DVD Shongram

DVD Shongram
DVD Shongram
Run time: 103 min
Rating: 7.6
Genres: Action | Drama | History
Director: Munsur Ali
Writers: Munsur Ali, Munsur Ali
Stars: Anupam Kher, Asia Argento, Amaan Reza
Storyline
‘Shongram’ is a romantic drama set during the 1971 Bangladesh liberation struggle. A daring reporter ‘Sarah’ (Asia Argento) interviews a Bangladeshi Londoner named ‘Karim’ (Anupam Kher) on his deathbed, who finally shares his account four decades later. A young Karim and Asha fall in love in the most testing of times. This becomes a complicated relationship, as Karim is a Muslim boy and Asha is a Hindu girl – that is just one aspect which provides a rollercoaster journey for the two protagonists. It stars legendary Hindi cinema artist Anupam Kher (Silver Linings Playbook, Bend it Like Beckham, Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge), Hollywood and European star Asia Argento (Triple X – starring Vin Diesel, Marie Antoinette) alongside Bangladeshi artists Aman Reza and Dilruba Yasmeen Ruhee. Written by Anonymous
Plot Keywords: bangla english urdu, 1971 bangladesh war, bangladesh liberation war
Details:
Country: Bangladesh, UK
Release Date: 28 March 2014 (Bangladesh)
Box Office
Budget: £400,000 (estimated)

1 Comment

  1. Shongram was a film I was really looking forward to seeing. Billed as a British-made Bengali film about the 1971 Bangladesh independence war and featuring an international cast including highly respected Indian actor Anupam Kher in a lead role. The script is fairly decent but could have benefited from tighter edits in a couple of scenes, particularly the final newspaper office and parting scenes in India. The standout performances come from an excellent Amaan Reza as (young) freedom fighter Karim and Shubrodho who turns in a powerful performance as his Hindu friend. Dilruba Yasmeen Ruhee as his love interest is good but at times is too heavily made up– did young girls really walk around villages in full fashion make-up in 1971? A minor point but very noticeable in a number of scenes. But this is the first of a number of quibbles I have with this film that really detract from the core narrative. The Pakistani army General Iftikhar is played like a caricature and this ruins the scenes he is in; his cruelty at times comes across as comic and even Gabbar Singh-like and which is not at all suited to this kind of film. Whether that was intentional or not is unclear but it doesn't work. I've seen a number of Bangladeshi films on 1971, including Shyamol Chhaya and Guerilla; both of which did a much better job of depicting the harshness of the struggle freedom fighters went through in my opinion. There are other minor irritations: the car with the fleeing villagers that is at least one decade too new a model to have been around at the time and the cigar-smoking editor in London; where smoking in the workplace is illegal. The casting of Asia Argento is also odd; she is supposed to be an English journalist (if you read the promotional material associated with the film) yet doesn't sound English or even British whatsoever. Again another minor criticism but one of many anomalies in this film. Anupam Kher, as (older) Karim, is as always very good but it makes you wonder how a young nicely tanned young man grew up into such a light-skinned older one? Something you just wouldn't see in a Western film; the attraction of having a star actor in the role obviously far outweighed this technicality.

    Nevertheless, the film tells an important story through the central character; most of the actors play their parts with emotion and conviction but the various quibbles above make this a lesser film than it should have been. Judging on this finished product, director and writer Mansur Ali shows real promise for the future, where no doubt such kinks will be ironed out over time with bigger budgets and more experience.

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