“A love story amidst agitation and crime... Find out about the fight to survive, during the Bangladeshi freedom struggle.”
The above brief is what you would find in the description section of Hoichoi’s web-series Ekattor. It is in our innate nature of cinephiles to bring in a comparison when a film deals with love in the midst of military espionage, war and struggle for freedom. As much as you want to keep Alia Bhatt-Vicky Kaushal starrer Raazi out of your mind, it keeps recurring. Now imagine the film Raazi being directed by Anurag Kashyap, is a gangster based series. Ekattor brings it all out.
In the first episode Shaape Neule, a war between two men break out when one points a gun and the other points a knife. What remains unrealistic is how the two people take a break from their physical fight so a protest rally could pass. Their aggression is limited and they have the ability to control their anger when a march for freedom comes in the way.
The cast included Mostofa Monowar, Nusrat Imrose Tisha, Rafiath Rashid Mithila, Iresh Zaker, Mostafizur Noor Imran, Tariq Anam Khan, Shatabdi Wadud, Deepanwita Martin under the direction of Tanim Noor.
The movements of each of these actors seemed to controlled by an invisible string that acts like a barrier. Did the director shout ‘CUT!’ at a moment when they were completely immersed in their respective characters? Or did he just scream ‘ACTION’ at a slightly unprepared moment? It was easy to sense the interruption which happened in between the shots. However, editor Robin Khan has done a marvellous job in covering up what appeared to be slightly flawed.
One needs innate knowledge about linguistic, enunciation, to understand the unexplained arenas in the series Ekattor. Bengalis who grew up in Kolkata and Bengalis who grew up in Bangladesh’s Dhaka tend to develop different accents. But one could only catch that either if they have studied linguistic in details, or if they have spent a major amount of time in their life associating with people from Kolkata and Dhaka. But for those who rely on subtitles to know about Bangladesh’s freedom for struggle, the characters, their background will partially remain unclear to them.
That may not be a big cause of worry for Hoichoi too, which serves mainly to Bengali audience, who are expected to be aware of accentuation.
Music & Other Departments
Thematically, everything remains in place when it comes to sound mixing and editing. Fortunately, the background score does not overthrow the dialogues.
It’s impossible not to develop an immense amount of patriotism while watching this series. Struggle for freedom, be it in India, Pakistan or Bangladesh have been sensitive periods of time in the history of these nations, that led to various Hindu-Muslim division, riots, and memories which India badly wants to forget, but sadly couldn’t as they are all part of our history.
At a time when there has been a rise in communal events in Pakistan, Bangladesh, a fear secretly lingers hoping that this does not incite the wrong sense in people.
The series released at a time when anti-CAA protestors or pro-CAA protestors in India became lost news. The Citizenship Amendment Act which was passed in India allowed Hindu, Sikh, Jain, Parsis, Christian, Jewish refugees from Pakistan, Bangladesh, Afghanistan, live a dignified life in India. However, an eruption of protest took place in India from December to February before the fear of coronavirus led everyone to maintain social distancing and isolate themselves.
Did I enjoy It?
To enjoy films or web-series such as Ekattor one needs an immense amount of knowledge in history, political science, to understand the gravity of such content.
Do I recommend it?
Only after forming a strong knowledge about what led to the formation of India, Pakistan and Bangladesh, one could recommend another person to watch the series.
Ratings: 2.5/5 stars