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'Mujib: The Making of a Nation' not only a movie but a document of a nation

Masud  Pathik

Masud Pathik

Mon, 9 Oct 23

Finally, the wait is over and the biopic of Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, 'Mujib: The making of a nation', directed by seven times Indian National Film Award winning director Shyam Benegal, is set to be released. This is not the first time that Shyam Benegal has worked on biographies of historically famous people. Shyam Benegal had earlier produced biopics on Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose, Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi and Jawaharlal Nehru. These movies had impressed the critics and the audiences earlier.

 Apart from making biopics, Shyam Benegal, the director of famous movies like Manthan, Ankur, Nishant, has also done various epic works for the Indian television --'Bharat Ek Khoj' or 'Jatra'. Nit’s the time to see how he made the biopic of Bangabandhu. In this case, I will say that I really liked the recently released trailer of the movie.

The 98-second trailer of ‘Mujib: The Making of a Nation’ was launched on the third day of 75th Cannes Festival in France but it drew flak on social media and other platforms. Soon after the trailer went viral on variousocial media platforms including Facebook and YouTube, a widespread controversy started.
Cinema lovers expressed dissatisfaction over the acting and the voice of the lead actor Arifin Shuvoo in addition to use of VFX and contradiction to history in the trailer.

However, director Shyam Benegal later clarified the matter in an interview given to The Telegraph Online. Expressing surprise at reactions on social media, the veteran director pointed out that people had not seen the film yet. “You cannot pass a comment on a film by seeing a 90-second trailer. You can comment on just the trailer.”

Shyam Benegal said, “I just got a message that there have been some comments. It is very difficult for me to guess why they are upset. I will check once I reach office on Monday. The presentation in Cannes went off very well. The Bangladesh information minister and their ambassador were there.”

I agree with his words. However, the trailer was later removed by the makers. Some parts are re-shot. In that context, the trailer was released again. This time audience appreciated it even though many people say it could have been done better. Still I think the trailer is well done.

Popular actor Arifin Shubo is seen in the role of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman in the movie. I loved seeing him in the trailer as the director tried to bring him closer to Bangabandhu, though not completely. Apart from that, the trailer shows that Shubo himself has worked hard for the character. Bangabandhu's voice, style, fiery speech, body language - these are impossible to copy exactly. No mamatter how much effort you put, none can portray Bangabandhu completely.

But, the trailer says that Shubho put hard effort in portraying Bangabandhu. His job here to display Bangabandhu's life and struggle before the audience. Apart from the voice, I found the entire thing fine enough, especially his expression, attire and attitude was wonderful. I think, Shubho has delivered his best here. I think, he did his level best and I have no complaint in this regard.

The life of Bangladesh's first president, later Prime Minister, Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman is like a Greek tragedy. The language movement, liberation war, independent Bangladesh, the emerging of Bangalis, birth of a nation - all happened because of Bangabandhu. In particular, this movie will describe how Bangabandhu became the architect of a nation and independent Bangladesh. Bangabandhu was adamant from the beginning in question of Bangla as national tongue, 'Rashtra Bhasha Bangla Chai'. The people of East Pakistan got the independent Bangladesh through a bloody movement. The history of blood-shade has emerged throughout this trailer. The struggle, sacrifice, determination of Sheikh Mujibur Rahman for the nation has been filmed in this movie. Looking straight at the eyes if the autocratic Pakistan rulers, Bangabandhu said, "We have given a lot of blood, a lot more blood we shall give if need be, but we shall liberate the people of this country, Insha Allah ". Sadly, his 55 years of glorious life was cut short by a brutal event. Shyam Benegal has tried to portray Bangabandhu from birth to death thoroughly in this film.
The work of the movie started in 2019 with 60 percent expense of Bangladesh and 40 percent of India. The first phase of shooting began in late January 2021 at Dada Saheb Phalke Studios in Mumbai and ended on December 18 in Bangladesh. The first poster of the film was released on Bangabandhu's birth anniversary on March 17 last year, the second poster on May 3 and the trailer of the movie at the Cannes Film Festival in France on May 19. Dayal is working as an associate director. The movie has a song titled 'Achin Majhi' penned by Zahid Akbar, music directed by Shantanu Maitra.

Apart from Shubho, the movie is starred among others by Dibya Joyti as younger Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, Nusrat Imrose Tisha as Renu (Sheikh Fazilatunnesa Mujib), Prarthana Fardin Dighi as younger Renu, Nusraat Faria as Sheikh Hasina, Wania Zarin Anvita as Sheikh Hasina, between the ages of 8 and 12 years, Shahidul Alam Sachchu as A. K. Fazlul Huq, Fazlur Rahman Babu as Khondaker Mostaq Ahmad, Raisul Islam Asad as Abdul Hamid Khan Bhashani, Riaz as Tajuddin Ahmad, Gazi Rakayet as Abdul Hamid, Renu's grandfather, Abeer Soofi as Major Ashok Tara (a war hero), Tushar Khan as Manik Mia, Shatabdi Wadud as a Pakistani Army officer, Khairul Alam Sabuj as the father of Bangabandhu, Sheikh Lutfar Rahman 65–94 years, Chanchal Chowdhury as Sheikh Lutfar Rahman between the ages of 45 and 65 years, Dilara Zaman as the mother of Bangabandhu, Sayera Khatun, Sangeeta Chowdhury as younger Sayera Khatun, Tauquir Ahmed as Huseyn Shaheed Suhrawardy, Dewan Mohammad Saiful Islam Sayem Samad as Syed Nazrul Islam, Somu Chowdhury as Qamaruzzaman, Khalilur Rahman Quadri as Mansur Ali, Khondaker Hafiz as General MAG Osmani, Misha Sawdagor as General Ayub Khan, Sabila Nur as Sheikh Rehana, Samanta Rahman as younger Sheikh Rehana,vSomnath Chatterjee as Sheikh Kamal, Ishrak Turjo as younger Sheikh Kamal between the ages of 8 and 12 years, Touhid as younger Sheikh Kamal under the age of 5, Sharif Siraj as Sheikh Jamal, Rokeya Prachy as an old lady, Siam Ahmed as Shamsul Huq, Azizul Hakim as Abdur Rab Serniabat, Abul Kalam Azad as a jail guard, Naziba Bashar as Sultana Kamal, Zayed Khan as General Tikka Khan, Irfan Sajjad as Moazzem Hossain, Ashiul Islam as Mohiuddin Ahmed, Elina Shammi as Khaleda Zia, Nairuj Sifat as Parveen Jamal Rosy, Sabbir Hossain as Tofail Ahmed, Mostafizur Noor Imran as Sheikh Fazlul Haque Mani, Masood Akhtar as a resident of Tungipara, Jaffna Subaita Hasan as a member of Mujib's family.

The film is set to hit cinemas in Bangladesh and India on October 13. The biopic is not noly a movie but also a document of the nation.

This movie has portrayed how Bangabandhu became the architect of a nation. But the director admitted before starting work that keeping the Bangabandhu biopic free from controversy is a big challenge. The 88-year-old Shyam Benegal has been making 'Mujib: The making of a nation' for the last four years. This movie is the product of his many sleepless nights. He returned as a director after 13 long years with this movie. Now it is only a matter of time to see how Shyam Benegal made the movie. Lets hope for the best for now.

Author: Poet and Cinema Producer

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