The film ‘Kajolrekha’ will take you back to 400 years ago

Director Giasudin Selim made the film 'Kajolrekha' based on 'Maimansingha Geetika'.Collage

It’s neither a thriller filled with a lot of mystery nor action-packed. There’s no trace of Bollywood. You can almost feel the connection of old Bengali culture throughout the whole length of the story. The style of presentation and storytelling technique transports you back to the long forgotten past of Bengal from hundreds of years ago.

I’m talking about the film ‘Kajolrekha’, that is based on the old literary work ‘Maimansingha Gitika’. It’s a love story from 400 years back. A story that revolves around a girl named Kajolrekha. This film of director Giasuddin Selim unfolded with mesmerizing elements on every turn.

This musical-drama began indeed with a hymn with actor Abul Kalam Azad lip-synching to it. What’s interesting is this actor has appeared in five different characters in this film.

Though he came on the screen for a small amount of time he took the limelight away in every character including the character of a partner in a game of Pasha, fisherman and priest. You can say that the director has succeeded in portraying the major as well as the minor roles.  

Mandira Chakraborty in scene of the film 'Kajolrekha'
taken from Facebook

The film, right from the beginning, moved forward in the same pace. There wasn’t much load rather there was an image of neater times. It’s huge hill tract region. There’s a path right on the side with a pond beside. There’s a hut in the middle.

The character ‘Shadhu Dhanshwar’ arranges his game of Pasha in that there. The bamboo-made hut, actors’ look, dialect and body language in that scene transport us back to 400 years ago.  

The shooting location was in Susang Durgapur of Netrakona. A shooting set had been constructed there for three months. You could realise that they had to spend a lot of time on the costumes of the cast, location and background score. For a minute-long scene, they constructed a market place from Rangoon from 400 years ago.

It doesn’t take much time to enter into the story from seeing the representation of folk culture and Bengali tradition from that time. Because of the skilled cinematography, the film was intriguing the mind to travel back to a time 400 years ago.

The performances from actors in the minor characters were also noticeable in the film.

The linear story became enjoyable indeed because of the smart presentation. It grabs viewer’s attention till the very end. The scene of Shadhu playing a game of Pasha in the beginning was filled with excitement. Shadhu almost lost his mind by pawning everything in that game.

He went from a king to a beggar. His wife and daughter Kajolrekha were saved from gambling. He along with them started a new journey of survival. Right amidst that troubling time, a mysterious bird ‘Shukhpakhi’ came to them to overturn their fate.

Dhaneshwar took the bird to his wife and said, “Our luck will change just if we follow the instructions of this bird.” His wife, played by actress Sahana Sumi doesn’t pay much attention to him. She skeptically said, “One who doesn’t listen to people, will listen to a bird!” But sadhu is now toughened by the strokes of life. He starts doing business again.  

Actor Eresh Jaker in the character of Shadhu Dhaneshwar deserves special mention. He heaved the film forward for the most part of it. Apart from him there was Sadia Ayman in the character of younger Kajolrekha. When this actress who became popular from doing drama did this film, no one knew her that much.

Sadia Ayman in a scene of the film 'Kajolrekha'.
taken from Facebook

Though this was her first film, there was no uneasiness in her acting. She was well-suited with that time period. The way of her dialogue delivery, expression and her innocence in the character of a 13-year-old girl amazed the viewers. Many including an acclaimed actress like Suborna Mustafa have praised her performance in the film.

Alongside the main characters, the performances from actors in the minor characters were also noticeable in the film. When the maids do lip-sync with the wedding song, their acting seemed so neat. You must also mention actor Shariful Razz, who played a king from 400 year ago.

Shariful Razz in a scene of the film 'Kajolrekha'

The king realises that his maid is not actually a maid, rather some princess. What’s her real identity? He was natural in the scenes where the king shows his weakness towards the maid or where he frantically looks for her after banishing her into the forest in a moment of rage.  

You must also mention actress Mithila in the character of Konkon Dashi who turned into the queen. In one of the scenes where a hole was being dug into the earth, this actress inquisitively goes to the king and asks him what was it for?

Mithila in a scene from the film 'Kajolrekha'

The king carelessly answered that the king from their neighboring estate is about to attack them and when he does they will hide in there. Hearing this, she rushed inside to get her valuables and gets down inside the pothole herself with those. She still hadn’t realized that she will be buried inside that hole for pretending to be the queen. Mithila appeared in a whole different avatar in many such scenes.  

Actress Mandira Chakraborty utilised the opportunity of playing Kajolrekha in the film to a great extant. Though her expressions were good, her look seemed somewhat contemporary. Besides, she could have been more careful about her dialogue delivery. The same goes for Razz in some of the scenes.  

Khairul Bashar in a scene of the film 'Kajolrekha'
taken from Facebook

Meanwhile, actor Khairul Bashar also performed really well. However, he seemed a little less-suited in the role of Razz’s friend because of his age. The director seemed to move away from the original story a bit in the final scene of the film. He would have been just better off without doing so.

A tiny detail about the different spellings of Shariful Razz’s name in the first an end credits also caught the eye. Overall the film would remain a historical document and open new horizons for the young generation.

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