<%-- Page Title--%> Interview <%-- End Page Title--%>

<%-- Volume Number --%> Vol 1 Num 137 <%-- End Volume Number --%>

January 9, 2004

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Bachelor’s Progress
An encounter with director Mostafa Sarwar Farooki and writer Anisul Hoque

After winning the small screen, the famous duo is now all set to hit the big screen very soon. And it seems another great success story is in the making. When writer Anisul Hoque and director Mostafa Sarwar Farooki get together success is never far away. The first feature film of the pair 'Bachelor', is expected to be released in February, perhaps on Eid day.

In the last few years the Farooki and Hoque combination has captured the popular imagination with a number of dramas such as Prottyabartan, Choribhati and the mega--serial Ekannobarti are mentionable. However, the brilliant trail of the pair started off with the drama Aaisha Mongol. Incidentally, around the same time Ekushey Television had begun its journey. In its two-and-half years run, one of Ekushey's greatest contributions was to give the young and untested a scope to prove their worth as well as the space to experiment. The result was the emergence of a group of very talented and young dramatists and directors who brought about a refreshing facelift by producing radical, if not revolutionary, changes in the idea of television drama. Young dramatists like Masum Reza, Giasuddin Selim and Anisul Hoque (who was already established as a writer) and directors like Mostafa Sarwar Farooki and Saidul Anam Tutul were some of the major talents that made their names in the last four years.

They virtually rescued television dramas from the confinement of a strictly defined and rigidly followed pattern. The average TV dramas were artificial, melodramatic, in which unrealistic characters indulged in a ridiculous show of gestures and affectation. The story line as well as the characters was of a bookish origin. One significant change Farooki has introduced from the very beginning was to discard the refined, often pretentious dialogues the characters in TV dramas spoke in. Farooki made them talk the way the characters would talk in real life. Thus jabe is changed into jaba, korechhi is replaced by korchhi etc. This new crop of directors and writers, of which Farooki and Hoque are perhaps the most talked about, sought to represent life truthfully, disdainfully throwing away the fictitious life the characters lived in television dramas by pruning off the ornate expressions . In the last few years they have given TV dramas a new lease of life and now they are ready to give the wayward and aimless Bangla filmdom at least a healing touch, if not shaking Bangla film off its rotten parts.

Farooki has made about half-a-dozen 'video fictions' as he calls his creations. He refuses to call them TV dramas as they are popularly known. But, Farooki always wanted to make films. "On television, viewers don't watch dramas very seriously, they chat, have tea while watching TV. I want the full attention of the audience and that is possible only in the theatre, where people have to enter by taking tickets, lights are switched off and nothing or no one intervenes during the time it is on."

And Farooki is determined to make his first film get noticed. When asked about the soon-to-be released film, Farooki is cautious not to disclose too much: "This is a story of five bachelor friends--some of whom are in love, some are trying to get into relationship while the rest have declared war against women and love. One in particular is desperate to hook-up with a rich girl in order to improve his economic condition. Although they live in Bharidhara, they are not financially solvent. The flat belongs to 44-year old Mr. Abrar who is also a bachelor and considers himself to be the president of the 'Bachelor's Forum'. Apparently Abrar is a woman hater but deep inside…" Farooki stops, asking to see the rest in the theatre. “It is basically a story of mine and my friends, taken right from our experiences," Farooki reveals the source of his story.

Writer Anisul Hoque is equally reticent, however he agrees to elaborate on how the screen play was done. Unlike earlier occasions Hoque didn't conceive of the story of Bachelor. "Farooki gave me a five-page synopsis and an idea about how he wants the story to go. I just worked on that line," he reveals. A couple of major and some minor revisions both by Farooki and Hoque followed before the script was finally ready for shooting.

Will it be what we call a parallel film? "Far from it. It will be one crore miles away from parallel movie and ten crore miles away from the mainstream ones, considering the popular notion of parallel and mainstream films," Farooki says. "I, in fact, don't believe in dividing films into parallel or art and mainstream films. I believe films can be of just two kinds--good and bad films," he hastens to add.

The film will feature some very high profile and some literally unknown actors and actresses. The big names include Humayun Faridi, Ferdous and they have been joined by first timers like Hasan Masud and Marjuk Rasel. Farooki refuses to single out any one in particular and chooses to generously praise everybody's performances. "Well, the only actor I want to talk separately is Hasan Masod. I believe he has kind of added a new dimension to the idea of film acting. He has been superb".

As far as the writer and the director are concerned, they complement each other extremely well. "He is an extremely talented director. He has changed the course of the history of our audio visual media. Besides, he is a very friendly and loveable kind of person" says Anisul Hoque. But when pressed to identify a problem with Farooki, Hoque pauses a little: " I think he is not very disciplined. Sometimes he suffers from over confidence and wouldn't pay heed to any suggestions at all. If he didn't have these shortcomings I would give him 15 out of 10. Now he gets only 12 out of 10."

Hoque laments the fact that Bangladeshi films have long distanced themselves from the middle class. However, with the talented young filmmakers like Farooki coming in the scene, better times for Bangladeshi films might not be far away.

(Interested readers can visit the website www.bachelorbd.com to learn more about the film)


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