When you have been seeing Irrfan Khan’s name in a Bangladeshi film for the last few years which he also co-produced, you become curious. At a glance, DOOB – No Bed of Roses (2017) directed by Mostofa Sarwar Farooki looks like one of those tedious relationship dramas churned out in Kolkata with alarming regularity: How a famous Bangladeshi filmmaker’s affair with an actress who happens to be his daughter’s childhood friend becomes a media event and devastates his family. But what sets this film apart from the regular pretentious fare is the elliptical story-telling that wrings away all the melodrama and invests it with a subdued pathos that permeates every scene, and its strict avoidance of any psychological explanations.
It jumps across timelines, shows the effects without dwelling on the causes and like a slow-burn, pulls in the audience into its vortex. Despite its detached, minimalist style, the film radiates a warmth that is infectious, aided by brilliant performances by Bangladeshi actors Rokeya Prachi and Nusrat Imroz Tisha as the wife and daughter and Kolkata based Parno Mittra as the actress. Of course, it is Irrfan who towers over the film with his sheer screen presence, emanating a combination of charm and grief that once again reminds us of the immensity of the loss that world cinema is still trying to come to terms with.
Streaming on Netflix now.