Films that appeal to critics and the general audience alike are rare to come by, and that is true everywhere in the world. Nine years ago, “Monpura” broke that ground, appealing to film lovers across Bangladesh with runs as long as nine-months in theatres, as well as sweeping five National Awards.
That's a tough act to follow, but Giasuddin Selim, who wrote and directed that classic, finally has his follow-up ready for the audience and critic's judgment. “Swapnajaal”, starring the unlikely pair of commercial film star Pori Moni and the virtually unknown Yash Rohan in the central roles, opens in theatres across the country today.
The film, a Bangladesh-India joint venture, has created a considerable buzz among cinephiles of the country, both because of Selim's repute and whatever glance that the promotional materials have given. Pori Moni, the quintessential Dhallywood heroine has turned heads with her de-glam look and emotional dialogues in the trailer, while a powerhouse support cast featuring Fazlur Rahman Babu, Shahidul Alam Sachchu, Misha Sawdagar and Iresh Zaker have also impressed and intrigued in it. The story, billed as “a love story between two young souls,” promises to tackle complex issues like communal conflicts around a story of love and separation.
While the success of “Monpura” largely owed to its music, “Swapnajaal” seems to be looking to avoid that route. Only one song (of the four in the film) has been released, that too only last Tuesday. “Emon Kore Bolchhi”, sung by Rasheed Sharif Shoaib and Armeen Musa, follows Selim's penchant for using unique, unconventional voices in his songs. Shoaib has reportedly composed the other songs of the film as well.
“Swapnajaal”, presented by confectionary brand All Time, is a joint production between Bengal Creations (Bangladesh) and Bengal Sambhar (India). Aung Rakhine serves as executive producer on the film, which also casts Farhana Mithu, Rajat Ganguly, Reshmi Sen and Ashish Chakrabarty in other major roles. The film went in pre-production in November 2015, and shot mostly in Chandpur, with some parts filed in India's Kolkata and Agartala.