- Review by Daniel F. de Souza (Exclusive to www.goa-world.net)
Maiden Konkani Film Venture:
For Margao-based farm owner Arnaldo D'Costa his first venture into Konkani feature films may sound a little out of place for many, but, personally for him it was a fulfillment of a long cherished dream. Originally from picturesque Chandor in South Goa, Arnaldo returned to his roots in the year 1996 after a long and successful stint in the Gulf. His first venture 'Kantteantlem Ful' released under the banner of "D'Costa Tele-Film Productions" has already become the talk of town and is drawing a steady crowd wherever it has been screened.
A bold step forward:
Arnaldo D'Costa, basically a name unheard of either on the dramatic stage or the konkani film segment in Goa, has rather taken a very bold step forward and ventured into a field where even Angels would perhaps fear to tread considering the risks involved. And this is one area where Mr. D'Costa deserves all praise from all konkani speaking masses and the so-called lovers of their mother tongue. It is hoped that the konkani lovers will fully support this bold venture and encourage D'Costa Tele-film Productions' to produce more such films in konkani in future.
Aim to Produce a good Konkani Film:
Speaking to this writer Producer of 'Kantteantlem Ful', Arnaldo had this to say, " for a long time I had been toying with the idea of producing a good konkani film. In fact I had been working on the story for quite a long time. When I returned to Goa in 1996 and started work on my farm I got the real break to look seriously into the filmmaking and giving concrete shape to my dream. I penned the story and the dialogues for the film and dramatist Ida D'Costa assisted me in doing the screen play." According to Arnaldo D'Costa, once the plot and script was ready he got about the work of selecting his artists and the Director to direct the film. On the advice and recommendations of the Goa Kala Academy, he appointed Goa's reputed director Dnyanesh Moghe to direct his first
venture. The actual paper work for the film which began in March 2001, took 3 months to complete. The film went on the floor on 6th November'2001 and Arnaldo was able to complete the entire shoot for his film within a record time of 18 days having taken the last shot on 23rd November 2001. The entire film is shot in different picturesque locales in Goa whereas a small part had to be shot outside Goa.
Professional Technical Team:
The entire technical team including cameramen, lights, dubbing etc for the film shooting was engaged from Mumbai who are professionals in their respective fields working with the Hindi Film Industry. And the professionalism is evident in the film.
The entire budget for 'Kantteantlem Ful' has touched around 10 lakhs, which the Producer says has actually exceeded his earlier projected budget by a couple of lakhs. However, his only wish is that the Konkani lovers cutting across the borders and boundaries will appreciate his efforts and support him so as to encourage him further to bring out more such telefilms in future.
Goa Government's assurances:
When the producer approached the Government of Goa for a subsidy to produce the Konkani tele-film he returned empty handed, but, the only silver lining in this case was that the Parrikar Govt., was kind enough to waive off the Entertainment Tax for the film. The Goa Konkani Academy also could not come to Arnaldo's help as it had already allotted its budget for the year to other artists. However they have assured him that they would consider his request in future.
Speaking about the telefilm, this soft spoken and modest Producer said "All the actors in my telefilm rendered me all assistance and full co-operation during the shooting schedule, without their support things could have been difficult. For instance Rose Ferns, Chitra Afonso, Annie Quadros, Imran Mohammed (Hero), Suchitra Narvekar (Heroine), Smita Shirodkar, went out of their way to make time for the shooting schedules and adjusting the timings so well between their other live stage shows and the film shoot". He concludes, 'However, I felt disappointed when some senior and respected Konkani stage artists backed out from my telefilm just because I could not allot them prominent roles."
Processed on the Beta-Cam Format, 'Kantteantlem Ful' was premiered at the Kala Academy on 20th January' 2002 and presently the film is being screened in the major towns of Goa. Thereafter the Producer has plans to exhibit the film in the far-flung villages of Goa as also to go to the neighbouring konkani speaking regions outside Goa. Offers and enquiries are already pouring in to screen the film outside Goa.
3 Shows booked for screening in Abu Dhabi, U.A.E.:
Arnaldo informed this writer that, shortly he should be proceeding to Abu-Dhabi where 3 shows have already been confirmed. He would not hesitate to visit the other Gulf States if favourable offers come his way from Goan Clubs and Institutions based there. For further enquiries in this respect, Arnaldo could be contacted by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
A love story with a difference:
Coming back to 'Kantteantlem Ful' it's a love story between Remo, a rich catholic boy and Veena a lower middle class hindu girl. The love story blooms while both are studying at the Law College. However, the love story begins to fade no sooner the boy learns that his love Veena is carrying his child. What happens next ? The story goes through a steady line of emotions, tragedy, guilt, and display of courage and conviction. Veena ably played by Kala Academy professional Theatre artist Suchitra Narvekar, refuses to terminate the pregnancy and brings forth a bubbling new life, a baby girl. Fate however continues to torment Veena leading her to take a hasty decision.
From here on the story takes a different turn keeping the viewer engrossed in the plot as it unfolds and the little baby growing into a young teenager under the loving care of her foster parents, a wealthy childless Muslim couple. Veena in the meantime continues with her life like any other woman courageously facing the society and making an attempt to lead a normal life while she continues with her legal profession. Her marriage to advocate Ashok Naik (played by Sandeep Kalangutkar) brings her face to face with truth during the course of her professional stint. Young Linfa Carvalho a 12 year old kid from Vasco who plays the child artist and Ageema Fernandes who plays the role of a teenager show a lot of promise and abundant acting talents. Smita Shirodkar as the mother, Annie Quadros as the good neighbour and friend excel in their respective roles. So do Chitra and Roseferns in altogether different roles as a Muslim couple. Seasoned Marathi stage artist Alka Velingkar playing a small role as the 'mauxi' is very realistic.
Film's Direction, Photography & Musical Score:
The direction, photography, colour and dubbing are good not forgetting the crystal clear sound track and some soothing musical score. 'Kantteantlem Ful' in my opinion certainly brings a new dawn to quality konkani telefilms and sets a path and standard in filmmaking for others to follow and even improve further. And the scintillating musical score for the film has been composed and arranged by none other then Music Maestro Agostinho Da Cruz.
Daniel F. de Souza