Explore the historical significance of cultures and languages in the context of the film “Mujib: The Making of a Nation,” which portrays the life of Sheikh Mujibur Rahman and the Bengali Language movement. This review discusses the film’s portrayal of historical events, the performances of the cast, and its strengths and weaknesses, providing insights for potential viewers.
Throughout history, civilizations have journeyed across the world, giving rise to fresh societies and cultures. These cultures and customs emerged as a result of the novel environments encountered by explorers during their travels. With the evolution of new cultures came the development of distinct languages, each holding its own unique and invaluable significance. Speaking of languages brings to mind a recent movie I watched, titled “Mujib: The Making of a Nation.”
The film “Mujib: The Making of a Nation” is a biographical portrayal of the life of Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, one of the prominent Bengali leaders who fought the Bhasha Andolon (Language movement) to protest the imposition of Urdu as the national language of East Pakistan. This movement eventually led to the birth of what we know today as Bangladesh. It is worth mentioning here that International Mother Language Day is celebrated across the world to tribute the language movement of Bangladesh in 1971.
I am not only happy but also grateful to the legendary filmmaker Shyam Benegal who chose such a topic for his movie which largely remains unknown to many across the world. The movie is the first co-production between the National Film Development Corporation India and Bangladesh Film Development Corporation. The movie stars Arifin Shuvoo as the titular character, Sheikh Mujib, and Nusrat Imrose Tisha as his wife, Fazilatunnesa (Renu). The screenplay, skillfully penned by Atul Tiwari and Shama Zaidi, maintains a steady pace throughout the film. It interweaves anecdotes from Mujib’s life to evoke an emotional connection with the audience.
Shuvoo’s role is commendable, capturing his mannerisms and physical resemblance. The film features several of Mujib’s historical speeches, and Arifin does his best to deliver them in the iconic, authoritative style that made Mujib an indomitable leader. Nusrat Imrose Tisha’s commanding performance as Renu complements Arifin’s Mujib. Their on-screen chemistry portrays their deep connection, adding a relatable dimension to their relationship.
Tauquir Ahmed’s portrayal of Huseyn Shaheed Suhrawardy, a significant influence on Mujib’s life, is another standout performance. Nusraat Faria’s role as the young Sheikh Hasina brings a graceful balance to the narrative. Additionally, Chanchal Chowdhury, Riaz, Raisul Islam Asad, Shahidul Alam Sachchu, and Rajit Kapur, who plays Zulfikar Ali Bhutto in a pivotal role, all deliver strong performances.
The beauty of Bangladesh’s landscape has been beautifully captured by Akashdeep Pandey the cinematographer, allowing viewers to immerse themselves in the country’s natural beauty. Overall I am impressed with the total make of the movie, however, I felt a few points need to be highlighted.
In the initial scene, we witness Mujib’s arrival in Bangladesh in 1972. A crowd had assembled at a distance, but the truth was that they couldn’t contain their excitement and surged towards the airstair to warmly welcome him.
Moving on to another aspect concerning Mujib’s marriage, the film depicts the ceremony occurring when both were adults. In reality, Mujib was 12 years and Begam Mujib was just 3 when they tied the knot.
Thirdly a jail scene when Mujib was mourning the death of Salam, Barkat, and Jabbar sometime during or on the 21st of February. In reality, Salam died on the 7th of April 1952, and Mujib was released from Jail on the 28th of February 1952.
These and a few more minor historical facts could have been researched better.
Coming to the make, the use of visual effects (VFX), green screen technology, and special effects is a weak point. Some of the crucial scenes, such as the airstrikes during the war, lack the impact they deserve.
One noticeable gap in the film is the omission of crucial details about the liberation war and its human cost. While some of this may be a deliberate choice, a more in-depth exploration of this pivotal period in Bangladesh’s history would have added depth to the narrative.
Shantanu Moitra’s music, drawing from the rich folk traditions of Bengal, is a highlight of the film. Songs like “Ki Ki Jinish Enecho Dulal,” “Ochin Majhi,” and “Sajo Sundari Koinya” are culturally resonant enriching the overall experience.
Shyam Benegal, a seasoned storyteller, brings Sheikh Mujibur Rahman closer to the audience, showcasing both his strengths and vulnerabilities. While the film primarily focuses on Mujib and his immediate family, it introduces the man behind the nation builder—a loving father and a humanitarian.
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A devoted foodie with keen interest in wild life, music, cinema and travel Somashis has evolved over time . Being an enthusiastic reader he has recently started making occasional contribution to write-ups.