Category: Rahsaan Noor
Rahsaan Noor once again showcases the fun old world charm to be found in the “Bengali Beauty” cinematic experience.
A new teaser trailer, released on Friday, showcases Noor’s character crooning and serenading Mumtaheena Toya’s character with the romantic tune “Dujon Dujonar” – one of five original songs in the film. The movie marks Toya’s debut on the silver screen, where she is cast opposite Noor, whom himself is returning to Bengali cinema after his 2013 debut with “Simanaheen.”
With 1970s Dhaka as the film’s backdrop, and a revolutionary mood, “Bengali Beauty” centers on a Bangladesh Betar deejay (Noor) and how he captures the attention of a young woman (Toya) with his radio show during the post-independence period.
“Bengali Beauty” also stars Sarah Alam and Ashfique Rizwan, whom are making their acting debuts, along with industry veterans Pijush Bandhopadhyay, Masum Basher, GM Shahidul Alam, Naziba Basher, and Naila Azad. The music is composed by Rusho Mahtab, of “Simanaheen” fame, and “Dujon Dujonar” is sung by Tanvir Rossi.
The movie will have its world premiere on February 6th and will open in theaters in the USA, UK, India, and Dubai on Valentine’s Day. The Dhaka theatrical release will be fixed as soon as the film is cleared by the Bangladesh Film Censor Board.
In a statement from Bangladesh’s Rainbow Film Society, board member Nazmul Ahsan Kalimullah described “Bengali Beauty” as a film that “that does not merely reinvent Bangla films, it gives it a brand new start.”
Mumtaheena Toya (Bokhate, Roop) and Rahsaan Noor (Simanaheen, The Spectacular Jihad of Taz Rahim) have teamed up for Bengali Beauty, a counterculture love story set in 1970s Dhaka and directed by Noor himself. The first image from the film highlights the charm the actors have brought to the story in an iconic Dhaka location, Notre Dame College.
The title, a common phrase attributed to bengali women, refers not only to a particular person but to an entire nation — as is evident from this marvelously old-fashioned moment from the film, where we see a radio deejay (played by Noor) and a medical student (Toya) express their love for each other.
“There’s an incredible romanticism in Dhaka that you don’t always see when you’re stuck in traffic,” says Noor, who shot this scene during a May sunset in Notre Dame College. “I wanted to make a big love letter to the people of the city and to the people that helped raise me. I hope my generation can feel what it was like to be young during my parents’ generation, and I hope my parents’ generation can take a sweet trip down memory lane.”
Noor notes that the film is influenced by a cocktail of Yash Chopra romances and Hollywood Vietnam War movies such as Francis Ford Coppola’s Apocalypse Now and Robin Williams’ Good Morning Vietnam. “It’s an unusual mix, I know,” he says. “But it’s a fun mix. This era is so rich and Dhaka has its own rich history. Everyone has their own idea of Dhaka, and many are not the most pleasant ideas. But if treated the right way, Dhaka can definitely hold its own as a romantic playground.”
Video-on-Demand rights to Rahsaan Noor’s movies have sold for a record figure in Bangladesh and West Bengal. This is on the heels of China’s Tencent acquiring Noor’s ‘The Spectacular Jihad of Taz Rahim’ theatrical and video-on-demand rights just two weeks ago.
The Bangladeshi and West Bengali rights were licensed to streaming video platform Bongo for a sum in excess of BDT 1.5 Crore ($200,000). The figure is believed to be more than ten times the previous highest license fee in the entire Bengal region for television or online rights.
Of the films included in the deal, ‘The Spectacular Jihad of Taz Rahim’ released in the United States last year and was featured at the Berlinale Film Festival this past February. The movie is set to release in China next month.
Noor’s Simanaheen was the largest internationally released Bengali film in history. For the film, he was awarded by the Bengali Writers Association for his ‘outstanding contributions to film’.
Owned by parent company Stellar Digital, Bongo is biggest streaming video-on-demand service in Bengal. It boasts an ever-growing library of over 15.000 full movies, dramas, TV shows, music videos and songs. Bongo is a leader among, Bangladesh’s online video companies, whom have quickly become major forces in the country’s movie and entertainment businesses.
Rahsaan Noor’s Ziryab Entertainment has signed a three-year, three-film deal with Bengal based Universal Group.The partnership was formally announced at the recently held CinemaCon in Las Vegas with the unveiling of “Curse of the Kohinoor”, the first movie to be produced under the agreement.
“I had the pleasure of working with Ms. Hossain and the team at Universal during the marketing of my first film. She was one of my earliest supporters and I cannot think of a better home for Ziryab Entertainment as we continue our growth,” said Noor in a statement.
Universal Group and Ziryab Entertainment have four projects currently under development: “Curse of the Kohinoor,” which is being mounted as the first movie in the Nau Kavi franchise, is set to begin production this upcoming July; “Bengali Beauty,” a romance set during the Bengal famine of the 1970s; a yet untitled family drama film based on a book proposal by writer Sohani Hossain; and “Cyclewala”, another original script by Noor about a rickshawallah who competes in the Tour de France.
Rahsaan Noor launched NASDAQ Entrepreneurial Center’s Founders’ Leadership Series in San Francisco with Virgin America CEO David Cush and NASDAQ Vice-Chairman Bruce Aust.