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Movie Review

Amar Bondhu Rashed
By Sabhanaz Rashid Diya

At some point in many of our lives, we have come across a book that has influenced us immensely. It has inspired us, or made us reflect twice. It is a book we treasure. However, often in such cases, some dingbat decides to get the better of it and we are unfortunate enough to witness our cherished words turned to unflattering movie dialogues. Sad as it may be, the likes of Harry Potter, Narnia and Around the World in 80 Days are some (subjective) prime examples of the aforementioned statement. Good books turned to bad movies.

So, when I heard about my childhood treasure, Amar Bondhu Rashed being adapted to a full length feature film, I was more petrified than excited. The idea of someone doing something horribly wrong and turning this amazing book into loose shots on film was unnerving. To add, the movie was released on 1 April and all I could wish for on that day was let this not be a cruel April Fool's prank.

For once, God (and sensible directors) heard me. Sort of.

Adapted from Muhammad Zafar Iqbal's well known children's book, Amar Bondhu Rashed - the film - has been directed by Morshedul Islam, who also directed Dipu Number Two, another Zafar Iqbal bestseller. The story is told on the backdrop of the '71 War through the narratives of Ibu, a school going boy at that time and his friends, chief among whom is Rashed. The story is told in flashbacks when Ibu visits his old home with his son and relives incidents of the war. Well executed, the plot remains un-tampered and stays true to the original novel.

On first impression, Amar Bondhu Rashed seems like a decent adaptation. The narrative, dialogues and sequence of events, all left untampered. Cinematographically, perhaps not a cupcake soaked in chocolate. The camera work and arrangement is modest, and instinctively suits the mood of the plot. The story of Rashed is one of humility, courage, friendship and love, all of which were carefully embedded through the strings of the film.

Critics of the movie point towards the acting of the child-actors, which leaves much to be desired. They are stiff in places and are clearly trying their best, but they deserve a little slack as it is their debut film. Though Chowdhury Zawata Afnan, who plays the part of Rashed gives a stand alone performance, capturing Rashed's deadpan personality marvellously. What seems emotionless at first eventually reveals itself to be a mask of cold nerve that Rashed utilises.

However, taking a closer look, one would find the missing link. The film delivers, yet fails to completely grasp the audience. The attribute of any good film is its ability to transform time and space, to become relatable, to allow its audience to immerse within the plot and become one with the characters. While the book beautifully conveys that sense of longing and belonging, the movie seems a bit too predictable, too self-effacing to create that mood. Coming from a Film and Communication background, I am often told this happens when directors are too careful or actors are debuting. In their attempt to keep the novel's originality intact, they often leave out cinematographically powerful tweaks, however minor they may be.

Yet surprisingly, in spite of its flaws, Amar Bondhu Rashed was successful in bringing tears to the eyes of audiences. I have read the story cover to cover, know each scene by heart, yet in climatic moments, the film just like the novel was able to provoke me. Near the end, as I quietly rolled a tissue paper to hide my tears at a corner in Star Cineplex, I realised the film had done its job well. It created that human connection, however differently and untimely it may be… and perhaps that is what makes Amar Bondhu Rashed worth every buck.


Orin and Musarrat Rahman

We have our Johnny Depps, George Clooneys, Will Smiths and Gerard Butlers but before these super (good looking) men came along, we had another batch of gorgeous Hollywood hunks we liked to go gaga over. They've long been out of the spotlight but never forgotten. Here's our pick of the grand daddy's of male Hollywood sex symbols that rocked our worlds.

Marlon Brando: This man was one of the best actors in the world and still has tremendous influence over the generations that came after. Throughout his career, his work represented some of the best acting the world has ever seen. Apart from that, he was gorgeous. Most of us might remember him mostly from 'The Godfather' as Vito Corleone, but his earlier works let us see what an enchanting man-candy he was. Be it the abusive husband from 'A Streetcar Named Desire' or the rebel-without-a-cause from 'The Wild One', the troubled actor brought out the best in acting while looking absolutely amazing. All the other heartthrobs at that time were directly influenced by his persona and looks. So ladies, if you haven't seen Brando, you haven't seen men.

Paul Newman: He was the epitome of handsomeness: with his stunning blue eyes, blonde hair, charming smile, deep husky voice and the right attitude. Known in Hollywood as Mr. Cool, Paul Newman starred in various classic movies like 'Cool Hand Luke' and 'The Hustler'. Besides being the legend that he is, he was also a supremely generous man, donating almost all his life's earnings.

Elvis Presley: Elvis is someone who still has generations of ladies in love with him. That's some fan base. Apart from his magnificence, his charms and looks; he was a very charitable man and known throughout the world for his humility and sense of humour. Elvis appeared in 33 movies, hundreds of concerts and many TV shows. He still is one of the most important pop culture figures in the world. He is the king.

Tony Curtis: As an actor, Tony Curtis first drew attention on his startlingly good looks. With his dark, curly hair worn in a sculptural style (later copied by Elvis Presley) and his pale blue eyes, Curtis embodied a new kind of style that was so in vogue in 1950s. His very public private life and his efforts to keep it that way earned him a lot of limelight. Even though he was a fine actor, slapstick comedies like 'Some Like it Hot' and 'Spartacus' are what he is famous for. Some might say that he was a bit on the feminine side, but he was classically handsome.

James Dean Before Justin Timberlake was even a twinkle in his parents' eyes, James Dean brought sexy back. Some idiots of the world (namely the beautiful but dumb Megan Fox) compares little miss sparkles (namely Robert Pattinson) to the gorgeous James Dean but that is just a heinous crime. Famous for doing only three movies - A Rebel Without A Cause, Giant and East of - Eden before his untimely demise, James Dean cemented his status as cultural icon and the original bad boy with the baby blues to die for with his role as rebel teenager Jim Stark who defined the term 'too cool for school'. James Dean died in a horrific car crash at the age of 23 before the world got to witness him mature and get hotter with age which was truly a tragedy that we shall mourn for centuries to come. Also, apparently it is most vital information for SOME people in the RS team that we mention the brand of the stupid car that killed the delicious Mr. Dean, a Porsche Vyper or Spyder or something [Editor's note: Porsche 550 Spyder, called Little “fatherless-son”, or something along those lines].

Robert Redford Robert Redford is one in a million. A film producer/director/model, an environmentalist, a philanthropist, a businessman with oodles and oodles of sugar daddy money and an Oscar winning actor with good looks to make any woman melt into a warm gooey puddle of adoration. He's done famous films such as The Great Gatsby, Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid and Ordinary People.

Clark Gable 'Frankly my dear, I don't give a damn' he said as Rhett Butler rejecting Scarlett O'Hara's love, immortalising the lines forever in the epic (snoozefest) Civil War film Gone with the Wind. Clark Gable with his refined, tall, dark, handsome and southern gentleman-like looks and personality made us swoon and wish we were born during his time only to have a slight chance of love with him.

Warren Beatty He's won Academy Award nominations and Golden Globes for his work as an actor AND as a famous director but he's most remembered for his charming good looks. He played the oh so rugged and sexy Clyde in the 1967 biopic Bonnie & Clyde about the escapades of iconic American robbers Bonnie Parker and Clyde Barrow. He also directed the whole thing!

Frank Sinatra Ah that voice could make you swoooon! And Oh, that smile! Everyone knows him as the famous jazz vocalist of New York New York and Fly Me to the Moon (amongst many many MANY other great classics) but he was a great actor as well. Did you know that he was THE Danny Ocean in the original Ocean's Eleven movie?

Movie stars from the old days are way superior in the ways they embodied their time. Their comparison to the pasty teenage-y looking stars these days are almost laughable. Sure, we have our share but they are influenced by these brilliant (not to mention smouldering hot) men. They truly are a class above.


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