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Masala and magic end drought of hits
- Smiles are back in Assamese filmdom as Suren Suror Putek completes 100 days

Guwahati, Nov. 1: As the central protagonist of the Assamese film Suren Suror Putek, popular actor Jatin Bora takes up magic as a career. A little bit of that magic seems to have rubbed off on the film, too.

Suren Suror Putek completed 100 days last week, marking a turnaround for the struggling film industry. The last time an Assamese film completed a century was in 2003. Since that time, the film industry has seen a gradual decline in returns, mainly due to the closure of a large number of halls following the Ulfa-imposed ban on screening Hindi films.

Such has been the impact of the success of Suren Suror Putek (son of Suren the thief) that a veritable who's who of the entertainment world came together on Friday to celebrate it. The entire cast ' apart from Bora, the film features Prastuti Prashar, Nishita Goswami and Chetana Das ' director Chandra Mudoi, producer Pranjal Bharali and the rest of the crew were felicitated during the function at Utsav Bhawan in Guwahati.

'The success of our film has taken everybody by surprise. Thankfully, it's a beautiful surprise that has given the industry a new lease of life,' said a jubilant Bharali.

The last film that stood the test of the box-office and ran for almost 120 days was the Munna Ahmed-directed Maa Tumi Ananya. The other Assamese films that ran for 100 days or more include Nayak, Kanyadaan, Hiya Diya Niya and Joubone Aamoni Kare, the last one holding the record of staying 25 weeks in the theatres.

But post-2003, the industry reeled under the impact of a series of flops. Many producers delayed their new productions, fearing box-office failure.

The success of Suren Suror Putek is being attributed to an interesting combination of magic and masala, seen for the first time in Assamese cinema.

The film revolves around the escapades of Soni, the son of a thief named Suren. Realising that he will always be looked down upon as his father's son, the youth takes to magic in a bid to achieve success and earn respect.

Bora plays Soni's role with elan, while comedienne Chetana Das has the audience in splits with her antics.

'I make films for the masses and their entertainment is my prime concern,' the director, an electrical engineer by profession, said. 'I simply cannot afford to make films without mass appeal or try to experiment with new subjects.'

Before Suren Suror Putek, the director had tasted only moderate success at the box-office with films like Maghot Mamonir Biya and Ujonir Dujoni Gabhoru.

This time, commercial success has come with critical acclaim despite the film having no pretensions of intellectualism. Critic Chandan Sarma described the success of the film as a 'good omen' for the entire industry.

'The scenario was grim until Suren Suror Putek happened. It's been ages since we saw any Assamese film tasting commercial success,' he said.

Avid Ali, a veteran in film distribution, echoed Sarma. 'Producers are now willing to release their films, hoping to capitalise on the enthusiasm generated among the audience by Suren Suror Putek.'

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