In some ways, 2017 for the entertainment industry was like the previously newlywed bride that built a rapport with you over time. You have good understanding with each other, but at the same time have some tumultuous fallouts that, in the long run only help you to become a stronger couple. Similarly, the achievements that the industry had received far overshadowed the controversies that had surrounded it.
No conversation in Bangladeshi entertainment can take place without mention of the undisputed 'King', Shakib Khan. Starring in multiple movies which include the likes of Ohonkar, Operation Agneepath, Rajneeti and Rangbaz, Shakib's breakthrough came through the record-breaking Nabab. Shakib's pairing with Subhasree Ganguly brimmed with chemistry, and thus he retained his position as the most popular actor in consistency with his last year's mega-hit Shikari.
It is safe to say that the storm that shrouded Shakib's personal life had little to no effect on his box-office drawing power. Besides Shakib Khan, Bappy Chowdhury did a fantastic job with Sultana Bibiyana and Bubly was much talked about for Ohonkar as well as assumptions of her relationship with Shakib Khan. Nusraat Faria was the most dominating leading lady with films like Premi o Premi, Dhat Teri Ki and Boss 2.
After months of speculation, a prolonged tug-of-war between legal disputes and ethical questioning, Doob came out later in the year to silence naysayers once and for all. It was a beautifully crafted piece of art, and by far Mostofa Sarwar Farooki's finest work. The inclusion of the internationally recognized Irrfan Khan brought the film to new heights, and the veteran delivered one of his best performances to date in the film. Tisha, Rokeya Prachy and Parno Mittra also did commendable jobs at supporting him. “Yes, the film was somewhat inspired by Humayun Ahmed, but it is in no way a biopic and the people who actually saw it in theatres can attest to that.
What Sarwar did, with commendable skill, was handling the story with great maturity and subtlety. From storytelling to direction, it is obvious that he has honed his craft as a director and has reached a level of near-perfection with this particular film. The language that he has wanted to convey to the audience for so long was finally molded in words with Doob.” Star Showbiz's Editor had said in a much appreciated honest criticism of the film.
Tauquir Ahmed surprised everyone late-2017 with Haldaa, which starred Mosharraf Karim, Zahid Hassan and Tisha among others. Previously, the actor turned director had received hefty praise with Oggatonama, and with Haldaa his streak doesn't look to end very soon. The film is still doing well in the box office as we speak.
However, the biggest hit of 2017 that came out of nowhere and took everyone by storm was Dhaka Attack. The silver-screen debut of Dipankar Dipon exceeded all expectations to provide an intriguing thriller that the audience could not get enough of. The film was arguably the “coming of age” of Arifin Shuvo, whom many felt had all the tools needed to be a dominant force in Dhaka's film industry but somehow could not live up to his potential. His performance in Dhaka Attack was applauded, alongside the relative newcomer Taskeen Rahman who had delivered a slobberknocker performance in the negative role that he portrayed. 'Magic Mamoni' Mahiya Mahi was refreshing in the role of a news reporter and arguably held the film together in terms of acting.
On the musical side of things, there was a much needed insurgence of young blood. Xefer had launched her first album, Uncaged while Nemesis came back to the fold with Gonojagoron. The most viewed Bangla song on YouTube, however, was Jhoom by Minar, which reached a whopping 2 crore views at the time of writing this article. The most successful film song was Sholoana from the film Nobab, which had the flamboyance of Shubhasree and Shakib Khan to back it up.
Countless television dramas were made in 2017, but only a select few were successful in capturing the audience. By far, Boro Chele was the most talked about television drama as it went viral over social media. The pairing of Apurba and Mehzabien was immaculate, with Mizanur Rahman Aryan leading the charge directing a realistic story of the struggles of a young man as he tries to balance love and economic struggles. Mosharraf Karim, as expected, came out as the leading figure in the television drama scene with Mohobbot Bepari, Ashiteche Tara Khan Break of Studies and countless other comedies.
The theatre scene had received a much-needed push with the maestro Syed Jamil Ahmed's Rizwan shattering all conventions of Bangladeshi theatre. The play had turned into a festivity, with the demand for the tickets skyrocketing due to the brilliance of direction and acting in it.
According to Google's statistics, Sabila Nur was the most searched Bangladeshi in 2017. Currently playing the character of 'Riya' in the live action version of Basic Ali, the gorgeous young lady looks to make a comeback to the showbiz industry after a long break from it. When we asked her if she would join the silver screen any time soon, she replied, “I don't feel like I am ready for movies as of yet. I would definitely like to be in a movie, but at my own pace.”
After covering the entirety of 2017 and its events, we at Star Showbiz feel that it was a refreshing year for the entertainment industry and it laid the foundation for better things to come. If that holds true, gear up for a fantastic roller-coaster ride that will be 2018!