A dive into the mysterious world of ‘Munshigiri’
Celebrated director Amitabh Reza Chowdhury's "Munshigiri", starring Chanchal Chowdhury, releases on Chorki at 8 pm tonight. The Chorki original film also features Purnima and Shabnam Faria in pivotal roles. Based on the novel "Mriterao Kotha Bole" by Shibarata Barman, Amitabh Reza Chowdhury brings a first of its kind detective story of Bangladesh with his debut web film.
Incidentally, "Munshigiri" will be released on the same date as the director's debut feature film, "Aynabaji", also starring Chanchal Chowdhury, five years apart. The teasers and posters of this new venture from the trailblazing actor-director duo have set high expectations. "Munshigiri" is a character driven story of Additional Deputy Commissioner, DB Officer Masud Munshi, played by Chanchal Chowdhury.
As hinted by the teasers, the plot is based on the murder case of Didarul Haque, allegedly invoked by novelist Ishtiaque Mirza. Munshi reads and rereads the murder stories by the novelist to gather clues for the case at hand. Munshi's wife Parvin is portrayed by Sabnam Faria, and the widow of Didarul Haque, Suraiya Akhtar, is played by Purnima.
While Parvin casually takes interest in the case, Munshi is suspicious of Suraiya, who seems to be throwing challenges back at the detective.
"Munshigiri" will be Purnima's debut on OTT platforms. "It is unlike anything I've done before. Suraiya is not a perfect woman, but she has her own charm," commented Purnima. "The entire process, starting from the look test to transforming into Suraiya was exciting. Amitabh bhai taught me the nuances like how an avid reader would hold a book and turn the pages for this character."
Noted actors Gazi Rakayet and Shahiduzzaman Selim also star in this murder mystery.
Tuhin Tamijul, who has worked in films like "Live from Dhaka", "Rickshawgirl '' and the much-celebrated "Rehana Marium Noor", is the man behind the camera for "Munshigiri". "It is the storytelling that guides whether the camera should be on a stand or on the shoulder. Often, I was compelled to take up the camera on my shoulder as the director wanted to closely portray Munshi's actions, both in his personal and professional life," he said.
Amitabh Reza Chowdhury's first web production trio "Bondhu" "Shohor" and "Bhalobasha" with iflix and web series "Dhaka Metro" with Hoichoi paved the path for web content for his contemporaries.
"This film was a new learning experience. The exhibition space has changed. Unlike the silver screen, the web is a pull space where the users are powerful. Creating stories that compel the audience to watch them till the end is not an easy task," he said. He also mentioned that the pre-production phase in web production is crucial, where script and performance are the most important aspects.
Shibabrata Barman's stories have captivated people on paper and screen alike. Not too long ago, he introduced Masud Munshi to his audience in the Eid special "Mriterao Kotha Bole". "I'm quite excited to watch the film unfold the mystery. More than adaptation, this is a recreation of the characters that I had pictured while writing the novel three years back. The progression and treatment of mystery in novels and cinema are very different. I am curious to see the deviation that took place between the mediums," said Barman.
"Since I began creating Munshi, I wanted to write a series of stories with him. Learning my intention, Amitabh Reza Chowdhury offered the concept of a movie series or franchise. I have, however, developed plots that are independent of other possibilities."
The film characters have been developed by Naseef Amin. ''Munshigiri is an attempt to tell a police procedural story, with a character that is grounded in our system. For the film, the world of Munshi and his associates had to be expanded beyond the novel. We visited real officers of the Detective Branch, and watched their procedures closely to add details. Although it is a work of fiction, we needed to remain true to the factual concepts of the processes," said Amin.
"Masud Munshi is not a private detective or a hero as we may have experienced in the past. He is a dedicated officer who carries on with his work and daily life in an 'old fashioned' manner. Perhaps we can call him idealistic. Chanchal da is very dedicated to his work, which gets reflected on screen. It has been a learning journey as a team and we can only hope it transcends to the viewers," concluded Amitabh Reza Chowdhury.
The author is an art researcher and writer in the making. Email: email@example.com.