There have been hardly any Assamese films that have realistically depicted author-backed characters with physical and mental disability. One wonders as to why a subject so sensitive and so much a part of reality have been callously neglected in our films. However little that’s been shown in our films doesn’t say much. The physically challenged are left without any respectful representation. Perhaps the filmmakers here lack that much ingenuity or are ill-equipped to deal with such themes.
A new Assamese film entitled ‘Pratyahbaan’ has been made with an aim to generate public awareness about physical and mental disability. The film directed by Nipon Dholua, is now all set to hit the theatres all over on June 10. This film has been designed to appeal to a broad range of audiences that would change pre-conceived notions about disabilities. A special show of ‘Pratyahbaan’ was held at the Gold Cinema in Paltanbazar on May 26, attended by among others Dr. Mahendra Singh, Assam BJP in-charge, artistes, technicians and film enthusiasts.
Dholua is interested in issues confronting the contemporary society, as was noticed in his very first film ‘Me and my Sister’ (2012). The film dealt with the issue of female foeticide, a rampantly practiced social evil in the country, and the inequality of rights among women. The film was richly feted at the State Film Awards, Prag Cine Awards, Asom Sahitya Sanmilan among others. It also received an award from the Citizen Rights Trust in a function held in New Delhi with the general theme of Women of Vision to Lead Change, on the occasion of International Women’s Day on March 2016, organised by the Indian Society of International Law.
Nipon Dholua’s other venture, the censored ‘Morisika’ clinched the Best Film Award in the North East Cinema section at the 4th Delhi International Film Festival. This yet to be released movie also carries a strong social message.
Nowadays parents from mostly affluent background are seemingly neglecting their children. They hardly have any time to get to know their children who mostly grow up in an emotional vacuum. In the absence of parental attention and interest, children easily take to bad habits.
The story of ‘Pratyahbaan’ revolves around Akash, a differently abled boy who is facing such a dilemma. Bereft of friends and socially isolated, he is deprived of his parents’ love and attention. Its almost impossible to discover love in the world around him. The boy is left to his own device most of the time.
But things brightened up a bit when Akash falls in love with his new school teacher Garima who showed him love and care.
Garima has also a story to tell. She fled her hometown as a result of atrocities perpetrated on her by her husband and relocated herself in Guwahati.
Sarat Bordoloi, Akash’s father is a DGP and was previously posted in the hometown of Garima. He knew the dark past of Garima. He starts blackmailing her, and indulges in a clandestine affair with her.
But Garima confines herself in a small room and ceases from going to school. Akash, who was in love with Garima starts missing her very badly as a result. In Garima he discovered the love of his life. The mental condition of Akash starts deteriorating. Realising this, and out of compassion, she finally agrees to meet Akash.
The joy of Akash knows no bounds as he would meet Garima, his love, the meaning of his life. But Garima is in an advance stage of pregnancy. Yet out of compassion, she agrees to meet Akash. But fate has other things in store.
The film’s story, script and dialogues have been penned by director Dholua himself. Various roles are essayed by Baharul Islam, Trisha Khan (Mumbai), Bhagawat Pritam, Maitrayee Goswami, Ranjiv Lal Baruah, Dishan Dholua, Anurag, Kethrin Dholua etc. The music is scored by Arup Patgiri. The film’s theme song written by Diganta Bharati is rendered by Zubeen Garg and Gargee Dutta. ‘Pratyahbaan’ is filmed on locations in Assam and the North East by Prithviraj Dutta. The film’s executive producer is Barnali Dholua. The film’s publicity designer is Kamal Kumar and Focus Media.
‘Pratyahbaan’ is produced by Dholua under his flagship banner NBDK Production. He is hopeful that his film will shatter people’s superstitions and fallacies regarding people with disabilities. Children living with disabilities deserve to be cared for, respected and loved by everyone in society.