Digging Deep

Raihan Rafi’s Eid-ul-Adha 2023 offering is a tale of love, hate, betrayal, and greed

By Salman Sakib Jishan

Director Raihan Rafi has a favourite theme in his work: making movies based on real events. Looking at his past projects, it’s easy to see that this is true. His latest movie, Surongo, is no exception. It’s a Bangladeshi film that’s both engaging and enjoyable, starring Afran Nisho, Tama Mirza, Mostafa Monwar, Shahiduzzaman Selim, and more. It was released during Eid-ul-Adha.

People thought this movie was inspired by the 2014 Sonali Bank robbery, where a tunnel was used. The trailer made it seem like a crime thriller, but the story is broader in the actual movie. It’s a tale of love, hate, betrayal, and greed.

Even though the film received criticism on social media, it has been a box office hit, surprising many. Several movies were released during Eid-ul-Adha, and two films, including Surongo, exceeded expectations and became successful. The movie has also gained interest in India after its recent release there. It has been considered Raihan Rafi’s best work, surpassing other popular films.

Afran Nisho, known for TV dramas, made his cinematic debut with Surongo. He impressed in this first big-screen role.

The story, written by Nazim Ud Daula, stands out. Bangladeshi cinema often has weak plots and dialogue, but this movie breaks that trend. The dialogue is sharp, and the story is engaging. The director’s attention to detail, colour, lighting, cinematography, and the actors’ performances all contribute to the film’s success. The director skilfully blends these elements, demonstrating how a commercial movie should be.

The movie’s story is divided into two parts. The first part follows the story of Masud, a village electrician who marries Moyna but faces her insatiable desires. He goes abroad to please her but is still not enough. Moyna manipulates him, cheats on him, and runs away with his best friend. The second part focuses on the intriguing Surongo bank robbery incident. It explains why and how Masud ended up robbing a bank and the consequences that follow.

All the actors give excellent performances. Afran Nisho shines, but the director ensures everyone’s talent is highlighted. Shahiduzzaman Selim’s appearances often bring laughter to the audience. This isn’t to say that there isn’t room for improvement. While Tama Mirza’s performance is good, she doesn’t quite fit the role. Some parts of the story are repetitive, and Nusrat Faria’s item song feels irrelevant. The movie could be a bit shorter, but overall, it’s enjoyable.

Hopefully, more commercial movies like this will grace Bengali cinema, filling theatres with eager audiences.

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