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In memory of "Ghuddi “ film director Syed Salahuddin Zaki bhai

Masud  Pathik

Masud Pathik

Tue, 19 Sep 23

I didn't have much relation with filmmaker Syed Salahuddin Zaki bhai due to our significant age gap. However, among us, there was a connection—a "hi-hello" rapport. But it was with the advent of his epochal masterpiece, the blockbuster sensation "Ghuddi," that our connection transcended the mere cordiality of acquaintanceship. It metamorphosed into something far more profound—a love affair with the silver screen. On December 19, 1980, one of the timeless classics in the history of Bangladesh cinema, "Ghuddi," was released. At that time, I was very young, and my understanding of cinema was limited. It wasn't until the 1990s, when I had grown a bit older, that I became acquainted with this film as a filmmaker myself. I was overwhelmed when I watched this film.Ghuddi movie poster

This film, unlike many others in Bangladesh, may not have been a commercial blockbuster, but it stands as a testament to the power of meaningful storytelling and artistic richness.

"Ghuddi" is a true representation of Bangladeshi romance on screen, a genre that is not always prevalent in the market but has a special place in the hearts of those who appreciate it. The dialogues, characters, and narrative of this film resonate deeply, reflecting the post-liberation era of Bangladesh. The story of this film revolved around Asad, an educated but unemployed youth, who resided in a tin-roofed house near water tank in Fokirapul area of Dhaka city.

Ghuddi movie behind the scene

Financial stability eluded him, and he led a modest life. In the morning, he would spend his time at a friend's laundry, and during the afternoons, he would enjoy meals at his friend's office in Motijheel, engaging in conversations and banter.

He would occasionally go out with clothes from his friend's laundry. He even took his rickshaw fare from his friend to get around. Asad drove to Hotel Intercontinental together in his friend's car. Upon reaching the hotel, Asad's friend went inside, leaving Asad waiting in the car. While standing by the car, a young woman approached him and informed him that he needed to move his car to make way for her vehicle. In the course of the conversation, Asad instructed his friend's driver to fetch the car key from him. When the young woman attempted to start her car, it wouldn't start.

At this point, Asad decided to help. He lifted the young woman into her car and drove in front of his friend. The young lady asks Asad to stop the car at his friend's laundry, Asa stops the car and she comes back after changing the attires.

On the way, they ran into a friend, and the young lady introduced herself as "Ghuddi." When Asad arrived in front of Ghuddi's house, she asked him for his name, to which Asad falsely replied, "Mohabbat Ali." One day, Ghuddi visited the laundry again, but she had no money with her. When they reached the Shyamali Cinema Hall, she couldn't afford to buy Pepsi and vegetable rolls at the canteen.

In this way, Asad and Ghuddi spent a lot of time together, gradually falling in love with each other. And this love story became unforgettable, all centered around that cinema.

Suborna Mustafa acting on ghuddi movie

Even though this storyline may seem simple, the filmmaking style, political critique, acting, and the depth of the narrative have elevated "Ghuddi" to a unique position. Although advanced technology might not have been prevalent during the 1980s when I watched Bangladeshi cinema, "Ghuddi" stood out due to its modern storytelling and filmmaking style. It triumphed over the limitations of its time.

As a result, "Ghuddi" holds a significant place as one of the powerful films among the alternative genre of Bangladeshi cinema.

Director Syed Salahuddin Zaki had once shared his thoughts on the film "Ghuddi" in a nostalgic remembrance.

He said, "Today, December 19th. It's the 40th anniversary of 'Ghuddi.' Remembering this, actress Subarna Mustafa remarked, 'Isn't it so! Even though the film 'Ghuddi' was made 40 years ago, its impact still continues. If I talk about the songs, 'Abar Elo Je Shondha,' 'Ke Banshi Bajay Re,' 'Ghum Ghum Ghum Chokhe Dey Chum,' these are still being remade. It's a milestone movie, a trends-setter in cinema."

In the 1980 film "Ghuddi," Subarna Mustafa played the leading role and portrayed the character of Ghuddi. Other notable cast members included Raisul Islam Asad, Nasiruddin Yousuff, Tarik Anam Khan, Nayla Azad Nupur, and Sayed Hasan Imam.

This film marked a significant milestone in Subarna Mustafa's acting career. Additionally, all the characters in the movie retained their original names, contributing to the film's unique and realistic portrayal of its characters and storyline.

Syed Salahuddin Zaki bhai, despite "Ghuddi" being his first film, made an exceptional contribution to Bangladeshi cinema. In 1980, he directed his debut film "Ghuddi," which earned him the prestigious National Film Award for Best Screenplay Writer. Apart from this, the film's cinematographer, Shafiqul Islam Swapan, also received recognition and awards in the Best Cinematographer category.

Following "Ghuddi," Zaki directed several other films, including "Lal Benaroshi" and "Ayana Bibir Pala." In the late 90s, he also served as the Chief Executive of Bangladesh Television. Salahuddin Zaki bhai indeed made significant contributions to Bangladeshi cinema, even though he did not direct a large number of films. Syed Salahuddin Zaki has directed two films in his last days.

The two films produced by Impress Telefilm are 'Aparajeya Eka' and 'Krantikaal'. Finally, it should be noted that Syed Salahuddin Zaki, a multifaceted artist who excelled as a filmmaker, storyteller, dialogue writer, actor, director, and writer, will be remembered and honored for his creative contributions. Our heartfelt and humble tribute to him upon his passing!  

Author: Poet and filmmaker

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