Just when it seemed overdue, lo and behold, “Aynabaji” hit the box offices and history was made. Not only did Amitabh Reza and his team went against all odds of the template-like formula for successful films in Bangladesh, but they defied the convention and ended up with an instant blockbuster hit. “Aynabaji” is a treat to our senses. Using state-of-the-art technology, it was able to nurture the essence of the age old Dhaka that many of us seemed to have forgotten. Amitabh Reza's capability to bring out the best from the actors, who themselves were unaware of their brilliant potential, along with the sense of humour, played an eccentric role behind the success. Jeopardy was at stake, as Nabila, the lead actress is a new-comer in the industry and “Aynabaji” did not have any “item song” either, which seems to be a must in commercial films today. Nonetheless, the team took a daring leap, and are now reaping the rewards.The Showbiz team decided to sit with the team of “Aynabaji” to learn how they found that last piece of the missing puzzle.
Aynabaji” has created a trend in Bengali cinema and even after a few weeks into its release it remains the talk of the town. We would like to know your thoughts on it.
Adil: It was a challenge and truly a big achievement. We had planned everything in details prior to the production and thankfully it paid off. It was a hit from the first day onwards. We did not get to screen it in as many halls in the starting, but later on, we got more theatres.
Shaon: The problem in Bangla cinema is the lack of ability in storytelling, in which I believe Amitabh Reza has done a fantastic job. And that is the reason why many are flocking to the theatres, many of them for the second or third time as well.
Now that you have set a milestone in Bengali cinema, how much longer does the audience need to wait for something of a similar calibre?
Shaon: We as producers should not take this success for granted. Instead, what we need to do is keep the trend for good cinema alive and strive to produce better films. Even though it is a business, in which the content is of great importance. Given the current situation in the lives of the teenagers of our country, it could provide for a good subject to base a film upon.
Has “Aynabaji” been able to bring back the younger generation in to the theatres?
Shaon: If “Aynabaji” was not able to achieve what it has so far, I believe we would be indebted to the younger generation. It was a must on our behalf. It will also serve as an inspiration for various young people and also teach those who are intrigued by film making, the many aspects of it. A lot was at stake while making this film, so we had to play it right; we simply could not afford to put any one down.
Partho and Nabila, did you even realize during the shoot that “Aynabaji” would be such a success? What are your thoughts to continue acting?
Partho: I had a firm belief from the beginning that this would have an outstanding
outcome. Had it not, then I would have been rather disappointed. Each and every aspect of film making was conducted with precise care. Everyone involved was an expert at their individual field. Only Nabila and I were newcomers in cinema. In my thirty years' experience in the media, I have learnt one thing. It does not matter whether it is a film, song or drama, if the content is of quality, it is bound to fetch fans. The work that Amitabh has done was so worthy, entertainment was inevitable. It had the ability to hold back the audiences from the start till the final credits were rolling, and that I believe is an amazing achievement.
As for acting, if someone as Amitabh Reza offers me a film, only then I might be interested.
Audience: Over 184,282
Box Office Collection: Over Tk. 21,352,337
Highest number for any Bangladeshi Film: 91 shows in 10 days
Occupancy: A record of 98.89% for 9 days
Balaka: Highest number of audience, 36,138; for the first time they are running 11 shows a day
IMDb: 9.8/10, highest for any Bengali movie
Nabila: I took up this challenge out of sheer trust. During the shooting of the film, many told me that it would end up as an art film as it was being directed by Amitabh Reza. I know that I have given my best and so did all the other cast and crew who were involved with “Aynabaji”. After that analysis, how could it not be a great film?
I was offered many films earlier as well, but I had to decline them. But if a similar film as “Aynabaji” comes up with all its magnificent magnitude, then I shall definitely be interested to work.
What was the reason behind casting a total newcomer in acting like Nabila?
Amitabh Reza: An actor must be passionate and try to establish a connection with the director, and that gives birth to the trust that Nabila and I share today. Most of those, whom I had screened for the role of the actress, somehow lacked that ability to connect with me and surrender their acting to my direction. I do not accept any compromises in that aspect, thus, all those who were casted had to pass that test.
Apart from your renowned advertisements, what kind of an upcoming film can we expect?
Amitabh Reza: My prime focus now is on the upcoming film. Once I'm fully satisfied with the overall effect of the script and story, I shall proceed with the making.
Interviewed by Rafi Hossain
Transcribed by Minam Haq