Directed by Aranyak Chakrabarty / Reviewed by Biplab Das
According to the director, Aryanyak Chakrabarty, The Unbearable Time, is about the pain of boredom and endlessness of time. The film has multiple aspects that make the message of the film hard to decipher. It claims to deal with time involving the life of a painter who compares himself with a pencil. This comparison turns the message of the film contradictory. It becomes hard to establish when the painter is comparing himself with a pencil, and when with a frustrated, lonely self. In the complex web of messaging, the final message of the film gets lost somewhere.
The film starts with an image of a man. He is inside of a prison, showing his back to the audience. The man has become so accustomed to the darkness that he is fearful of the sunlight. The scene changes when a shawl-wearing man looking at few paintings. The man is accompanied by the voice-over which raises some eternal question that humankind is searching for a long time. Who are we? Where do we come from? The man on the screen is a painter. He closes his eyes and thinks of his paintings. He starts thinking of an image of a woman and suddenly a girl, his muse, arrives at his place. Absurd, but it seems he has magical power.
The film takes a sudden turn when he starts to draw his muse. He suddenly compares himself with a pencil. He believes when a pencil not in use it has no purpose as if a painter is not painting, it has no purpose. It seems the movie tries to say that the triumph of a pencil is solely dependent on its use. The protagonist of the film has no problem with dealing with his muse. He starts to smile, talk, and sketch the girl. But he dies suddenly. It seems because of heavy drinking. Previously it’s never been mentioned anywhere he has any types of illness. His unanticipated death somehow gives a shock and creates interest in what happens next in the movie.
After his death, the next scene takes us inside a room where a man hurriedly inspecting his works and accidentally finds the pencil. He seems astonished to see why the Pencil has been kept separate. Interestingly, it’s the first time in the movie, when the inspecting man starts talking rather than taking help from a voice over. The man disappears after raising questions about the pencil. The audience might think here that the movie will now focus on the pencil or the life/death of the painter. But no- it takes a different turn. The painter reemerges, armed with a barrage of philosophical thoughts, makes the film tough to decipher.
He starts to lament about life. He believes he is living in the hell that leads to never-ending boredom. That boredom looks never-ending. He smokes, drinks but doesn’t find a path. 10But it’s quite amazing to see how a dead man can reemerge out of nowhere. In the end, he starts to understand that there is no meaning of his boredom. He decides to leave everything and walks out of the screen.
The ending of the film suggests that a man shouldn’t be a prisoner of his thoughts. He should set free himself to see the other side. However, in this 10-minute long film, the director didn’t show what’s on the other side. He becomes rebellious, but that’s it. What happens next is not shown. The film should have dealt with what’s happening after a rebellion. It’s also not understandable whether the remerged man is a pencil or not. If he is the unused pencil then what it draws or sketches is also not showcased at the end. We can assume that the director has left the message of the movie with the audience. It seems it’s the audience responded to draw or sketch regularly or not. From a bigger perspective, it’s also ideal for a painter to keep on creating art. He shouldn’t become a prisoner of his self-imposed prison.
The Unbearable Time is an attempt to show how boredom is a mental state of mind and everyone should come out of it in style. Artists should keep on creating art no matter how detrimental the situation is for them.