From Bangladesh’s first ever superwoman Bizli to Humayun Ahmed’s cult favourite character Misir Ali coming onto the silver screen for the first time, the year 2018 had been marked with numerous films that grabbed the attention of the audience with its characters and stories. As the year ended with the stories of success, Bangladeshi film industry created a promising ambient for the film buffs of the country. Dhallywood saw many ups and downs in the recent years, yet there were several films made its mark in the hearts of the audience in 2018.
Let’s look back at major successful Bangladeshi films of 2018.
The film was by far the most anticipated films of the year. With unorthodox marketing strategies and a star-studded ensemble cast of Jaya Ahsan, Chanchal Chowdhury, Sabnam Faria, Animesh Aich and Iresh Zaker, ‘Debi’ created a mammoth hype among the general audience and film buffs alike.
The psychological drama film is the adaptation of the Humayun Ahmed’s acclaimed novel by the same name. Many questions surrounded the film from Jaya Ahsan’s eligibility to play a character of that young to Chanchal Chowdhury pulling off the iconic fan favourite character of Misir Ali. The filmgoers got answers when it was released nationwide on October 19. After the release, Humayun Ahmed fans flocked to the cinemas to find the answer to their questions. The film initially was met with mixed reactions, but mostly had positive reviews in the end. Directed by debutante Anam Biswas, Humayun Ahmed’s characters in the films were treated with the utmost care and affection. Credible performances from Jaya Ahsan, Chanchal Chowdhury, and Sabnam Faria made sure that the film remains one of the best productions of the year.
‘Bizli’ was produced to be as the first superhero film of the country. Directed by Iftekhar Chowdhury, the film successfully sparked wide interest among the audience. Popular actress Eamin Haque Bobby took the bold step to produce and star in the film as well. The film revolves around the character of Bizli, played by Bobby, who possesses supernatural powers. Bizli, a moderate hit movie, was a valiant step into the industry where ambitious stories like this are not pursued.
Raihan Rafi exceeded everyone’s expectation with his debut film ‘Poramon 2’, telling a hard-hitting love story with a twist. Television’s well-known face Siam Ahmed made his transition to the silver screen successfully with ‘Poramon 2’. The film received wide acclamation from the audience and was also commercially successful.
Matir Projar Deshe
Director Bijon Imtiaz’s debut feature film ‘Matir Projar Deshe’ (Kingdom of Clay Subjects) generated hype even before hitting the theatres, thanks to its success at the international festivals. The independent film’s success at international level grasped the attention of the audience and after the release, the film gained wide appreciation for its heartwarming story. With a realistic screenplay, ‘Matir Projar Deshe’ is nothing short of outstanding. Each of its characters was brought to life convincingly by actors like Mahmudur Anindo and Sheuly Akther Jarin.
Riding on the success of ‘Poramon 2’, Raihan Rafi returned with another juggernaut ‘Dohon’. Again, Raihan Rafi chose to stick with his cast of Siam Ahmed and Puja Cherry. Both Siam and Puja worked hard to portray their respective roles. One of the songs featured in the film, ‘Hajir Biriyani’ became a topic of discussion due to its explicit lyrics, also served as a great marketing device for the film. The socio-political drama film is based on a true incident of metro city Dhaka and revolves around the characters of Tula, played Siam Ahmed, and Asha, played by Puja Cherry.
After a hiatus of nine years, ‘Monpura’-famed director Giasuddin Selim returned with the much talked about film ‘Swapnajaal’. Set in the riverside Chandpur suburbs of the ’90s, the film tells the love story of young Opu (played by actor Yash Rohan) and Shuvra (played by actress Pori Moni). Their blooming romance takes a dramatic turn when conniving influential businessman Aynal Gazi (played by actor Fazlur Rahman Babu), with the help of his trusted aide Thandu (played by actor Iresh Zaker) tactfully oust Shuvra and her family from their home. Opu fights back to bring justice to Shuvra’s family and to get back his love. But even after justice is served, there are bigger obstacles on their way to the reunion. Pori Moni received acclamation from the audience because of her portrayal of Shuvra, along with Yash Rohan making his own marks in the heart of the audience. But the film could not live up to the heights of ‘Monpura’ and was not as successful as Giasuddin Selim’s previous flick.
Noor Imran Mithu’s drama film ‘Komola Rocket’ flew under the radar of the audience due to the lack of marketing. But some alternative screenings gave the film a space to interact with the audience. ‘Komola Rocket’ is the story of a steamer and its passengers. Blended with realism and symbolism, the film delves into the lives of the passengers and showcase how they are interconnected with each other. The film also questions the existing social cues between people and the individual stories of the passengers become the story of overall society. Audience admired actors Mosharraf Karim and Tauquir Ahmed have done justice to their respective characters, and their performance is a treat to watch. Debutante Samia Syed’s performance also was noteworthy.
After the blockbuster ‘Dhaka Attack’, Arifin Shuvo returned with ‘Bhalo Theko’ under the direction of Jakir Hossain Raju. Arifin Shuvo paired up with Tanha Tasnia and the film become popular for the song ‘Onek Sadhonar Pore Ami Pelam Tomar Mon’.
Ekti Cinemar Golpo
Veteran actor Alamgir made his come back to the film direction after long hiatus with ‘Ekti Cinemar Golpo’. With an ensemble cast of Rituparna Sengupta, Arifin Shuvo, Alamgir and Champa, the film became one of the much-talked-about productions of the year.
When the rise of terrorism is imminent, one man rises and fights against all odds as it costs him everything, he once loved more than anything. He is Mr. Bangladesh. With the premise of patriotism, ‘Mr Bangladesh’ is the directorial debut of Abu Akhtarul Iman. The film is produced by ‘Jaago’-famed filmmaker Khijir Hayat Khan, who also plays the titular role of the Mr Bangladesh. The thriller film portrays the vigilante justice being served by Mr Bangladesh, and received appreciation and mixed criticism.