Where does a revolution start from? Why is a fight always seen bleeding in every page of history? Well, the answer is metaphorically hidden in a film that you probably missed.
While there is enough flare with several contemporary films like Jai Bheem, Udam Singh and Kashmir Files, 8/12 stood out as the only Bengali film to portray the power of revolution against imperialism and against misused authority. Here I have deconstructed the movie into bits, so while you enjoy this film as a reader, do pay for it and watch it, as it would help support similar art and historic portraits painted before the majority audience.
The main course of the cinema shows the upbringing, development and struggle involved in the lives of the three main revolutionaries, Binoy Bose, Badal Gupta and Dinesh Gupta, and the attack on Writer's building, 8/12, which gives the name to the movie.
From the starting scenes, the tension of the period of Indian Independence Movement is upheld, as the British Police and intelligentsia are shown crack down on small units of resistance groups with harsh methods. Charles Tegart, former Police Commissioner of Kolkata, and F.I. Lowman, Inspector General of Police converse about slashing open these groups. There were three groups as mainly referenced by many historians and find mention in this film, namely the Bengal Volunteers, the Anushilan Samiti and the Jugantor party. The Group in question, is the Bengal Volunteers. On one side the volunteers, mainly youth wings, are shown to be hunted down as they flee. The school absentees are detained. The books have inscribed cavity to capacitate pistols. The special emphasis here, was shown, on how women were shown. Intense British Interrogation kept on occuring, as the Nirmal Sen Camp is being referred to. Bones ripped off, scenes of rape were bone-quivering for the viewers.
Scene shifts to a man enquiring a fisherman about the last ferry, which turned out to be the code word for the group, as they led to arms practice ground and eventually boiled down to a conversation with Major Gupta of volunteers.
"Better to be brutal than handicapped", says he. While talking about the return of Subhash Bose, their motive to ward off this torture was creating fear. Working on the said path of action as devised by Rashamay Sir, a premise is set up, where initially telegraph and telephone communication lines are sabotaged. This is where Badal is introduced, sabotaging poles with a slingshot.
On the other hand, Simpson fills up the jails from Alipore to Dhaka with suspected students. A distressed Kamala is raped brutally as she begged for her brother's life. He was apparently dying of thirst, and even after Kamala was brutally abused on mud, she didn't fail to collect the moisture from the soil within her saree. This stands as an elemental proof of the devotion of the workers.
These issues bring tempest of emotions within the Indians, unlike the present day, as one of the activist and leader of the volunteers, Ananta Singha surrenders, not being able to bear all the abuse his brothers and sisters had to face. The penalty of Lowman's miscreant behaviour is decided to lead him to death.
Binoy Krishna Bose is then assigned with the duty of shooting that rascal officer to death.
The news that Lowman is going to come to Mitford Hospital is given away by a spy in the British army to the volunteers through a local panwadi, and then Shri Hemchandra Ghosh makes the perfect plan. Lowman is shot dead with chants of vande matram, as Binoy keeps sprinting the entire time and escapes with decoy men, as a bit of support from an Indian working for the British Police. The British Police becomes repeatedly fooled, as they falsely interrogate someone of their own side, while a man escapes the town in a Muslim's outlook.
(Intermission sets within this suspense)
Next up, a violent rod-rape and dry chilli powder insertion, which will immediately gain the traumatic side of viewers. On the other hand, Binay meets with Subhas where he asks from Him for two others who don't fear death or to kill. He is prepared for the ultimate sacrifice and accepts the point of no return.
Now, Dinesh is introduced to the audience. Dinesh protests and is not fear to be shot in his heart. Selected now for the Bengal Volunteers, he pledged to do his duty, as the room mates interact.
Jail incident where Major Gupta is shown. This brilliant dialogue, which is also showed in the trailer, happens here - "Apni apnar kortobbonpalon korben bole amra to amader kortobbonpalon theke shore darate parina"
BBD trio practice shooting and yoga as they prepare for the D Day at Writers building.
Metia bruj is assigned to Binay while Badal and Dinesh to Park Street.
They sleep and discuss about food when they are notified of the duty.
Binay missed her mom and feels for all Mothers of the Nation. They prepare, as they consume their last meals. Binay looks at a picture of mom for the last time and depart with the vande matram cued at background. They get up in an ambassador, and viz khidirpore, reach BBDbagh. They are told not to hurt innocents. "Keep bullets and cianide for last"- the commander of the operation BBD BAGH suggests . From a certain cigarette company they reach the Writers.
The final shootout happens and they laugh in the face of death. Bullets fly from all sides. They spare a pregnant British Woman, showing the difference between revolution and brutality.
As the backup forces arrive, the trio are already done with their targets. However now is the point of no return. One hit in the leg, on on the neck, most out of bullets. "I come I see I conquer. Vini Vidi Vici" one dies, saying it's best for the future. Last of the trio was shown to die, for smoothness within the dramatization. Screen shows accurate death details in the end- Dinesh in real life suffered capital punishment.
The film was ended with a round of applause from all the audience.
Current Real Life status :
We all know how there are several perspectives to an incident. One vigilante group purely intended for ensuring justice might be a terrorist group for another. In a listing in the Hansard Parliament website, these groups are named as terrorists.
The building of Writers is abandoned still, and the place gets respected with the revolutionary initials, BBD BAGH. The revolutionaries are remembered on Martyrs by many on the Eighth of December.
KSS Productions and Entertainment have not been well known producers within the majority of mainstream demand in the Indian film industry. Their film is going to be a stepping stone for other newbies to go mainstream. Rating their direction and acting a 9/10 and a 9.5/10 for the accuracy of the events.
Ending this review with my favourite quote from the movie-
“History matters less, but the action that you do now matters more”.