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No Dorai: A mess that fails to deliver on its promise

Star Cineplex’s first venture into film production, “No Dorai”- a film based on the story of a local Bangladeshi girl from Cox’s Bazar and her passion for surfing, has been the talk of the town recently.

Read more: Dare to Surf: The first ever Bangladeshi movie on surfing

Ever since the poster of a young surfer girl, in a red saree whose fierceness meets the ones in her eyes, was released, moviegoers have been eagerly waiting to go and watch what promised to be a milestone for Bangladeshi cinema. As it premiered on November 28th in Star Cineplex, it offered the local audience a glimpse into what it could have been. Had it not messed up so badly.

What works

Directed by Taneem Rahman Angshu, the film has the elements that make it an exuberant celebration of the ups and downs in Ayesha’s (Sunerah) life. You see the passion in her eyes as she shows commendable surfing skills and the helplessness in her eyes when she asks her father for help after getting married. Sunehra’s portrayal of the character is admirable.

The cinematography of the film is magnificent. Cinematographer Suman Sarker has memorialized the sheer beauty of Cox’s Bazaar, wrapped them in bows and delivered this beautiful ‘gift’ of such brilliant cinematography.

No Dorai: A mess that fails to deliver on its promise

Be it the spell-bounding drone shots of the beach, the placement of the actors on screen in a particular landscape or using various angles to portray the scenes, he has envisioned it right and created a magic like trance on screen.

Despite being a movie in local Chittagonian dialect throughout, Ayesha’s vulnerability portrayed with heartbreaking precision is something we all understand and feel sorry for. The acting chops of Sariful Razz and the actor portraying Ayesha’s brother were also commendable.

What does not

The two and a half hours of beautiful cinematic shots offer little story besides what we already know from the trailers and the title tracks. The lack of subtitles in a movie made entirely in the local dialect does not help its case either.

All in all, sitting through the entire runtime of No Dorai requires quite the hard work.

No Dorai: A mess that fails to deliver on its promise

As fans enter the theatre expecting a film that highlights surfing, a struggling story and most importantly, women’s emancipation, they will find many of these elements missing. Despite great performances by Sunerah, her character often is overshadowed by the multiple other aspects of the movie revolving around Sohel’s (Sariful Razz) story.

The involvement of the foreign cast seemed distracting, especially because they did not blend in as well as the other characters. Ensuring more screen-time for Ayesha’s character and story would have made a more valid point for the plot of the movie.

Verdict

With a story that becomes somewhat predictable after a while and a plot that does not resonate the message of women empowerment as strongly as it promised in the poster and trailer, No Dorai fails to deliver on its promise.

Brilliant cinematography, beautiful choice of musical scores and unforgettable acting from the casts involved fails to uplift a movie brought down by lazy and sub-par story writing. With a rating of 2/5 from us, in the end, No Dorai is just another Bangladeshi film with a potential wasted.

5 films you should watch before November ends

The mass people as well as the proclaimed cinema lovers, all are satisfied with the films released in 2019 so far. Avengers: Endgame, Once Upon a Time in Hollywood, Joker – people of different tastes in movies, everybody got something they might enjoy. 2019 had and has movies for everyone. What is even better is that this year is yet to offer some potentially great films.

Here are 5 films that you might enjoy watching this month.

The King

5 films you should watch before November ends

This historical epic tells the story of young Henry V after becoming the King of England in the 15th century. Prince Hal (Timothée Chalamet) was a reluctant heir to the throne and was negligent of his duties, but circumstances made him be crowned as King Henry V and so he had to forcefully embrace the life he wanted to break free from so badly.

Directed by David Michôd, The King (2019) is a Shakespeare-inspired historical drama. Alongside previously Oscar-nominated actor Timothée Chalamet in the lead role, Joel Edgerton and Robert Pattinson also star in the film. The battle scenes are sensational, the performances by all actors and actresses are strong and the cinematography is impressive. Overall, this Netflix Original is a great watch!

Rating: 8/10

The Irishman

5 films you should watch before November ends

One of the most anticipated films of 2019, Martin Scorsese’s The Irishman comes to Netflix on November 26th.

This film is a fantastic reunion of legendary actors like Robert De Niro, Al Pacino and Joe Pesci. This crime drama is another ‘hitman story’ which this trio is already famously known for. The critics are already calling it a masterpiece by Scorsese and some are even calling it his best work.

The rave reviews, the never-ending suspense, the A graded cast and Martin Scorsese’s brilliance make this film a must-watch for every film enthusiast all around the world.

Rating: N/A

The Farewell

5 films you should watch before November ends

The Farewell (Bié Gàosù Tā) is director Lulu Wang’s big break. This is the story of a lovely Chinese family living far apart from each other. This comedy-drama is a breath of fresh air otherwise surrounding all the tough dark thrillers around in 2019.

Chinese culture and philosophy are reflected throughout the film. The story is packed with all shades of human emotions and takes us a step closer to our family roots. This is one simple but powerful film.

Even though the film was initially released in January, it was made legally available in Bangladesh in November.

Rating: 7.5/10

Chhichhore

5 films you should watch this November

From the director of Dangal (2016) and Chillar Party (2011), comes Chhichhore. Filmmaker Nitesh Tiwari has always been adding new flavors to Bollywood by breaking the Bollywood stereotype! This time is no different.

Chhichhore is a film about a group of friends from university. This heartfelt film is immensely relatable to every student of this sub-continent. The film stars Sushant Singh Rajput, Shraddha Kapoor and many more renowned faces.

Rating: 7/10

No Dorai

5 films you should watch before November ends

If you are a Bangladeshi and are relatively active on social media, you probably have heard about the beautiful melancholic song Jontrona by Mohon Sharif from the Bangla film “No Dorai” (Dare to Surf) which will be released on November 29th

Read more: Dare to Surf: The first ever Bangladeshi movie on surfing

The trailer of the film is already critically acclaimed. The locations, camera work and colour palette as seen in the music video are highly appraised as well. The film is directed by Taneem Rahman Angshu and is shot by cinematographer Suman Sarker.

From a small beach town in Cox’s Bazar, Ayesha dares to break social stigma, boundaries, orthodoxy and becomes the first female surfer of Bangladesh. This film is a glance into the rural life and illustrates the hardship of empowering the women in Bangladesh as well.

Rating: N/A

2019 has been a good year for movies so far. Movies like The King, The Farewell and Chhichhore have contributed enough to make 2019 glorious. Fingers crossed for The Irishman and No Dorai. Hopefully they will at least be as good as we have predicted!