Not many seem to have noticed the uncanny resemblance in mood between Konkona’s movie and Aparna’s legendary directorial debut, 26 Chowringhee Lane.
Konkona Sen Sharma claims that her main source of inspiration for the eerie and intangible feeling of dread in her directorial debut, A Death in the Gunj was Peter Weir’s 1975 Australian film, Picnic at Hanging Rock. However, the influence of Konkona’s mother, Aparna Sen, on her first film, is quite prominent.
Not many seem to have noticed the uncanny resemblance in mood between Konkona’s movie and Aparna’s legendary directorial debut, 26 Chowringhee Lane. In both movies, the protagonists are lonely, persecuted, desolate and exploited individuals.
In fact, if Konkana’s Shutu (Vikram Massey) lived to become old, he would probably lead a reclusive, lonely life like Aparna’s Violet (Jennifer Kapoor) in 36 Chowringhee Lane.
Opines Arpana, “Both Konkana’s protagonist and mine are lonely individuals. However, Violet in my film has more-or-less accepted her state of loneliness. Shutu is much more vulnerable.”
Both protagonists’ loneliness, though, end in tragedies. “Violet accepts her exploitation with much more grace, whereas Shutu reacts violently to his condition of desolation. Their destinies are different because Konkona and I are very dissimilar as directors,” concludes Aparna.