In his previous four ventures as a movie director Tauquir Ahmed dealt with different story lines. From his debut film ‘Joyjatra’ (2004), second attempt ‘Rupkothar Golpo’ (2006), 2007’s super hit ‘Daruchini Dwip’ to 2016’s ‘Oggyatonama’, every time he consciously avoided repetition.
As always Tauquir Ahmed once again has come up with a fresh idea through his latest film ‘Haldaa’.
From the primeval period, civilisation was developed based on rivers as the water way could make communication easier. Likewise our life is centered on women as they are the source of mankind. Unfortunately with the authoritative emergence of capitalism through industrialisation and a substantial downfall in human values both rivers and women are in severe threat now.
We have been polluting our rivers indiscriminately and similarly we have been oppressing and torturing women. By doing so we are denting the overall ecological and social balance. Tauquir Ahmed’s ‘Haldaa’ has pointed finger to this disruption that we are creating everyday quite carelessly.
Tauquir’s narrative screened the lifestyle of the fishermen and other people living on the bank of the river Haldaa, which is South Asia’s biggest natural breeding sanctuary of carp fishes. The story progresses with the incidents related to the lives of Haldaa river’s fisherman Monu Miya (Fazlur Rahman Babu), his daughter Hashu (Nusrat Imrose Tisha), Hashu’s beloved Bodi (Mosharraf Karim), Hashu’s husband Nader Chowdhury (Zahid Hasan), his first wife Jui (Runa Khan) and Nader’s mother Surot Banu (Dilara Zaman).
In the main plot the love affairs between Hashu and Bodi cannot find a suitable conclusion as Hashu’s father Monu Miya is bound to marry off his daughter to local influential brick-field owner Nader. And suppression on Hashu begins from there. Through a parallel plot Tauquir presents the way Haldaa River is becoming the victim of pollution and its ultimate impact on surrounding environment.
The national award winning director highlights different local traditional cultural elements successfully, albeit one or two scenes including the presentation of Pala Gaan seem too long. ‘Haldaa’ editor Amit Debnath could concentrate on this. While portraying Hashu, neither the costume designer Samiun Jahan Dola nor the director Tauquir Ahmed has put much thought on the necessary changes that the character of a pregnant woman demands with time.
Though it was inevitable to use complex regional dialects of Chittagong due to the setting of the film, but it was a big challenge.
However, viewers faced no problem to connect with the movie as there was subtitle.
By producing ‘Haldaa’ HM Ibrahim has proved his sense of taste. Certainly Azad Bulbul should get credit for a wonderful concept. Tauquir tried to remain true to ‘Chatgaiya’ language, but logically he had to make adjustment while writing dialogues.
He has brought the depth of characters with brilliant dialogues and added a philosophical tone in a number of scenes.
Sound designer Ripon Nath has kept his reputation intact as always as he was very careful in mixing the voice of the characters and other sounds.
One man, DOP Enamul Haq Sohel, deserves appreciation separately for his marvelous work. The way he captured the scenic beauty of the river and its surroundings and the flash of lightning in the sky has delivered a worthy experience for the viewers.
Music direction of ‘Haldaa’ by Pinto Ghosh has complimented its story line beautifully. Along with two excellent Thumris and a Maijbhandari song melodious romantic songs have also touched the hearts of the audiences.
The most fascinating aspect of ‘Haldaa’ is the powerful performances by its actors. Mosharraf Karim has done complete justice to his character of Bodi. He was appropriate in portraying the innocence and helplessness of an orphan youth. While starring the role of local influential brick-field trader Nader Chowdhury, Zahid Hasan was credible. His cautious expressions have helped the character to break the stereotype about Bangla film’s villain.
Tauquir always portrays strong female characters in his film. Bipasha Hayat’s portrayal of Hawa in ‘Joyjatra’, Taskin Sumi’s performance in the role of Shahar Banu in ‘Rupkothar Golpo’, Zakia Bari Momo’s depiction of Jori in ‘Daruchini Dwip’ and Nipun Akter’s starring of Beauty in ‘Oggyatonama’ have proved it.
Nusrat Imrose Tisha has surpassed all of them. She got enough opportunity to maximize her acting potential in the character of Hashu and she has succeeded. Tisha did not miss even the little pauses and was capable enough to hold the boldness of Hashu.
Even the actors and actresses who performed in the short characters have done a tremendous job. Whether it is Fazlur Rahman Babu, Momena Chowdhury, Shahed Ali Shujon or Shujat Shimul, all have beautifully depicted their roles. Especially Dilara Zaman has brought tears in the eyes of audiences through her acting. And Runa Khan’s appearance has proved that if she could do more works for the silver screen, Bangladesh’s film lovers would get a talented actress.
Despite having a few loopholes Tauquir Ahmed’s ‘Haldaa’ is a movie that makes us optimistic about the future of Bangla cinema.
It is a film that has focused on a unique subject matter that has not been addressed in our movie scene earlier.
With a limited budget of only 65 lakh and shooting schedule of 22 days, ‘Haldaa’ team has created something that provides its audience a great experience in the movie theatre. Movie-goers who have stopped watching Bangla films can go to the cinema halls again with their family members to enjoy a quality film.