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The Lost Brother

July 10, 2011

There is something to cheer about for Cinephiles of Dhaka. After a long wait, authorities here nodded to project some popular Hindi and Indian Bangla movies at local theaters.

What I observe around me that our people need more occasions to get socialize. We have few cultural or religious festivals that we observe together. We do not have major domestic sporting events that will dominate our chatting topics at home or at other public places. In fact, it is politics that dominates our family and social discussions. Time has come to add in the discussion topics which Amir Khan or Shahrukh Khan or Aishrya  Bacchan’s movie you are going to watch at your local movie theaters. Why do we not talk about Rituporna Ghosh’s latest venture screened at a Bangladeshi multiplex.? Or the songs of Autograph?

But, there are reports coming into media that some senior artists are going to form a committee that will prevent any initiative of screening Hindi films at Bangladeshi movie theaters. The reason they put forward is the dire straits of local film industry. Due to their lack of comprehension, they think screening of Hindi films will further aggravate the state of Bangladeshi film industry.

Well, ‘Tollywood’is the best example to nullify this argument. In the stiff competition from ‘Bollywood’, ‘Tollywood’ did not vanish into air. It learned from Bollywood and is now producing more and more Bangla blockbusters every year.

In the good old days of Bangla films, families rushed to theaters and waited almost hours in long queue to watch their favorite movie stars during weekends. Those good old days are gone. People barely watch Bangla films now. Movie hall owners are switching to other businesses. Theaters, where once films like Roopban, Saath Bhai Champa, Shimana Periye, Ora Egaro Jon, Beder Meye Josna, Bajra Moosthy, Rakhash, Moner Majhe Tumi etc. were projected, were demolished and replaced by shopping or apartment complex.

Screening of Hindi films at local theaters can bring back the lost glory of Bangladeshi film industry! Most importantly, Bangladesh might see a ‘multiplex boom’, which means more movie screening facilities. One movie could reach to more viewers. This will help our producers and directors to produce big budget films.

In the past, radical Islamist organization also caused lots of trouble in building cinema halls in the suburbs and villages. They correctly pointed out the silver screens as their enemy in radicalizing the society. If we are not short of memory, we can remember that cinema halls were deliberately targeted by the extremists during the last BNP-Jamat regime. The cinema halls could be a handy weapon against radicalization of the society.

When satellite TV channels were making their ways into our drawing rooms, we heard our culture was at stake. What do you see now? Over the last few years, more than dozens of Bangladeshi satellite TV channels have been broadcasting Bangla drama, serials, talk shows and news programs. We have also got a new breed of Bangladeshi director, producer, scriptwriter, anchor and TV journalist. So opening up does not mean end of something, it means more opportunities and broadening the horizon.

We are still watching Hindi films on small screen without giving a single taka to the government. In fact, the pirated Hindi and Indian Bangla film markets are fattening the terrorists. It is no longer a secret that Dubai-based ISI-backed D-company affiliates controlled the pirated movie market.

Just imagine the amount of revenue movie trailers will generate in our overpopulated media industry.

Another aspect is sharing ideas and expertise. Our directors, actors, scriptwriters, technicians will get a chance to get  familiar with the ideas and techniques nowadays are using in making world-class films from their Indian friends. If there is a joint production, they may display their talents, skills to the broader viewers beyond our borders.

I think the relationship among ‘Bollywood’, ‘Tollywood’ and ‘Dhallywood’ is not a competing one. It is rather complementary. To be more precise, it is just like the typical sub-continental film storyline—–brothers went to village fair, one got lost in the crowds,   brothers went through struggle, brothers fall in love, brothers beat the bad guys, brothers reunited and live happily thereafter. ‘Dhallywood’ is the lost brother. It needs the help of  ‘Bollywood’ and ‘Tollywood’ to get out of dire straits.

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From → My Thoughts

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