New Theatres was a a pioneer production house founded by the legendary B.N.Sircar quite a few decades back when the talkies were replacing the silent era. A record number of films (around 150) were produced during that time in three or four languages from the 30s till the mid 50s –Bengali, Hindi, Urdu and even Tamil. It helped to launch the careers of many stalwarts like Debaki Bose,Pramathesh Barua,Bimal Roy,Prithviraj Kapoor,K.L.Saigal, Kanna Devi,Pankaj Mullick, Nitin Bose,Raichand Boral and many others all of whom went on to become legendary names after being associated with films under the New Theaters banner. They last produced a film in the 50s and after that for some reason they did not produce any film for so many years for some reason or the other. However any film which they will produce is expected to have solid content like their films of yesteryears. No wonder they have backed a film like Aami Adu.
Aami Adu is a very touching film about many things, It is about a love story about a Muslim boy and a Hindu Brahmin girl, it is about wants, it is about religious harmony, it is about the Gulf War affecting lives of people in other countries, it is about a lot more.
The moving tale about a Hindu Brahmin girl and a Muslim guy from a neighbouring village stays with us right till the end just like certain other factors. It is the overall performances of the artistes which help to maintain the standards. Whether the sets which look just about right, the Padma looks beautiful and the cinematography is very good.One particular scene is where Adu runs with the aeroplane and waves upwards with the hope that her husband might come back and be in the aeroplane! Excellent! The Gulf War actually becomes important in the war because it is the war which actually affects the life of the villagers specially the families of Suleiman, Adu and Swapan and changes their lives forever. The film is a very personal film and every character seems to be tormented by certain factors which make them very tense. A very important factor about the film is religious harmony and tolerance. The film tells us through the marriage of Suleiman and Adu that all religions are equal and there is one God. Also if one wants, one can live harmoniously in spite of religious beliefs and societal norms, expectations which differentiate them and make them different. Relocation is another factor which we get to see in this film as this is something which we experience in our daily lives as most of us do so for a better standard of living cutting across all classes of people as we see in this film. There are also realities which certain characters face and sooner or later accept them in their way. This has been portrayed beautifully through Adu’s realization ( of probably Suleiman having lost his hand due to the differences in handwriting in the letters)and Suleiman’s father Moinuddin giving up all hopes of seeing his son again when we see him selling off the transistor. The characters try to yet live with some probable hope specially Adu and the one of the best moments and also instances of innocence ever seen in a film-Adu writing a letter to George Bush and requesting him to end the war as she knows he has the power to do so that innocent lives like Suleiman can be saved. Simply brilliant!
Debutante Debolina as Adu is brilliant. She plays the part of Adu,a rural, very simple,. docile, girl with such ease and simplicity that we find it hard to believe that it is her first film. That her voice is dubbed is totally irrelevant.Samadarshi whom we have seen in Arohan previously once again is very good as Suleiman, a young guy from the minority community who has big dreams and he looks and splays the part very well. A ery disciplined performance! The rest of the cast also is very good.Angana Basu as Suleiman’s mother once again comes up with a marvelous performance after Shukno Lanka.Where was she all these years? The background music by Mayukh and Mainak is also very good. The film is a linear narrative though some might differ.
The film which was screened at the IFFI held at Goa recently again shows the class of New Theatres who have backed a truly outstanding film.