Assamese film ‘Alifa’, which had bagged the Swarna Kamal for Best Debut Film of a Director for Deep Choudhury, has finally hit the theatres on April 6. The film was originally scheduled for release on March 30, but was postponed in favour of Bollywood film ‘Baaghi 2’.
It was crushing news for the filmmakers and many of those fans and enthusiasts, as the social media was abuzz with great expectations from the movie, dealing with a topical subject that has the potential to challenge mainstream Bollywood fares and others of the kind.
The film is an analytical account of poverty-stricken daily wage earners, living on a hilly terrain, overlooking the sprawling city of Guwahati. With a sharp urban-rural divide and mix, Deep Choudhury’s bilingual (Assamese and Bengali) movie succinctly focuses on everyday nuances of the hard life led by Ali, his wife Fatima (enacted by actors Baharul Islam and Jaya Seal) and their two children Alifa and Faisal, inside the dwindling forest in the city outskirt where they are at the mercy of a corrupt forest guard.
However, it is not as agonising as faltering moralities for Ali when he finds out that their already constrained existence is intruded by Fatima’s secret lover at her work place. In addition to regular insults and abuses on city streets, Ali is now confronted with a devastating emotional crisis.
The film is about the sheer tenacity of these underdogs, living on the fringes of society, fighting to meet the basic needs of life that encompasses various issues like poverty, immigration, basic human struggle to exist, lost innocence among other things. The film shrewdly assesses the contemporary situation in the socio-political, economical and environmental context, and is a work of heartfelt intimacy. The film was also being released across several theatres in West Bengal.
The film, produced by Arman Ahmed, stars artistes like Baharul Islam, Pakhija Hasmi, Jaya Seal Ghosh, Prasun Gain, Victor Banerjee, Satyaranjan Sahu, etc. ‘Alifa’s screenplay is written by the director Deep Choudhury himself. While the cinematography is done by Nahid Ahmed, the music is scored by Arunjyoti Sharma and the sound is designed by Anirban Borthakur.