.
Mukherjee ensures that form and content marry – one of the important characters in the film Shree Ghatk, who plays the doting house help, is a transgender actor. The 47 minute film is produced by Aritra Das and Shailendra Kumar, marks the debut of Jaan Kumar Sanu, son of Bollywood playback singer Kumar Sanu. All the songs of the film are beautifully rendered. While Gahana Kusum is sung by Sanu and Sarbani Mukherjee, Sajani Sajani is sung by Sayani Palit – all music directed by Shailendra Sayanti. The film has become India’s first-ever feature to collaborate with United Nations Free and Equal. The film deals with Article 377 and the LGBTQIA community and is triibute to Rituparno Ghosh. It was screened at the Cardiff International Film Festival and the Rajasthan International Film Festival earlier this year.