“Debi”, the upcoming Anam Biswas film bringing Humayun Ahmed's iconic fictional character Misir Ali to the big screen for the first time, has been at the centre of anticipation of film lovers of the country for a while now. After a first look poster released last week revealing the look of Chanchal Chowdhury as the genius psychologist, the film has now dropped the first footage centering on the film's other lead character, Ranu, and it is captivating to say the least.
Jaya Ahsan, who plays Ranu, is the centerpiece of the teaser, which was released on Sunday evening on the actors' Facebook page and on the YouTube channel of distributors Jaaz Multimedia. The slow-moving, almost dream-like teaser shows Ranu alone in a quaint house, lost in her own thoughts. The only other human presence in the teaser is a momentary glimpse of Sabnam Faria seated in a car (presumably playing the role of Nilu from the novel), who Ranu warns: “Please don't go anywhere in a car.”As Ranu walks out of the house into the open, her voice narrates: “From that day on, there are things I can tell. And everything I say comes true.” The teaser ends with her working on a sewing machine, with a vent door in the background opening ever-so-slowly, and a haunting voice calling her name out from it.
The cinematography, art direction and music, from whatever little is seen, is stunning. The use of camera angles, lenses and speeds and colours serve the element of mystery and the supernatural, as does the music -- which uses the sarangi (or possibly esraj) fused with organ-like keys and a vocal hum – and sound design, accentuating sounds like opening doors, swinging empty swings or the sewing machine to add to the suspense. The use of colours – particularly green and shades of pink, soft tones and visual elements like a white owl and a hibiscus flower just adds the right amount of visual poetry and intrigue.
For the uninitiated, “Debi” revolves around Ranu, a woman who feels an unworldly presence around her and can foretell events of the future. Her husband Anis seeks the help of Misir Ali to treat the 'illness', and his psychological analysis and history of Ranu reveals a fascinating look into her mind.
Aside from starring in the film, Jaya Ahsan is also debuting as producer with “Debi” with her C te Cinema banner, with co-stars Chanchal Chowdhury, Animesh Aich, Sabnam Faria and Iresh Zaker. The film, a recipient of the National Film Grant, is reportedly in final stages of post-production, with no release date finalised.