Bengali Wedding : Minimalism and Warmth
“Whilst growing up in the lanes of Darjeeling and Shillong, I never dreamed that one day I’d be scripting the celebration of love…” Arnab Moitra muses. Director and Editor of Piyali and Rangeen’s Wedding Film, Arnab is a cinematographer and founder of “ChickenSnake Films”. Here, he tells WeddingSutra about how he envisioned and then executed this, one of his most experimental and perhaps best wedding film, in February 2016.
“Piyali and Rangeen bumped into each other for the first time in London as they boarded their respective flights to the US. They were actually going to the same university – but they caught just a glimpse of each other.” The couple had zero contact for two years but fate had other plans. Auspiciously, they met during Durga Puja celebrations in the US. “They both declare each the other’s best friend! And they cultivated this friendship over time and then decided to get hitched.”
Arnab says the inspiration for the film comes from knowing the both Piyali and Rangeen are from very ethnic and elegant Bengali families from Kolkata and Medinipur respectively, “Their families are epitomes of the elegant Bengali attributes.” And so, Arnab decided to bring the flavours of the Bengali lifestyle into the film – including typical quirks and tangents like the adda, poetry, family in-jokes, Tagore – everything that moves a typical Bengali heart and celebrating the freedom of the Bengali family environment.
The film deliberately eschews the typical modern age desperate rush, the standard, cliché ‘Bollywood look’ wedding filmmakers like to brush on to any wedding they cover, no matter what the genre or uniqueness of the people and the ceremonies.
Instead, Arnab decided to work with reality and the magic of the non-airbrushed everyday. To the viewer it comes across as fresh and original and therefore more entertaining. Riding a bike through the neighbourhood, the bride holding up her mehndi-ed hands, Piyali’s younger sister Prama, dancing on the terrace, embracing the sunset behind her… the film captures it all. Every community has its unique ‘aroma’ and if the filmmaker works at portraying it simply and subtly, focusing on the content, you get a film like this one.
Arnab admits that this is one of his favourite films of all that he has made. “The experiment to highlight the true Bengali flavor has worked!” Encouraged by his success, he plans to explore this genre further, trying to contribute his unique voice to the growing wedding film industry in India and overseas.
The filmmakers are still very cognizant of the fact that no matter how talented and dedicated they may be, finally, the best wedding films always rely on the flexibility and space provided for by their clients. “We were enormously supported by Piyali di and the families! You can tell by her wedding film which is a truly original one”, says Ashika Rai, Creative director of ChickenSnake Films.
Here’s to more experimentation and finding the real ‘flavour’ of every wedding as ChickenSnake begins to plot their next films for the coming wedding season!