Shunte Ki Pao? (Are You Listening?)
Director: Kamar Ahmad Simon
Runtime: 90 minutes
Strength: Story, Cinematography, Direction, Theme
Weakness: Moves slow at times
Showbiz Rating: 3.5/5
Plot: Life in Sutarkhali village changes for Rakhi, Soumen and Rahul after being hit by Aila, a tidal surge. The film is about a mother's hope to ensure a decent life for her son, an incapable husband's frustration for being unable to provide for his family and the struggle of a community to return to normalcy.
Review: Set in the village Sutrakhali in Khulna, the movie shows how life changes after being hit by a tidal surge named Aila. This movie entails the struggle of people living in the coastal belt of Bangladesh. Rakhi and Soumen, the central characters of the movie, fight for a better living while living in an age-old broken home and try to ensure a better future for their four years son Rahul. The community struggle and unity are brought together along with depicting the central characters' life to emphasize how the Bangladeshi people keep their dreams even in the worst of situations.
The cinematography, the storytelling technique and incorporation of regular life of the people makes the movie more of a creative documentary rather than fiction, showing how to celebrate life, even when struggling with the aftermath of a natural disaster. It speaks of the lives of marginalized people of Bangladesh, their uncompromising attitude towards environmental crisis. Any Bangladeshi who has, at some point of their lives, lived close to a river can relate to this story directly. It's the rain, the mud and the love for common men that speak of our own way of life. In a nutshell, the story is brilliantly conceived by Kamar Ahmad Simon and the representation is fresh and entertaining, which justifies the many international awards that it has won already. The creative documentary is currently running at Star Cineplex.
Reviewed by Mohammad Zahidul Islam
Director: Raj Chakraborty
Writer: Abhimanyu Mukherjee
Cast: Abir Chatterjee, Srabanti Chatterjee, Sayani Ghosh, Ankush Hazra, Rajatava Dutta
Runtime: 160 Minutes
Strength: Plot twist, political message
Weakness: Unnecessary song-dance items
Showbiz rating: 2.5/5
Plot: Journalist duo Abir and Nayona take up challenging tasks to expose the dirty and criminal practices of the political culture in the state. Their work invites the wrath of both the ruling party and as well as the opposition. They deal with each hurdle thrown at them – they even make enemies at the most unlikely place.
Review: Minus the song-dance items and distracting change in focus at times, Kanamachi is an entertaining movie with a strong message. Director Raj Chakraborty's approach to the storyline is clear from the get-go: a commercial movie with a political and moral message. For commercial reasons, the inclusion of romantic sub-plots is entertaining as well. But, like many South Asian commercial movies, at times at the heat of the main storyline, the movie shifts its focus to the less important sub-plots. Thanks to the writer, as the storyline is about go down as one of the run-of-the-mill mainstream movies, it comes up with an unexpected twist. The protagonists and antagonists are very one dimensional throughout the movie until at the very end, when the real antagonist is revealed with a message that can raise a debate. Kanamachi would've had much stronger appeal had the director decided to have a shortened sub-plot and fewer song items – they were misplaced in most cases.
Reviewed by Zia Nazmul Islam
Director: Joshua Michael Stern
Writer: Matt Whiteley
Cast: Ashton Kutcher, Dermot Mulroney, Josh Gad
Runtime: 128 Minutes
Strength: Acting, Story
Showbiz rating: 3/5
In the age of Apple mania, not many other biopics can possibly be as tempting as the biopic of Steve Jobs! But then again, if it fails to quench the thirst of Apple lovers and movie freaks then perhaps a remake is needed.
The film opens in 2001 with Steve Jobs (Ashton Kutcher) introducing the iPod at an Apple Town Hall meeting. It then flashes back to the past showing a young and poor Jobs unable to pay his Tuition fees at Reeds College. From there, it's Steve's experiments with LSD and his tour to India for exploring spiritualism. After his return to the US he joins the Atari Company, almost concurrently signing a partnership with Steve Wozniak (Josh Gad) and the rest is the story of a pioneer and the richest and most innovative company of today: Apple Inc.
The movie unfolds with visionary Ideas in computing, innovations, cut-throat decision making, competitive but rather cold, ruthless and despotic nature of an innovator-cum-entrepreneur who overcomes the hardest of hurdles. It gives short but factual glimpses of how the computing gadgetry world fought with one another during the 70's, 80's and 90's with a nostalgic kick. Many of the embellished creative details have been reduced to montages, as if, representing a series of inspirational speeches of a self-help movie. It should have been avoided. Jobs, portrayed in the movie, defies the film's gravity and floats into the puzzling air of a being who knows where he wants to take his dream, and drives everyone around him to carry his wishes forward.
Ashton Kutcher does a fine job in the role of Steve Jobs, portraying him less as a technological wizard and more as a shrewd businessman who realised his out-of-the-box ideas by surrounding himself with people who were admittedly more talented than he was. We expect that with a bit of luck the next film about Jobs, on which The Social Network writer Aaron Sorkin is working, will deliver a better script.
Reviewed by Shahriar Feroze