After a decade of marriage we realized that we have not gone to watch a movie together. Two of us are not Bollywood or Hollywood fans, but both of us are reasonably knowledgeable about Hindi movies. I used to watch well known Assamese movies in the past, but due to changing times and bad time management, I am no more a regular viewer of Assamese movies.
It is great to note that Assamese cinema has drawn serious media attention. After the success of Rima Das there seems to be renewed energy all around. I was keen to see “Village Rockstars” but again due to poor time management I am yet go to a theatre to watch the movie.
A tech savvy colleague of mine informed me about Netflix and advised me that I can watch any latest movie without going to a cinema hall. Accordingly I logged in Netflix but could not find “Village Rockstars” there.
Using the search criterion “Assamese movie” I could find only one Assamese movie and it was “Maj Rati Keteki”. Directed by practicing physician Santwana Bordoloi, it is a thought provoking movie. I had to watch the movie in three parts, again due to poor time management skills. In the first two parts I felt I might require special focus to understand the movie. But while watching the third part of the movie I realized that it was engrossing. There are so many things the filmmaker is trying to address such as rural and semi urban poverty in Assam, opulence of a select few, underlying caste conflict in an apparently cohesive society, ignorance, corruption, child labor, child molestation, linguistic and ethnic diversities and even marital sex.
The movie is successful in portraying the contemporary society. At a personal level I got some new insights as well. I had no idea that Assamese literature is glamorous. Some people naturally clamor for recognition and rewards etc. But as I understand from the movie that even “me too” exists in Assamese literary circles.
Somewhere in the movie I found the highly respected Assamese author Sauarv Kumar Chalia by way of “Subh Barta Chaliha”. I understand Santwana Bordoloi and Saurabh Kumar Chaliha worked together at some point in time, perhaps for making All India Radio dramas. Also Saurabh Kumar Chaliha wrote an exceptionally beautiful review of Santwana Bordoloi’s first movie “Adajya”. But the character “ Subh Barta Chaliha “ in the movie has remained unclear in my mind.
The use of informal/ slang language was another new thing I found in the movie. Most of the Assamese movies I saw used soft, simple and text-bookish language. Santwana Bordoloi’s venture is perhaps as per needs of changing times.
The “Maj Rati Keteki” or the mid night hawk cuckoo inspired Dr. Bordoloi to make such a wonderful film. Hope the bird keeps singing and keeps reminding her that we want more and more films made by her.