The year-end saw the release of children based Assamese film ‘Zero’ (The Value of Life) which hit the theatres on December 16. Partly inspired by the Oscar-winning ‘Slumdog Millionaire’, the film depicts the socially ostracised street children, the underdogs of society, who mostly hail from the slum areas. Despite being condemned to harsh realities of life characterised by endless wretchedness and cruelty, their survival instincts and resilience sees them through the most difficult of situations. But for all its intents and purposes, the film suffered from apparent lack of promotion and publicity.
‘Zero’ is produced by Jamir Rahman and directed by Ashim Baishya under the banner of Jagreeti Cine Production. Based on a story by Ishfaque Rehman, the film’s dialogues and screenplay are written by Basanta Saikia. Various roles in the film are played by newcomers like Basanta Saikia, Anita Chakravorty, Jamir Rehman, Jaan Daflary, Saurav Jyoti Dutta, Nipu Das, Purnima Kumari, Kankana Haloi, Tarak Saha, Renu Kalita, Sailen Deka, child artistes Sahil Rehman, Bipasha Daimary, Kritartha Das, Nibir Kashyap, Pallabi Konwar, Bipasha Deka, Chinmoy Sarma, Arif Ali, Siddhartha Ramchiary, Unmon Barua, Zubeen Rituraj, Upashana Rajbongshi, Nitish Saharia, Nikita Brahma, Mayurakshi Goswami, Kristi Medhi, Rimpi Kalita, etc.
‘Zero’ is cinematographed by Raju Chetri and Prabin Basumatary at the locations of Guwahati and its outskirts. Its edited by Ashim Sarma. The film’s music is scored by Baran Bikash, Dibyajyoti Kaushik, Hemen Nath and Hirakjyoti Nath. The background music is scored by Ahir Bhairav. Songs are choreographed by Ashim Baishya and Hemanga Hazarika.
Its not often that we see an Assamese children’s film at the theatres. ‘Zero’ is one of those rare Assamese movies to be made entirely on a slum district. There have been many instances where kids hailing from slum areas have actually risen from abject poverty and utter negligence to positions of prestige and influence through sheer dint of hard work and talent.