Watching 'Runway and Norosundar'
I have come to learn from Facebook that the film 'Runway' is showing all over Bangladesh with a view to release the film district by district. I am glad it begun from my hometown, Chittagong. A three day special screening of Tareque Masud and Catherine Masud's latest feature film 'Runway' was held from December 16-18 .
Living in Chittagong, we hardly have the opportunity to go to a cinema hall to watch a movie, much unlike those living in the capital city. As soon as the opportunity knocked on our doors, I was filled with excitement and anticipation to go watch the movie.
Breaking the convention of releasing new films in capital city, Tareque Masud released his film in Chittagong. I saw a large number of curious youngsters in the Theatre Institute premises. I felt good; it was as though it was some sort of a festiva. Camera men were moving here and there and the director himself was present as well. Thanks to the organisers Srutichitro and Chottogram Cholochittro Kendro and to the producer, directors and respective authorities for coming up with such a wonderful initiative for the people of Chittagong. If I had missed it, I would have certainly regretted later, because in a word I was spellbound upon seeing the artistic representations of the filmmakers. As an added attraction, a short film by Tareque Masud called 'Norosundar' (The Barbershop) was also displayed along with' Runway'. I was amazed at the ability of the director to capture the events of 1971 so powerfully within the span of 15 minutes in 'Norosundar'.
'Runway' starts with the roaring of an aeroplane that is seen to tremble the utensils of a shanty situated next to the International airport. It also breaks the tierd sleep of Ruhul's family. Ruhul had studied until tenth standard of Madrasa and struggles financially. His father had left for the Middle East to find a job, selling all his land in the village. The grandfather of the family, though physically unfit, holds positive views for the future of the family.
What caught my attention is the burning issues of our country which have been uniquely portrayed through the simple and realistic character sketching, such as the suffering of the ill paid garment workers represented by Ruhul's sister, his mother's angst over meeting the interest of the micro-credit loan, the helplessness of the Bangledeshi jobseekers in a foreign land, the frustrated and aimless days of a young boy in search of employment - the common realities of our country.
Initially Ruhul is depicted as a simple man but later on, he changes as he gives in to the persuasive words of man he befriends who ultimately convinces him to join an extremist group.
It was truly stunning to see how courageously and skilfully the filmmakers drew on the scenes.
The movie ends with an optimistic tone, showing the regeneration of Ruhul. The prick of conscience ultimately paves the way of his redemption.
On one occasion, I read an interview of Tareque Masud where he said, “Filmmaking needs life's experiences next to talent”. I saw a true reflection of lives beneath the large wings of the airplanes. People of our generation would love to go to cinema halls if movies of such standards are produced every now and then.
(The writer is a student of the Department of English, Chittagong College)