What is the story about?
Shama, a tempestuous superstar, tries to commit suicide by jumping off a bridge but is rescued by Bashar, a disinterested young man who has no idea who she is. On a whim, she tags along with Bashar and her friend Johnny and escapes to a boarding house in old Dhaka, where a bond develops between her and Dhaka.
If one were to take the best bits of Notting Hill, water them down for a South Asian audience, mix them up with bits borrowed from Anjaana Anjaani and Jab We Met, and set this strangely-bland concoction in a vibrant city like Dhaka, you’ll get this film. Films like this are another reminder of the limitations on storytelling flourishes that the one-hour format of Bangladesh’s famed natoks imposes. Director Anam Biswas, together with his collaborator Kaenat Ahmed, runs out of things to say after a point. What could’ve been condensed into a crisp, the memorable 20-minute short film becomes unnecessarily stretched after a point. The writing is sloppy, with no attention being paid at all to the backgrounds of the characters. We don’t know why Shama is frustrated with her life, or why Bashar is so disinterested in everything. This is a major flaw, considering the viewer has to buy the notion that they will fall in love. This is a film you watch when there’s nothing else going on, and you’re likely to forget the film after seeing it.
Bidya Sinha Saha Mim’s Shama is the heart and soul of this film, even if she’s saddled with a one-note character. It’s hard to care for Pritom Hasan’s Bashar, because, apart from being the lead in this film, we have absolutely no idea why he is aloof and disconnected from the rest of the world. Sakib bin Rashid is great as Bashar’s friend Johnny, and it’s hilarious to watch him in action. Iresh Zaker, who also doubles up as a producer on this film, brings the house down in a crackling cameo.
Music & Other Departments
Nehal Quraisy’s cinematography captures the beauty of old Dhaka well, with Sanglap Bhowmik’s editing as dependable as ever. While Emon Chowdhury composes and sings the soulful Hok Na Tobe Bhool, Ruslan Rehman, who composed the score for Hoichoi’s Taqdeer a few weeks ago, is on fire with his funky fusion track Kolija Ki Singara.
The scene where Johnny attempts to demonstrate to Shama how to consume country liquor is hilarious.
The film loses its novelty after a point.
Did I enjoy it?
A few stretches are alright.
Do I recommend it?
You’ve seen better romances than this. Watch it only if you have nothing else to do.