In Agnee, the newest release from Jazz Multimedia directed by Iftakar Chowdhury, Mahiya Mahi plays Tanisha, a trained killer who has murdered many criminals of the underworld in Thailand. But nobody knows her true identity. On the other hand, Arefin Shuvo (Dragon) is a popular boxer who has won the Thai boxing championship. The don of the underworld wants Tanisha dead, and sends Dragon on a mission to kill the deadly assassin. But, in a stroke of fate, Dragon falls in love with Tanisha without knowing her real identity. The showbiz team went to watch Agnee this week, and, along with the audience at the cinema hall who couldn't help but whistle every time they saw Mahi, we came back with a positive outlook. Agnee had built up a very healthy hype for itself prior to the release of the film. The trailer was really well made, and gave a lot of hope of an interesting fresh production which wasn't scared of trying out a lot of new things. The trailer was also highly appreciated on the internet, with over 79,000 views on YouTube.com. The trailer has been widely shared in the social media, and the audience in general have marked it as a film to be watched this year. But, how good was the actual film?
Agnee's Production Values
A definite action film with action scenes and fight scenes which are much above average compared to Bangladeshi films, Agnee presents stunts and gimmicks which are well choreographed and filmed. The movie explores diverse locations, including Bangkok, and the basic story which connects the characters is fresh and new. The music score and songs used in the film are also modern, and two of them stick out above the rest, the title song 'Agnee' and 'Shohena Jatona', the latter being sung by the film's actor Arefin Shuvo and Kona (music composed by Adit). But where Agnee makes bold strong moves in a few areas, it reminds us of the same problems which movies of Dhallywood are commonly rife with. And the total scenario will take a lot of time to change.
Why we loved Agnee
We loved the action and the intense fight scenes. And above all, we loved Agnee because of Mahi, who has been very well received by the Bangladeshi movie theatre going audience. It's impossible to ignore her quick rise to fame, and now she has acted in as the lead character in a full length, high-budget movie. Mahi's character is definitely a step forward in Bangladesh's movie industry; Agnee it has dared to do what is not commonly seen in mainstream movies – bringing a female character to the silver screen as the lead character, as the protagonist. Mahi appeared smart and glamorous, and she has done a great job in action and in fight scenes, and also took formal training for these skills. But, she still has a long way to go to become a versatile actor, which she definitely has the potential to become. Her dance performance leaves a lot to be desired, and she really needs to focus on developing her acting skills as well. She has the potential to be a household name in Bangladesh, if, with each film, she improves herself. Our expectations from Mahi are no less than extraordinary, since she has all the right ingredients to become a memorable actor. But for that to become a reality, she needs to choose unforgettable roles and truly captivating stories. Arefin Shuvo also acted well as Dragon, but his character felt loosely developed. The filmmakers spent a lot of time and energy developing the main character, but not the supporting ones. Both Mahi and Shuvo were a good fit for their characters, but Shuvo's character Dragon needed greater depth. This leads us to identifying obvious holes in scripting. Every character in a film is very important, including side actors and cameo actors. To keep an action thriller interesting; and present a story that keeps everyone glued to the seat without being able to look away even once, every person's acting comes into play.
Where we think Agnee could have done better
Agnee really falls flat when it comes to the script. The basic story was interesting, and could have been presented in a way that engages the audience. But, the first scene of the movie almost just gave away the ending. From that point on, what would happen could be seen coming a mile away. There was nothing thrilling about the story, since it was extremely predictable. The script brings the story alive, but in Agnee's case, the script was too linear, with one box simple placed on top of another instead of finding its way through a maze leading the audience to an exhilarating outcome. The same story Agnee could have been a hundred times more thrilling and exciting if it could keep the audience guessing. But perhaps we are being too critical of Agnee. After all, it is a big risk to change everything from the trends at an instant. Overall, Agnee is definitely an overall improvement and is representative of a positive trend in Bangladeshi cinema.
Filming in Digital Media
Jazz Multimedia must be applauded for their novelty in filmmaking. They shoot in digital media, and although originally mainly distributors, they are now also producing films. They were the first ones to begin digital media production and screening, and they even manage the projection at theatres. This has significantly reduced production costs for filmmaking and, compared to the traditional 35mm filming, digital media is easier to manage and easier to handle. No processing time is needed before post production either, which gives the director and producer a comparatively more freedom to work with the final outcome. In fact, in recent times, more and more filmmakers around the world are using digital world.
Mainstream films are a window into fantastical stories which the average movie goer can lose himself or herself in – it is meant to be pure entertainment. And by that definition, we think Agnee is a must watch film of 2014.
Directed by: Iftakar Chowdhury
Produced by: Shish Monwar
Written by: A J Babu
Starring: Mahiya Mahi, Arefin Shuvo, Ali Raj,
Misha Showdagar, Kabila, Dany Sidak
Editing by: Tawhid Hossain Chowdhury
Studio: Jaaz Multimedia
Distributed by: Jaaz Multimedia
Release: 14 February 2014
Music: Composed by Adit, Shafiq Tuhin and lyrics penned by Ahmed Imtiaz Bulbul, Robiul Islam Jibon, Abdul Aziz and Sudip Kumar Dip,
Songs performed by: Shaan, Labonno, Arefin Shuvo, Dilshad Nahar Kona and Niti Mohan