Ami Aadu

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By ARIJIT BHATTACHARYA
  • Published 28.02.11
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Directed by: Somnath Gupta

Starring: Debalina Chatterjee, Samadarshi Dutta, Bidipta Chakraborty, Rudranil Ghosh, Ena Saha, Mithu Chakraborty, Pradip Mukherjee, Biplab Chatterjee, Angana Basu, Soumitra Chatterjee

Chhi-choroneshu Bush saheb,” starts off Aadu (Debalina) with her poignant tale.

The young girl from Murshidabad falls in love with the handsome garment-supplier Suleman (Samadarshi) from the adjoining village of Amodiya. The families relent and the Muslim boy marries the Hindu girl. Desperate to break the shackles of poverty, Suleman takes up the offer from Jabbar (Rudranil) to join other young men from his village in the date factories of Iraq.

The calendar turns 2003 and President Bush’s forces surge into Baghdad. With all communication links cut off, the villagers stare in horror at the televised images of destruction from Basra and Tikrit. A hapless Aadu recedes into her own personal musings armed with a tape-recorder where she replays Suleman’s voice-messages. And then she starts her letter, addressed to a man who she has heard is all-powerful.

Somnath Gupta’s debut feature film takes you deep into the hearts of a Murshidabad village and its people. But it does more, as it breaks away from its own space. The angst to learn English mingles with the fables of Pitai Pir’s mazhar. The line-up of Tagore, Gandhi and Tendulkar in a schoolgirl’s scrapbook remains incomplete without the inclusion of George Bush and the American GIs. And the fate of families in Amodiya is determined by the events unfolding on the banks of the Tigris.

Arghyakamal Mitra and Soumik Halder excel with the editing and cinematography, while the Mayukh-Mainak duo enhance the flavour with their folk-tradition in music.

But the biggest draw lies in the performances. Samadarshi and newcomer Debalina hold their own with restrained emotions. Rudranil appears in a couple of scenes but his Jabbar is a special act.

The Premiere

Rudranil, Debalina and Samadarshi
Mumtaz and Moubani Sorcar
Cinematographer Soumik
Halder with Somnath Gupta
Bidipta
Suman Mukhopadhyay, Saswata Chatterjee and
Anindo Banerjee

 

 

 

The premiere of Somnath Gupta’s Ami Aadu at Priya on Wednesday marked the return of The New Theatres to film production after a gap of 55 years. “It has been a long hiatus, and there were a variety of reasons for our absence. But we are happy to be back,” said owner Romita Bose Sircar. For Gupta, it was a dream come true. “It is a pleasure to be associated with such a hallowed name in Bengali cinema, and that too in your very first film!” said the director. Pictures by
Aranya Sen