Ananta Jalil's latest film is the best example of avant-garde, genre bending, surrealist cinema to date, sorry Nuhash Humayun, but you have been summarily deposed as the favoured son of Dhallywood.
'Din: The Day' will go down in Bangla cinema as one of the greatest comedies of all time. The 100 crore joke is most definitely worth it because the movie's laughs per minute is heretofore unseen in contemporary cinema. Din: The Day's entire premise is based on the average Bangladeshi's ultimate power fantasy; having command over white people.
It is unintentionally the spiritual successor to The Room by Tommy Wiseau. But Ananta Jalil has turned it up a notch, combining vaudeville comedic acting with 80s foreign film overdubbing. At least eighty percent of the movie's dialogue has no relation to what the speakers' lips are doing. This bold editing choice allows the film to turn absolutely bad and campy acting into an even worse performance because the movie randomly speed-cranks and switches to slow-mo, which is a clear homage to hindi serials.
Much like Ananta's namesake, his talents are unending, he starred, produced and came up with the story for Din: The Day, the dialogue duties were assumed by Chatku Ahmed who uses the script as a much needed chance to practice his English language skills.
Nothing anybody says in the movie even sounds or looks correct, but they say it with grave movie star aplomb. Grammar Nazis will constantly tell you that sentences need to be correct, AJ circumvents derivative dialogue by remixing the rules of the English language. In an interrogation scene AJ leans in and sombrely says "Mazdi you will be die here."
The plot of the movie is like a human's soul, in that all of us agree that it exists, but none of us can really find it. The pacing of the movie is an exercise in time travel as each sequence is followed up with a flashback explaining how the story got there. This is a great directorial choice as it makes it impossible for you to be distracted by your phone because you are too confused by trying to keep track of the plot.
Barsha's introductory sequence is mind boggling. She arrives at a school and puts the beat down on three 'chele dhoras', the greatest ill plaguing our school children apart from bus drivers. She rescues a child then reprimands his mother by accusing her of "leaving her child insecure" and also (through a flashback sequence) exposes the negligent mother's extramarital affairs, in the span of minutes.
AJ's action sequences are on another level and rivals the moody machismo of 80s action heroes. After chasing down a group of baddies and holding their drug running boss at gunpoint, the villain throws a Hail Mary and offers to split his ill-gotten goods fifty-fifty. AJ chuckles and says "This is your fibty" and shoots the villain in the chest then he takes a couple of steps towards the camera looking directly at the lens, through it and into moviegoers souls, and says "And this is my fibty" and shoots him over the shoulder without breaking eye contact with the camera lens.
We could go on about all the topsy-turvy and asynchronous set pieces and sequences but the film is one of those things that you have to see to believe. AJ cuts onions on the same table his son is studying on and espouses overtly misogynistic humour, pranks his wife by pretending to cheat on her, who then goes two steps over and starts packing her husband's bags for his next mission. No one even comments on why the onion cutting, academia and clothes storage is happening in the same space, they instead choose to focus on AJ's magnificent mane of hair and why he hasn't cut it.
The cinematography and art direction looks very flimsy and fake but is done seriously, apart from a very elementary mistake, the entire movie is shot in IMAX (there's your explanation for the bloated budget) and the vast majority of theatres are showing the movie in regular aspect ratio, this results in the bottom third of the frames being cut off.
The movie is not doing so well on social media, and the critical response is less than lukewarm. This is simply the cacophony of people who need pithy things like continuity, comprehensible story and common sense. Din: The Day is the most fun you are going to have at the movies this season, the crowds attending the shows have a complete chokehold on irony which is very encouraging to see. It is up to lovers of cinema all across Bangladesh to support this film so that we may live to see 'Arek Din: Another Day'.