Ahmed Tahsin Shams

(This article was published on October 10, 2015, at The Daily Observer Art & Culture)

Two movies of this year –  set their sail crossing the fence with abundant applause from home and abroad. This present change in film-scenario, sort of a trend of bucketing foreign awards or nomination or screening tag before precipitating the domestic-release, is a far-fetched marketing tool to promote in-home grounds. These two movies of Impress Telefilm are worth discussing.

Both ‘Jalaler Golpo’ directed by Abu Shahed Emon and ‘Gaariwala’ directed by Ashraf Shishir, is based on the protagonist’s life’s toil and moil, yet film-aesthetics in both of the movies bear a vast difference. Jalaler Golpo, a fine concept of existentialism, holds a strong plot with a convincing screenplay. Cinematography, characterization, and script magnificently paint a society full of orthodox dogmas.

With the help of post-modern cyclic plot and animal imageries as metaphor. The plot divided into 3 parts, as Jalal’s life divided into three different parts since his childhood to death. Each portraying three different pictures of society while sneering at the conventional religious and political hypocrisies. Humour in this religious allegorical film adds the ultimate topping on the overall plot. Presentation of grave themes wrapped under the laughable acts of characters surely can charm the critics and viewers for sure. Considering acting, Mosharrof Karim hits the ball harder than ever!

Gaariwala Finely Sketches

On the other hand, Gaariwala finely sketches a family from a rural society webbed by poverty. Habil and Kabil – two protagonists’ performance is a memento to the viewers. The title of the film sets the zeal to watch ahead as it is an eccentric approach in Bangladeshi film-arena. But the film is not without major loops. In the majority of the portions of the film, it emphasizes, the beauty of Bangladesh, eye-soothing sites of countryside nature, scenes of the craftsmanship of Nakshi Kantha, and other handicrafts, rather than the plot. Perhaps, bagging awards depend on representing the culture and scenario of the country!
Use of crane shots and wide-angle shots, top shots, establishment shots, extreme long shots brim over the film giving it a filmy-look. But it seems the target of the maker is nothing but to expose the sites. The setting where the plot is losing interest, being flat and predictable as the film plods on.
The presentation of sexual harassment is not up to the mark as provided in two scenes through poor unnecessary hints which derails the film from its raw-look. Even background music in most of the scenes is not relevant to the acts at all.

Especially in the cart-making scene of the two siblings, the music gives a vibe of an accident coming which actually doesn’t occur and isn’t related to. But it is true that the visuals are astounding. The color tone, cinematography, and cutting-edge performance of artistes are praiseworthy. But in the middle of the film, the script loses attraction which might make the viewers distracted.

The Story Established

The story could have established in 30 minutes with the perfect density. Has prolonged to 90 minutes without any rational thread. This could drop the viewers right out of their curiosity. Nevertheless, the content and context are quite well-balanced in both movies.
Considering camera work, lighting, and editing ‘Gariwala‘ surpasses ‘Jalaler Golpo’. About ‘Gaariwala’ it would not be wrong to say, “Good shots don’t make a good film. Yet, the jury blessed ‘Gaariwala’ more with loads of awards than ‘Jalaler Golpo’. It is to mention that in both the movies, the protagonists speak less and silence rules in many scenes.

It proves the power of visuals where shots speak rather than characters. Thus far, the two movies have grabbed tons of foreign awards and been screened in several Asian, American and European film festivals making the two directors and their productions a pride of the country with dead certainty.
It is quite appreciable that movies like these are attempted at the moment in Bangladesh disregarding the usually expected profit-making tendency. Hats off to both of the directors for staking their first films ever!

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