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Are you Fool-ed?

With the way the world is nowadays there are often people of distinction who slip through the cracks and are never heard of because writing books, directing movies and making art and all the other things which were fairly exclusive a few decades ago are now open to a much wider variety of people. At face value that may seem to be an unsavoury state of being. Most times it is. But then along comes something like 'Fool' and you are forced to change your opinion.

The product of four university students, 'Fool' is a short film of the comedy genre based on a series of interrelated events that culminate in a climax that will leave the audiences baffled but still laughing. Directed and acted in part by AM Munayeem and Ibnul Wara, two close school friends and helped ably by Tashaffi Khan whom they met in university, 'Fool' is an endeavour worth mentioning because of its sense of originality and the accomplished final product that came about despite its very amateurish makers.

Set in an urbane locale, Fool is a story right out of the lives of today's youth. It tells the story of three university friends Taskin (AM Munayeem), Rehan (Ibnul Wara) and Guddu (Shadab Hossain). All three make up a very closely knit group and almost always do everything together. Their friendship is strained however when Guddu keeps cancelling on appointments and plans because of what Taskin and Rehan suspect to be an active interest in a member of the opposite sex. Jealous at having their friend taken away but ever unlikely to admit it, the two hatch a clever plan to get back at Guddu.

The plan involves a prank call by a female and the perfect specimen is found via Rehan's sister Rimi (Farzan Mitu). Although reluctant at first she is forced to submit due to repeated requests by her brother and his friend. The plan is set in motion and Rimi strikes up a fluent conversation with Guddu, who flirts shamelessly back.

They decide to meet at Gulshan Lake and Rimi asks Guddu to stand infront of a bridge holding a rose; hence the name Fool. What happens later is something that you have to watch to find out.

The road is full of twists. Do Rehan and Taskin get back at Guddu? Does Guddu have the last laugh? Without giving too much away it would be fair to say that words can have double meanings.

Directed by Ibnul, Munayeem and Tashaffi and based on a script by Munayeem, Fool is an easily identifiable tale. Its in-your-face humour, portrayed best by Munayeem's fine depiction of the forgetful friend, is sure to make anyone crack up. Ibnul's polished performance as the fancy image conscious Bangladeshi male and Shadab's portrayal of the 'cool dude' are also worth mentioning. And Farzan shines through in her largely bit part role with some very accomplished acting.

Although there are yet numerous aspects that can be improved on, for an initial composition Fool shows distinct promise. The plotline, although hardly original, has a unique mix of elements and the actors are just talented enough to cover the amateurish screenplay which adds a slightly homely feel to the project.

All in all Fool is an endeavour worthy of mention. It is available at Fahim's and for Tk. 100 you can't really go wrong. Give it a try.

Collaboration by Quazi Zulquarnain Islam and Subhi Shama


Con Cops

Beware, be secured.

Stuck in my own house, as the country is in turmoil due to a series of blockades, I was wondering a few things. Why are the Bangladeshis so passive in nature? Why can't we just go and catch all our corrupted leaders? Why can't we just put them in a prison? Sounds like a five-year-old kid, right? I know it is not that easy. While I was wondering all these jibberish and muttering obscene curses, one of my friends showed up with a weird but interesting request. He wanted me to visit a place called Chankherpul, with him. Asking why? Just wait a while. IIn Chankherpul we met a sort of mullah whom the local habitants call Suruj mia. He was trying to grab our attention by yelling at us.

“Wherever he is, however he is, my special shiny, clean, new mirror will inform you about his whereabouts. Like a video camera, my mirror will capture every move of his. How did he steal the mobile phone…? (Excuse me bhaijan, it is not about cell phone, it is about the money.). My Batichalan formula is the super-duper, awesome formula. My Bati's ultimate destination is the thief. It doesn't matter how far the thief is, it doesn't matter where he is. My bati is inevitable. Standing on mountain Everest won't even help him to get away. So there is no place he can hide, there is no place he cannot be seen. I will catch him sooner or later. Two hundred percent guaranteed.”

Sounds corny? Guess who this 'Suruj Mia' is... If I try to tell you, who is this suruj mia and what does he do, then I must put it in this way. He sort of plays the role of a cop and again he is also a con artist (very very weird combination). There is only one thing Suruj Mia and the cops have in common. They both go after the thief. Both of them take money from us (ordinary citizens). One of them takes cash forcibly and the other takes money by fooling us. The latter one is Suruj Mia and that is why he is also a con artist. Nevermind, I think by now all the readers have gone cross-eyed. So let me explain the whole thing. First things first. Let me give answer to the question. Why my friend went to Chankherpul ?

My friend's father thinks that he has taken the credit card and had used it to withdraw ten thousand taka (which is really absurd because I am sure my friend would have taken more money).Anyway, I must stick to the point. Umm… where was I? Umm…( credit card bhaijan). Oh! Yes,so now my friend wants to prove that he didn't take steal the money. His father really believes in stuffs like Aynapora.and Batichalan so he thought of using these processes rather then taking help of police, in finding out the real culprit.

This is where we need people like Suraj Mia. Suruj Mia is an expert in these field (at least he thinks so). Let me describe all his formulas step by step.

1. Aynaporano formula

For these, one will need a new mirror along with Suruj Mia and his special pendant .The one who will look into the mirror has to be a libra.To find out who is the real Libra, date of birth won't come to any use. Suruj Mia's special pendant will sort that out. Placing the pendant in the middle of the circle, made by at least five people, Suruj Mia will start reciting Surahs. Then suddenly, the one who is the real Libra , will feel his/her hand moving towards the pendant very swiftly (but not slowly). Voila, that's our Libra. Then the Libra will sit in a dark room with the mirror in his hand and Suruj Mia will again start reciting Surahs. After a while our Libra will be able to see the thief or burglar (whatever you say) in the mirror.

Note one thing friends, the room has to be in complete darkness. Now how can one possibly see in dark? I mean according to physics. When light falls on an object, only then one can see the image (sorry for the short lecture). It is an enigma waiting to be solved. Okay, let's move on, still two more to go.

2. The Batichalan formula

In case of Batichalan, one will need a clean, new Bati (i.e. bowl). Suruj Mia will put a sort of handkerchief inside the bowl, hold it tightly and (not again) start reciting Surahs. The Bati will then start trembling and follow the path taken by the burglar (somehow miraculously).

3.The Powruti formula:

The powruti (i.e. bread) formula is a modified version of Chalpora (i.e. rice).

“Many people can't chew chal. Especially for old guys, it is really hard to chew. Therefore, I modified the whole process and replaced chal with powruti. Easily chewable but hard to swallow. One thing must be taken care of, water should not be provided to the suspects during the chewing process.” said Suruj mia.

How does this Powruti formula works? All suspects will have to eat the breads given by Suruj Mia (without water). Among them, one will not be able to swallow the bread. That certain one is the culprit.

So these are the three awesome, super-duper hit formulas by Suruj Mia. He demands Aynapora formula works out almost every time, then comes the Batichalan formula. But do these things really work? No, not at all. However, there are few exceptions, where these things worked. Normally it works out among the village people. So let us investigate why and how?

Let's suppose you are an illiterate person who really believes in these stuffs. You steal something from the house and the house owner brings in Suruj Mia along with his bati. Definitely, you will start believing that the Bati will somehow find you out. Note, the adversity of the situation has already started pressurizing you mentally, leaving you in a state of anxiety. When you will not be able to take it anymore. You will just put the money somewhere in the house or you will start confessing your sins. This is where people like Suruj Mia wins. Wow! It sounded like Sherlock Holmes (never mind Sir Arthur Conan Doyle). When Suruj Mia fails, he would always say 'Sorry sir, your thief is right now pushing up the daisies.'

For all the effective formulas by Suruj Mia he will take around two hundred to three hundred taka. It is so easy to fool around, folks. Trust me, this guy was so charming that he almost got us convinced. He made the whole thing so gullible. It is hard to avoid them. So friends beware and be secured. Our low level, not-so-professional con artists are out there on the streets, waiting to empty your pockets

By Adnan Quadri


Book review

All he ever wanted

Despite her familiarity with bestseller's lists, I don't recall hearing about Anita Shreve until I read her debut novel 'Eden Close' a few days back. I'd started idly thumbing through the book at the start of a traffic jam, and ended up finishing it before I reached my destination. Her clever storytelling impressed me so much, that when my dear friend Tausif Salim passed this new novel my way, I was half afraid that she would, like many authors, fail to live up to her first book. I was happily disproved by All he ever wanted.

In 1899, Nicholas Van Tassel, a college professor, escapes from a hotel fire and sees Etna Bliss for the first time, and it's love at first sight for him, and she becomes his goal. Even though she doesn't love him, Etna finally caves in under the pressure of his wooing and marries him to escape her circumstances.

As years pass, Nicholas realises that his marriage doesn't develop the passion he thought it would, and his career is also going nowhere. He takes desperate steps in order to revive both, and ultimately gets what he deserves.

No, I didn't just spoil it for you. Nicholas does that at the very start. The story is told in a series of flashbacks, in a hurried set of memoirs to his son, written on a train journey on the way to his sister. Into this rather macabre setting, Anita Shreve brings in a creepy narrator, and brings him to life. Using a stilted, formal language, infected with the pretensions of academia, with occasional lapses into painful moments of self-consciousness where the narrator becomes aware of how ridiculous and pompous he is, Shreve creates a character that's at once pitiable and repulsive. Add to that the fact that in this book you have the perfect balance between sugary romance and historical precision, and you have a most interesting read that you'll either love or hate.

By Sabrina F Ahmad
sabera.jade@gmail.com


Notice

The hunt is over, and the sorting has begun. We'd like to take this opportunity to thank everyone who sent in their applications for the call for RS Staff Writers. Currently, we're in the process of narrowing down our choices, and expect to reach our finalists in a week's time. Those selected for the post will be notified by phone. Your patience is highly appreciated.

RS Desk

 

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