Bangladesh had never got any significant footage or screentime in Hollywood. The trailer of ‘Extraction‘ had created a buzz all for the right reasons since it was the first Hollywood movie whose plot was centred around Bangladesh. But the air of the balloon of expectations ran out after the movie was released. Bangladeshis, in general, were very much disappointed with the movie.
Stereotyping portrayal of a country is an old thing for Hollywood; Mexico and Africa being the prime examples. The portrayal of Bangladesh caused massive disappointment amongst most Bangladeshi viewers. The yellowish background sarcastically called jaundice theme by viewers was not accepted well for starters. The over negative portrayal of Bangladesh Police and administration seemed hackneyed. And it’s a shame considering the fact that it was Hollywood’s sacred duty to portray Dhaka as a beautiful, shiny city that we all love and adore.
Although the film plot is centred around Bangladesh, almost the whole film was shot in India. The Bangla spoken throughout the film hardly seemed like our own dialect, rather more like the Kolkata dialect. Rookie move. The minor mistakes in costumes of the police and loopholes in the plot, in a popcorn action flick movie, disappointed people to the extent of ranting about it in social media with hashtags and petitions launched.
The Netizens are upset. Hollywood takes a major blow. Netflix is about to apologise. Next time Hollywood centres a movie around Dhaka, they better get everything right down to the last details.
Dr Numair Atif Choudhury is on the shortlist for Shakti Bhatt First Book Prize 2019 for his literature piece Babu Bangladesh! The writer passed away in an accident a few months prior to his book’s publication.
In an article written by Talita Choudhury, Numair’s sister, she remembers the memories and emotional battles the writer had to tackle all the while, to create a story which would hit home.
While self -reflecting in a conversation with her he mentions,
“I am open to criticism and have changed all the parts that were not pleasurable to read. I respect my audience. Moreover, the book that is to be published must be of mettle that justifies the claim it has made of a decade of my life.”
Another year later, only a little further along with his narrative, Numair emailed a section from the chapter ‘Bird‘ stating to Talita saying, “Here’s something I edited today, took me forever to get the right voice.”
Babu Bangladesh! A national superhero
Numair Atif’s Babu Bangladesh! is a biography creating a national superhero who has lived through both his country’s traumatic, bloody past and his chaotic fast-approaching future. According to the writer, his piece falls under both fictional biography and magical realism. He mentions that the five chapters contain various elements that relate to one another.
With the chaotic political situations and subtle hints of harsh realities, the writer showed the struggles the protagonist faced head-on. Numair Atif did not shy away from creating a beautiful piece by merging and making a perfect balance of imagination and reality.
The unfortunate turn of events only makes us realize the loss of our thriving culture has faced. However, like every creative artist, Dr Numair Atif has left his work for his readers to read and embark on the journey of truth.
For any book-lover Bengali, from this side of the border or the other, the name Satyajit Ray is one that’s very close to the heart. His short stories, novels, horrors, thrillers- they’ve all been a huge part of all our childhood. And the largest of them all is the hero we all looked up to growing up, Pradosh Chandra Mitra, or who we know him more as, Feluda.
Sharp wit, an even sharper tongue, piercing eyes, tall, mysterious- this enigmatic character has been attempted to be portrayed by generations after generations. The list of visionaries who had their own vision for Feluda includes Satyajit Ray himself, his son Sandeep Ray and also many other writers and directors. The latest and most intriguing addition to this list is our very own Tauquir Ahmed, who’s shooting a web series on Feluda from 21st April, in various locations of Dhaka and Chittagong.
Even after decades of Feluda’s arrival, there have never been any attempts at large to create and show his persona in our cultural sphere. All the dramas, plays that have been made, have been at a small scale, never adding much justice to this stellar character of Bengali literature.
The closest we came to presenting this iconic series was the Feluda series in bioscope- but even in that series, the titular characters of Feluda, Topshe and Laalmohan Babu were played by prominent actors from West Bengal, with Bangladesh providing with the background and Bangladeshi actors portraying only minor parts.
Hopefully, we’ll be able to rectify the situation a bit with a Bangladeshi actor playing the main part and the web series being produced solely in Bangladesh.
Stellar cast and crew
Considering the situation at hand, Tauquir Ahmed has enough awards and recognition under his belt to reassure the avid fans on the project’s success. His different outlook on Bangla cinema and TV has helped the industry gain a lot of the international acclamation it has today.
The entire cast has not been announced yet, only who’s going to portray Feluda and its Ahmed Rubel. We do see Abul Kalam Azad and Abul Hayat in some latest stills but details have not been divulged yet.
the performer and the character, so far it seems to be the most understandable
match. For those of you who can’t place Ahmed Rubel, he is mainly a theatre and
television actor, who also has proved his acting chops in films like “Bachelor:
the circle”, “Guerilla”, “Chandrokoktha”, “The last Thakur” etc which are far
from mainstream. Now the production house claims to have some sort of surprise
in store for the two sidekicks- Topshe and Laalmohon Babu, and we hope its more
Bangladeshi actor, with the originality of the character preserved.
In a country full of intense Bengali readers, it’s been a shame to not have our own version of Feluda, Topshe, Laalmohon and Maganlal Meghraj. About time we walk in the right direction.
Chris Hemsworth released photos and videos straight from the set of “Dhaka” on his Instagram account recently. The Australia-born star has apparently wrapped up filming his parts in the movie.
No, you probably will not run into Chris this week
To clarify, he was never in Dhaka, the city itself. The movie was filmed in Thailand and India. Those who ventured into Chris and the rest of the crew’s Instagram saw rickshaws and trucks with Bangla written on them. That was just part of a great set building.
An action thriller
In “Dhaka”, Hemsworth plays a mercenary called Tyler Rake. His character is hired by an Indian businessman to retrieve said businessman’s kidnapped son, who is held in Dhaka, the capital of Bangladesh in the action thriller. Hemsworth’s character is described as a physically competent man of vulnerable emotional state. And Hemsworth isn’t the only familiar face from the Marvel Cinematic Universe franchise in the movie. Sam Hargrave makes his feature directorial debut with this film. For those unaware, Hargrave is MCU character Captain America’s stunt double. Stranger things star David Harbour is also one of the supporting casts in the movie.
The “Marvel” factor?
The Russo brothers, directors of several MCU movies including Captain America: Winter Soldier and Avengers: Infinity war, are producing “Dhaka” through their independent production house. Although Hemsworth’s parts in the movie have been wrapped up, the production is expected to continue at least until March. We don’t have a concrete release date as of right now. So we’ll just have to wait and see how a depiction of our capital city pans out in a Hollywood film.
If you think about it, Dhaka is a character in the film too, since it’s being portrayed by some other, flashier, perhaps better looking city.