On Saturday of Sg. Saiff, my energetic friend Kalpana said, “Being my first festival I will stick with you throughout this festival and watch those you plan to watch. I hope you don’t mind.”
“Of course I like the company. We could share our thoughts.” I wondered, but only for a second, why she didn’t reply.
I decided to be kind to my eyes and neck and set a basic rule that I shall not watch more than 3 in a day. Overlap screenings naturally give the needed stringent choosing. It can be overwhelming for any quality film lovers like me to choose films from a listing 49 screenings in 14 countries of South Asian countries of Singapore South Asian International Film Festival.
“Did you read the synopses?” Kalpana asked.
“No, but you know I don’t.”
“How do you choose films then?”
“I chose based on the time slot, languages, and that all.”
We watched Ahare Mon, in which different shades and kinds of love that can exist are interestingly woven with the right ratio of online shots and good, suitable background music first. Love transcending times of 25 years, beyond middle age, between the fetish couple with obsessions of robbing and planning to steal, beyond the life span in a young terminally ill girl on a cinema star, even if she has never seen him in person. Every character and cast have done so artistically. Titli character helped the director bring out the thought process of young cancer-stricken girl madly in love with a film star.
“I didn’t know you have language preferences, Jay.”
“No, in fact, I don’t have language preferences. I only ensure I get to watch all languages.”
I nodded in agreement when Kalpana said, “I felt the film had explored almost all possible areas of the theme,” we walked out of the auditorium.
Motorcycle girl, as Adnan Sarwar the Pakistani director himself said in his post-screening interaction is a film created based on a real incident. He said he is one of those Pakistanis who migrated back to his country leaving good life and careers. Touching on the 40 years of stagnant Pakistan, in terms of developments and advancements in arts, he said women of the region weren’t oppressed before that period. I felt the film didn’t lack in the technological or artistic fervor. It’s a good example of not only a film of female subject but also a real-life story translated into a film.
Kalpana and I squeezed each other’s hands in several places as we could relate so well with the female lead. We were almost in the whistling mood when we heard those feministic dialogues, gestures, expressions. That groom lost himself when he said he had everything just the way we see many people who have lost that exploring curiosity in life, either because they are blessed with everything like that guy or because they give up on life.
Ahaa Re, the movie from Dhaka cleverly chose to depict the protagonist to be chef, creating a wide scope to imbibe the food culture, a major part of any culture throughout. Ranjan Ghosh, the director of Aha Re appeared on stage to talk briefly, mainly requesting the audience to kindly respect the lyricist who had added words to the melodious music at the end credit. Rituparna Sengupta spoke. She said she is living in Singapore and that was news to me. Director has tried to celebrating culture through food and the love for it in an artistic way. The male lead falls in love with her cooking and then starts loving her. I love the subtle action of Arifin Shuvoo but for me, the father in law character, cute and pragmatic, is the best.
While we walked towards the train station after 9.15pm, Kalpana asked, “A Hindi/Urdu film sandwiched between two Bangali films was just rightly timed for our ears, wasn’t it Jay?” I thought, yes, coincidentally.