A circus, a ravishing owner with a mysterious past, the local political leader, a ruffian with a good heart, the grandson of a zamindar, and a group of terrorists (!) - on paper, they sound like a perfect exhilarating pot-boiler.
Beauty Circus, the debut for the filmmaker Didar Mahmud, was released last Friday. The film, made on a government grant, has been in production for about five years, and the first teaser came out three years ago.
The well-made teaser created much buzz, only to die out during the pandemic period and resurface three weeks ago. It was a journey finally coming to fruition for a few eagerly waiting cinephiles. And the film has successfully wasted the brilliant and unique plot, turning it into a tedious and head-scratching 'what the heck happened' experience.
The film has a brilliant star cast of Jaya Ahsan, Ferdous, ABM Sumon, Tauqir Ahmed, Gazi Rakayet, Shatabdi Wadud, and Humayun Sadhu. Hardly such veteran actors fail to create an impression, but the weak writing and poor screenplay could not be salvaged by the talents involved in front of the camera.
From a technical point of view, the film has not felt like a 'film', but rather a television drama, as the camera works and cinematography have not been suited for big screens.
At times, the film felt like a zoomed version, which has been rather jarring. The editing was very choppy. And cuts to the scenes did not feel at all smooth. All of these required more attention and care.
The dialogue writing has been archaic and forced, so much so that even the veterans like Ferdous, Tauquir Ahmed or Gazi Rakayet were uncomfortable and stiff while delivering the dialogues. And the screenwriting has been rather below the expectations, and the film does not seem to realise how disjoint the subplots are.
And one of the bigger issues with the film is the plot tries to bite more than it can chew. So, the end result is an array of subplots strewn across the film, and none fully developed.
The first half was going in one direction, and the second part had completely forgotten what direction to go and took a ninety-degree turn, undoing the plot buildup in the first part. And the inclusion of political narratives should have been subtler; it sticks out like a sore thumb.
Jaya Ahsan has been very stiff in her role. However, her circus training has paid off; she looked lean and agile as a circus member. Ferdous has tried to act high and noble, but he did not get under the skin of it. His character has been written so poorly that it was hard to watch.
Tauqir Ahmed as a local politician has been amazing as a cartoonish character, but it is not understandable if it was intended or not. Humayun Sadhu has been the soul of the circus. Gazi Rakayet as the antagonist, has felt a bit like the evil godman troupe.
ABM Sumon understood his character and performed accordingly, unlike the rest of the lead. Shatabdi Wadud has been menacing, but he is also mostly an evil stock character.
The one good point of the film is its music. Chirkut has done a great job with the song Somoyer Circus.
The film had all the potential to become the next game changer in the industry. In truth, it is a disappointment to see such a brilliant story get derailed and wasted during the dearth of good films.