Nishwartha Bhalobasa What is love, indeed? | The Daily Star
12:07 AM, August 18, 2013 / LAST MODIFIED: 03:03 PM, August 17, 2013


Nishwartha Bhalobasa What is love, indeed?

movie There is a tragic prologue behind my quest to watch "Nishwartha Bhalobasa" (English title "What Is Love?") on the day of its premiere. I couldn't get the tickets the day before, hence the first thing I did on the morning of Eid, while everyone was with their families devouring Eid delicacies, was to head over to Bashundhara City (in my pajamas, the nightwear kind) and stand in line for 40 minutes to scour 12 tickets for my gang. The enthusiasm we had in us for this movie, disappeared 30 minutes in, as we couldn't fathom this big budget movie without a solid plot. I am a self-proclaimed Dhallywood film connoisseur, and I've seen Shakib Khan movies with much better storylines than this.
The last few Ananta Jalil (AJ) flicks have not managed to live up to the expectations his debut ("Khoj: The Search") generated. This one made me wonder if I would go see any of his movies again. I watched "Khoj" more than once; I can watch "The Speed" all over again as well. "What Is Love?" was 2.5 hours of a gold-digger worming her way to the top and not appreciating what she has. Considering the sensationalized reports about the "power couple" published in newspapers, I wondered if this was a true story.
The movie follows two predictable plotlines: a romantic persuasion and for a few brief scenes, some "digitally enhanced" action. Quoting "AJ" from his interview on "Bangladeshi Idol": "This is really high definition movie with Dolby 7.1 sound, 3D animation and world class visual effect." I sat there pondering where all these aforementioned attractions were, as hundreds in the neighbouring halls were watching "Wolverine" and "World War Z" in 3D. The "visual effects" that were used in the title track made me realise I have seen better graphics work in "Super Mario Bros" (although stopping a bus with one hand while holding an electric guitar with the other was pretty badass).
The highlight had to be when Ananta rips his heart out to show his love interest Meghla (Barsha) what she had done to it. And if you thought it would be just his bleeding heart (which had Ananta's face on it, of course), you have another thing coming, or I should say three. An arrow, a bullet and last but not least, a hand grenade penetrating through his heart to help the viewers realise the impact of Meghla's betrayals.
The best bits of the movie were in the little details such as the "Murad Takla" moment when Ananta's iPhone 5 displays Meghla's name as "Magla", or when Ananta answers the phone and says, "Hello Dabid?" The loudest applause came during intermission when the screen displayed in all caps, "WHAT IS NEXT?" instead of "intermission".
Ananta's acting skills could be summed up as Kristen Stewart meets Chuck Norris. Barsha, on the other hand, took the insufferable damsel in distress act to another level; becoming every feminist's nightmare. The plot seemed to highlight how mighty Ananta is as a hero, putting Barsha's character down on several occasions -- making the feminist in me cringe. The icing on the anti-feminist cake was Meghla's younger sister saying, "Girls shouldn't have too many friends".
The actor who delivers, according to my opinion, is Meghla's former agent Jahir (portrayed by Kabila). He lives up to his comical reputation as well as gives Akon a run for his money in the item song "Dance Baby Moyna". The soundtrack is a goldmine for anyone who has an upcoming Ga-e Holud and needs inspiration.
As mentioned before, this is nowhere near as good as "The Speed". As an avid Ananta Jalil fan, I can only hope "Most Welcome 2" will have a better plot.

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