Ratnakar – A Fresh Breath Of Air In Assamese Movie Industry
Being a resident Assamese in Gurgaon, it’s the childhood movie experience I have been missing for a while. Those were the films made by the likes of Munin Barua, Ashok Kumar Bishaya, etc. Be it Hiya Diya Niya, Bukur Majot Jole, Nayak, Daag…those films changed the spectrum of Assamese movies during that era. Nayak film was special to me always as it was shot in my grand mother’s home in Digboi and I too acted in a small scene… It was magic on the screen to see those emotions, actions and dialogues delivered so well by the class actors like Jatin Bora, Ravi Sharma, Zerifa Wahid to name a few and the veterans like Pranjal Saikia….
But then came a time where Assamese movies lost its charm and vigour suddenly. Then began the era of VCD movies. Many new talents got an opportunity to showcase their talent for sure. It was a welcome move. But still, the big 70mm screen missed its Assamese counterparts for long.
In the meantime during my holidays back home, I always asked my parents if we can go to see an Assamese movie. The answer was always disappointing as none was there in halls…especially none watch worthy if I may mention. In recent times, I had seen a few Assamese commercial movies in Delhi theatres. Though enjoyed the feel of it, but the Assamese movie fan experience was incomplete due to many factors. The movies were well shot, music good, but when it came to main elements – acting, direction, screenplay, editing of shots, continuity of scenes, dialogues and its delivery, it all failed miserably.
Then came the wave of ‘Ratnakar’. I knew this would bring back the childhood movie magic I was chasing from the day I left Assam. And when I went to see the movie in DLF Promenade PVR, Delhi, I was not at all disappointed.
Thank you Jatin Bora Da for doing it! You nailed it.
What makes Ratnakar good?
Firstly, this movie had the best of all from the Assamese movie industry. Secondly, Jatin Bora who is immensely talented had taken upon the task of directing it too. Music by none other than Zubeen Garg who never fails in creating magic with his voice that lingers in the halls’ surround sound system. The actors like Barsha Rani Bishaya, Nishita Goswami in the lead, the child actor, and the supporting actors who are favorites of all Assamese people – Chetana Das, Hiranya Deka, Bishnu Kharghoria, etc did a wonderful job in their roles.
Besides the good acting of all actors, what stood out was the new improved camera techniques, bird’s eye view drone shoots of the camera. The 180-degree cinematography technique to freeze the action scenes were seen for the first time in Assamese movies (as far as I know). The smooth direction and screenplay. There were no hiccups where scenes seemed joined abruptly. Smooth transition of the screenplay in between the present and flashbacks (this is the area most movies suffer). The selection of locations, costumes & makeup and also set making, all seemed at par with Bollywood movies. Even the actions and stunts were very convincing. Overall a terrific experience.
The small scopes of improvement if I may suggest, a little stronger storyline would have made it even more exciting. Although it balanced out well overall, but the story was predictable with a normal climax. The entry scene of Barsha Rani Bishaya could have been shot in a more dramatic style. It felt too plain to see the hyped heroine just walking out of the airport door without any wind blowing or slow motion. I missed that fairy tale entry in that particular scene for sure. The villains in the movies did not have a tough personality though they had big biceps.
But to end it all, I would say Thank You to Jatin Bora for this brave attempt to fill the void that was long created. It seems Assamese cinema may have found back its glory if such well made movies keep coming from now on. I thank you for letting me relive my childhood memory of watching a good ‘Assamese Cinema’. My best wishes and hope to see more movies from your production banner.
(While I write this, many people in our local Noida and Gurgaon Assamese community WhatsApp group are discussing for a special screening of the movie again as many people could not go to the halls.)
Written By Geetali Baruah,