Even though today is a Sunday I managed to leave home for the Chennai Film Festival only in the evening. This time around I went to Woodlands near Tower Clock, Royappetah. A theatre I haven’t gone for decades and from outside itself looks old & poorly kept. Though I assumed Parking will be a problem, it was not, I got a seat in the back of the theatre comfortably. As you enter the building you are greeted by a strong smell of fresh paint, applied may be just for the Chennai Film Festival. The first movie I saw was in the smaller of the two screens here-Woodlands Symphony. As we were waiting for the speakers to start, I was shocked to see few small mouse running on the ground below the seats in front of me. Though I have been to Cinema halls where small Rats join in for entertainment, those were decades ago and when going to a theatre like that (even as a student) I will go be prepared by wearing a shoe rather than sandals.
Before the start of the movie, there was a brief introduction of the Director “Bedabrata Pain” by The Hindu Editor “Siddharth Varadarajan”. Siddharth mentioned that the Director was a former scientist at NASA for 15 years (Wikipedia says Pain co-invented the CMOS Image sensor common in all mobile & digital cameras today) and left the job to follow his passion of making films. The film “Chittagong” is Pain’s debut movie & it has been taken brilliantly – read the review of the movie in Huffington Post here.
Chittagong is an Indian Independence struggle movie based on true history of 1930 Chittagong Uprising in what is today Bangladesh. Though this historical event is well known in Bengal, it is not that familiar in South Indian’s, I learnt about this only when I was studying about this movie. The film is narrated by a 23-Year-old Man Jhunku on what happened a decade back in 1930, on how a bunch of young boys with little arms liberated for a day the village of Chittagong from British rule. Manoj Bajpai who plays the local leader (Masterda Surya Sen) has done the character brilliantly, so is the young boy who plays Jhunku. Camera work is brilliant in the film & Director Pain has given a nice historic touch throughout the film by his fine cinematography.