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Phoring Review: Sensitive Portrayal Of An Adolescent’s Life

August 15, 2014 | By

Phoring (2013) is heartwarming tale of a timid but talented, reserved but resolute and simple yet out-of-the-ordinary teenager who daydreams all day.

Phoring and his teacher Doel

Phoring and his teacher Doel

Director: Indranil Roychowdhury
Cast: Akash Adhikary, Sohini Sarkar, Sourav Basak, Sankar Debnath, Sejuti Roy Mukherjee, Ritwick Chakraborty, Dwijen Bandopadhyay

Phoring (2013) is your quintessential coming-of-age film; a heartwarming tale of a timid but talented, reserved but resolute and simple yet out-of-the-ordinary teenager who daydreams all day, flunks in class, falls in love, gets driven out of home and yet emerges out of it all with a quiet, unspoken fortitude that is sheer poetry on celluloid, for most parts of this two hour film.

Writer/director Indranil Roychowdhury sets Phoring in a decrepit North Bengal town that time seems to have passed by a decade or two ago. The only factory that sustained the townsfolk is shut down and life moves at a snail’s pace, grinding the lives of its inhabitants into misery and despair.

Into this vapid setting rides a middle school History teacher (Doel) who has every fourteen year old falling over themselves to win her favour.

Though Phoring’s relationship with Doel forms the crux of the story, the film stands out for its exceptionally nuanced and sensitive portrayal of all facets of an adolescent’s life;  awkward sexual awakening, problematic parents, fragile friendships and general overall confusion about who he is supposed to grow up to be.

The acting, screenplay, dialogues, music and cinematography in a less than pretty moffussil environment are a joy to behold. The only shortcoming, if any, lies in the tangential turn of events in Act III that suddenly thrust scattered issues like separatism and misuse of mobile technology into the midst of school scenario. Doel disappears as suddenly as she had appeared  and this leads Phoring onto Kolkata, in search of a ‘reasonable resolution’ to his first real crush. I mean, really, when have crushes on teachers EVER had reasonable resolution?

Watch this small, unheard of film if you remember the spaced out oldie Summer of ’42 and the more recent Udaan. Mature handling of adolescent-era films, films dealing with  razor’s edge difficult subjects that hit home because of  their unnerving tenderness and honesty of purpose.  

Biswarup Sarangi is Member of Moviemaniacs Facebook Group. The opinions shared by the reviewers are their personal opinions and does not reflect the collective opinion of Moviemaniacs Facebook Group or Learning and Creativity emagazine. 

Phoring Full Movie

Picture used in this article is courtesy: telegraphindia.com

Biswarup Sarangi is an architect based in Bangalore.
All Posts of Biswarup Sarangi

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