Veteran filmmaker of award winning and critically acclaimed films like ‘Jooj’ and ‘Gorokhiya’, Hemen Das’s new Assamese film ‘Mriganabhi’ is all set to hit the screens on March 3. The film based on a story by Dr Arupa Patangia Kalita, focuses on the angst of a deprived woman.
Women have been deprived in various ways since time immemorial. Although education and awareness have reduced deprivation to some extent, still it’s far from extinction.
The conflict ridden life of Xuntora as portrayed in this film is one of the myriad problems faced by the women everywhere, the uninterrupted struggle to overcome the hypocrisy and humiliation of society. ‘Mriganabhi’ is a glaring example of a situation where the conflict of ideologies accosts a soft, vulnerable mind – the yearning for an ethical and value based life on the one hand and a lustful society on the other.
Married to a wealthy, unfaithful husband, a tea planter, Xuntora realises early on that as a woman, she has no liberty at all. She is just a lifeless soul, a mentally tormented woman whose freedom of self-expression has been squashed. But despite the odds going against her, Xuntora finally manages to break free of the traditional expectations for women in society, by gathering her courage and will-power to stand up for her rights and dignity.
“The film will inspire and provide strength and courage to women to fight against all the problems and conflicts faced by them,” said director Hemen Das, who emerges after a 22 year hibernation to direct this movie.
Though women aren’t proportionately represented on screen, ‘Mriganabhi’ will perhaps change that aspect with its strong protagonist, a woman whose fierce spirit emboldens her to to curve out a strong identity of her own by overthrowing all the challenges through education and consciousness.
The veteran filmmaker, also the film’s script writer, has been careful in keeping intact the spirit of the story while creating his own vision. It will be interesting to see how the audience reacts to his comeback project especially since the industry has recently been making decent strides in terms of story-telling technique and treatment. Hemen Das made his filmmaking debut with the Rajat Kamal winning ‘Jooj’ (The Fight) in 1990, joining other new wave of thinking directors. Besides being a filmmaker, he has authored several books on drama, acting and film art, including ‘Natya Silpa’, ‘Pom Khedi’, ‘Cinema Cinema’, ‘Abhinoy’, ‘Akonihat – Cinema Nirman Koro Aha’, ‘Chalachitrar Prasangat’ and ‘Silpachinta’ which are absolute must-reads for filmmakers, artistes, critics, film buffs, etal.
The leading role of the protagonist is played by seasoned actress Prastuti Parashar, who has captured the essence of the character with her intelligence and ability. The role even fetched her the Best Actress Award at the 6th Dadasaheb Phalke Film Festival 2016. The film also stars Rajib Goswami, Jowan Dutta, Nipon Goswami, Nilu Chakravorty, Bina Baruwati, Krishna Phukan, Madhurima Chowdhury, Gourisankar Das, Sumitra Kalita, Lanishree Das, child artistes Mriganga Raj Roy, Diya Bora and Pritismita Deka. The film’s cinematography is by Suraj Duwarah, whose debut film in the Rabha language – ‘Orong’ fetched him the National Award in 2014. The music is scored by Tarali Sarma, while the sound designing is done by Debajit Gayan and editing is by Anendra Prasad Sarma. The art direction is handled by Golok Saha, while make-up is provided by Babul Das and Biswajit Kalita, and costumes are by Kiran Bora. The film’s chief assistant director is Narayan Seal, who is a filmmaker in his own right. The dialogues are written by Dr Arupa Patangia Kalita and Hemen Das. ‘Mriganabhi’ is produced by Bishnu Deka under the banner of ‘YNOT Solutions’.