October 13, 2023
DHAKA – Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman was not only Bangladesh’s founding father, but also an integral part of our culture and emotions. A biopic on the Father of the Nation was announced to commemorate Bangabandhu’s 100th birth anniversary. “Mujib: The Making of a Nation” has finally arrived after years of delay, and will be showcased across 153 theatres across the country today.
The Bangladesh-India joint venture witnessed ace filmmaker Shyam Benegal take the director’s chair for the film. Arifin Shuvoo essayed Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, while Nusraat Faria portrayed Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on the silver screen. The movie also stars Nusrat Imrose Tisha as Sheikh Fazilatunnessa Mujib, Riaz as Tajuddin Ahmed, and Elina Shammi as Begum Khaleda Zia, among others.
Yesterday, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina watched the special screening of the biopic at the National Film Archives, along with the rest of the cast and crews of the film.
“This film will take you on an emotional journey to discover the life and principles of Bangabandhu. You will get to know more about my family, my mother, and my grandparents. You will get to witness new chapters of history through this movie,” she said, after the screening.
Initially, Bangladesh’s Ministry of Information and Broadcasting and the Indian Ministry of Information and Broadcasting planned to release the film in 2021. However, due to Covid-19, filming of the movie was delayed. The “Mujib” biopic began shooting at Mumbai’s Film City on January 22, 2021, and completed its production in Bangladesh on December 18, 2021.
On May 19, 2022, a preview of “Mujib: The Making of a Nation” was shown during the Marché du Film Commercial Branch at the Indian pavilion of the 75th Cannes Film Festival. The teaser was criticised for its weak VFX and makeup. Later, Arifin Shuvoo addressed the situation, explaining that it was not the official trailer, that it was created in just 13 days for the Cannes Film Festival, and that the work on visual effects is still ongoing.
However, as the official trailer was released on October 1, much of the criticism was addressed. The video teases the dramatic, patriotic story of Bangladesh’s creation.
People were waiting in anticipation for the movie’s teaser to see the character’s appearance. Arifin Shuvoo was completely in character, with his grey hair and glasses. He tried his best to emulate Bangabandhu’s body language and mannerisms. Nusraat Faria shed her glamorous persona and wore cotton sarees, for her portrayal of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina. Zayed Khan, who played Tikka Khan, sported a moustache to play the deceitful Pakistani army chief.
Recently, a press conference was held in which Arifin Shuvoo was questioned how effectively he portrayed Bangabandhu. “I don’t think I’m qualified to judge, but the audience can. What I can say is that the director of the film, Shyam Benegal, is pleased with my performance. Furthermore, Bangabandhu’s family has seen the film and given their approval. They have recognised the effort and hard work we put in.”
Mujib: The Making of Nation has also caught everyone’s attention by releasing the songs “Ochin Majhi” and “Ki Ki Jinish Enecho Dulal.” “Ochin Majhi” is composed by Shantanu Moitra, with lyrics penned by Zahid Akbar and vocals provided by Rathijit Bhattacharjee. Audiences were captivated not only by the song’s lyrics, but also by its melodious tune and exceptional vocals, which appears to surpass the impact of the trailer.
“Ki Ki Jinish Enecho Dulal,” voiced by Urmi Choudhury, provided a beautiful insight into the cute but lovable relationship between Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman and his dear wife Renu (Bangamata Sheikh Fazilatunnesa Mujib).
Chanchal Chowdhury, who plays the role of Bangabandhu’s father Sheikh Lutfar Rahman, said, “It is such an honour to play a part in Bangabandhu’s biopic. When I was offered the role, I didn’t even think about my own role, but instantly agreed because I wanted the privilege to be in The Father of the Nation’s biopic.”
Prarthana Fardin Dighi looked serene on essaying the role of Bangamata.
“I have been very pleased with being able to play the role. Once I received the confirmation to be a part of the movie, I began reading various books and watching various videos. I researched film archives, and my father even bought me associated books. The pandemic, however, came at that point in time. I got my script during that period along with the notice that we would begin filming at any moment. I then prepared myself and completely memorised the entire script,” said the actress.
As “Mujib: The Making of The Nation” drops in theaters today, Bangladeshi audiences will get to witness the personal journey of Sheikh Mujibur Rahman and how his love for the country inspired him to fight till his death. A new generation will be able to learn about the nation’s most important figure through the film, so hopes are high that it will be one to remember.