Bahniman... the movie
It would not be wrong to say that as a mainstream commercial cinema, Bahniman is one of the few bilingual films to be made in Assamese.
Biswajeet Bora, the director, story and screenplay writer of the film, started his career on the editing tables and moved on to assist Jahnu Barua , a filmmaker who needs no introduction. His path to direction began with his first movie Ejak Junaakir Jilmil, which gained critical recognition in many international film festivals world over. Much later in the year 2015 he made his first Hindi movie, Aisa Yeh Jahan.
Talking about Bahniman, he says, the movie happened without prior notice. He wanted to make an Assamese movie, which would be totally a commercial cinema with the right dose of action, drama, giggle and thrills. A movie that would be visually appealing to all section of the masses.
The story unfolds with a plot of land being the prized booty. Viewers would feel the movie deals with land grabbing issues. But as it progresses, the spectators are pleasantly delighted to realize that there is a cat and mouse chase going on between the four central characters of the movie. The gangster, his confidant and a lady cop are all chasing main protagonist.
On asking him if there were reasons to make the film bilingual, he says, Guwahati is now no longer a small town with a handful of people. The city has grown into a cosmopolitan and is a diverse cluster with people from cross section of society. The target audience was not confined to just one section of the viewers.
The four central characters – Bahadur, Kanu Sharma, Preeti and Bikram (played by Jatin Bora, Yashpal Sharma, Rimi Hazarika and Ravi Janghu correspondingly) are introduced neatly one at a time as the story develops and progresses.
Bikram, the protagonist, is the calm and sober character. His underplay is a fair deal to the boisterous and energetic characters of the other three leads, toning it down evenly.
The film has its lighter moments in the form of dialogues. The characters do not try and attempt too hard to be funny. The humor is situational and is etched out by the characters effortlessly. Arun Hazarika as the assistant cop is definitely the show stopper when it comes to comic timings and it blends in smoothly without interrupting the flow of the story.
While speaking to the Director, I asked him why did he brought in or better outsource the DoP (Titu Jena) , action director (Koushal-Moshes) and the editor (Suresh Pai). And he aptly replied that he wanted to make a movie which would stand at par with movies made nationally. He also added he gave a free hand to his entire team to improvise during the making of the film. All he was looking for was to bring newness to the Assamese film industry.
And he has lived up to his words. The movie is glossy, fast paced and stylishly made.