Unishe April

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Unishe April
Unishe April.jpg
Directed by Rituparno Ghosh
Produced by Renu Roy
Written by Rituparno Ghosh
Starring Aparna Sen
Debashree Roy
Prosenjit Chatterjee
Dipankar Dey
Music by Jyotishka Dasgupta
Cinematography Sunismal Mazumdar
Release dates
  • 1994 (1994)
Running time
138 mins
Country India
Language Bengali

Unishe April (Bengali: উনিশে এপ্রিল "19th April") (1994) is an award-winning feature film directed by Rituparno Ghosh. The film is in Bengali. It stars Aparna Sen, Debashree Roy, Prosenjit Chatterjee and Dipankar Dey.The film's music is composed by Jyotishka Dasgupta. It won two National Film Awards in 1995, including the National Film Award for Best Feature Film. It is a loose remake of the 1978 Ingmar Bergman film Autumn Sonata.



Sarojini (Aparna Sen) is a well-known danseuse, whose immense dedication to her art permeates every aspect of her life. While honor and acclaim make way into her professional life she is less successful on the domestic front. Her growing popularity leads to her husband Manish's (Boddhiswatta Majumdar) gradual resentment towards her and ultimately a rift between the couple. Manish takes over the upbringing of their only daughter, Aditi, as Sarojini remains busy with her artistic commitments. Sarojini seems to find a replacement for the void in her marital life through dancing, however she is unsure if her blossoming career and success is really bringing her happiness. The sudden demise of Manish forces Sarojini to put her daughter in a hostel. The glittering memory of her father and her mother's inability of give her proper time results in Aditi's bitterness towards her mother.

The film begins with Aditi's (Debashree Roy) return home. She is now all grown up and on the verge of starting her career as a doctor, like her father. The atmosphere is thick with the sharp tension between mother and daughter. Shortly after Aditi's return Sarojini is honored with a prestigious award. It is 19 April, Aditi's father's death anniversary, which her mother appears to have forgotten. Misunderstanding and temperamental conflicts creates an air of suffocation for both.

Aditi's prospective husband, Prosenjit Chatterjee dumps her after his family learns of her mother's profession soon after the public announcement of Sarojini's award. Heartbroken, Aditi decides to attempt suicide, which her mother finds out leading mother and daughter into a heart-to-heart conversation. Gradually they unlock two decades of rage and rancor, pain and bitterness to each other. Untold facts finally get deciphered, misunderstandings clear out. All hint to the final question: "Will Aditi ultimately be able to forgive her mother?"


Rituparno depicts the embittered relationship between mother and daughter with utmost care. The daughter's indifference to her mother's activities, friends and students are woven in with naturalistic dialogues. Scenes depicting Sarojini's celebration of her success on her husband's death anniversary, Aditi's refusal to take part in the celebrations, her lack of knowledge of her mother's intimate, everyday details (including a recurring knee pain) help the audience gain an understanding of their relationship. Ghosh's realistic cinematic style explore psychological realms of the two women through smartly composed dialogues and controlled acting. Movement through time is depicted through smooth transitions between the past and the present, which effectively reflect the character's state of mind. Debashree Roy and Aparna Sen both shine in their respective roles.


The film has won the following awards:

1995 National Film Awards (India)

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