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A film review: 'Her Own Address'

Original title: সুতপা’র ঠিকানা (Sutopar Thikana)
Origin: Bangladesh
Language: Bengali
Director & writer: Proshoon Rahman
Cast: Aporna Ghosh, Shahadat Hossain, Jayanto Chattopadhyay
Genre: Drama
Release: May 8, 2015 (Bangladesh) / March 3, 2016 (Malaysia)
Studio: Imation Creator
Distributor: GSC Movies (Malaysia)


 Eh. No lame opening sentence for this review, sorry.

FYI, this is the second time I got mixed into a press screening of a film, with the first one being Steven Spielberg's Lincoln in 2012... but that one was a rather mainstream affair despite its niche biographical film market here. For this one, it's from Bangladesh, and it's not a biopic. I am sorry for my ignorance, but I am once again in shock about how the Bangladeshi film industry is in fact a very flourished one in its homeland, with only select few that ever got international attention. This film is such example. I would have never heard of this film if it wasn't for an announcement that was made on the Facebook group Movie Addict.

So, I can't definitely say that this is the first Bangladeshi film AND the first one to get global recognition. But I can bet your ass that this is the first film I have ever watched coming from the said country and I gotta say that it's... not bad. Not my cup of tea, but not bad at all. It's a very empowering female-centric drama film if this is shown at the right audience, but a flawed one. And what do I mean by that about this film that will be available for a limited time to the general public in early March at select Golden Screen Cinemas outlets? Let's find out. And don't worry: this is a SPOILER-FREE REVIEW (honestly, there's not much to spoil).

The film follows Sutopa (Aporna Ghosh), a village woman who recalls never having the luxury of settling in for a happy life in one place with her loved ones after a constant stream of unfortunate events that befell her every time she depends on the important males in her life - her father, her husband, and her only son- while riding a train that leads to seemingly nowhere. Suddenly, she decides to make a stop after thinking about her past experiences to finally find her own, possibly permanent address.

While the premise sounds profound, the execution of its plot however, leaves a lot to be desired. A film like this is supposed to play a lot with strong emotions, especially owing to the fact that the film is told from the perspective of a female protagonist. While those aspects can be seen onscreen, I felt that the filmmakers made the songs that accompany the slew of montages and the narration do most of the exposition instead. The actors, other than the lead, were not given the chance to shine because of that. But you have to applaud the beautiful screenplay and song lyrics which is surprisingly full of grace and meaningful judging from the translations on its subtitles.

Speaking of beautiful, I really like the soundtrack. A really wonderful mix of modern and traditional sound that translates well to the storytelling of the film's plot and visuals. Oh, the visuals. I guess it's fine. Beautiful, and managed to capture all that I never knew about the Bangladeshi culture. But nothing too awe-inducing, honestly.

I'm sorry if this is a rather bland view on the film. I guess this film is just ain't my thing. But I really do think about my sister when I saw this flick; just like my sister, Sutopa can never please anyone on her surroundings. I guess maybe this film would work more for my sister or other females who endures a similar tragedy as the ones shown in Her Own Address than myself. This is indeed a very good film, but only for the right audience, like I said before. If you think you are one of those people, be sure to catch it ONLY on these Golden Screen Cinemas outlets: Mid Valley, Pavilion, 1 Utama, and Gurney Plaza.

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