As the Lok Sabha elections play out in India, a Bengali film called ‘Reunion’ which delves into the murky world of student politics in colleges will make cinematic history in the UAE.
For the first time ever, a star-studded commercial film starring the likes of Raima Sen, Parambrata Chatterjee and Anindita Bose, will release in the local cinemas in Dubai this weekend. Usually, the vibrant Bengali community in the UAE have to rely on festivals or their annual vacations to India to watch their regional content. But not any more.
“It’s a big moment for people who love Bengali cinema here. ‘Reunion’, a Bengali film to release in Dubai for the first time, has all the commercial and emotional elements that you look forward in a film. It will fill you with nostalgia,” said producer Subhajit Rakshit. It’s his first film production and the UAE-based director was keen to bring it to this region which sees mostly Hindi and South Indian language films playing in the cinemas.
The actors of Reunion are equally excited about its UAE screening.
Sen describes ‘Reunion’, set in the 1990s college days, as a relevant film which is appropriate for the politically-charged times we live in.
“There’s a lot to enjoy in such a relevant film like ‘Reunion’. You will feel nostalgic and you will enjoy our good performances. Just don’t overthink it,” said Sen in an interview over the phone.
While she won’t be attending the UAE premiere screening at Dubai Festival City on May 1, her sister Riya Sen will be there on her behalf.
‘Reunion’ is a tale of a bunch of college friends who come together after a gap of twenty years for a chance to re-kindle old bonds. During the eventful, dramatic re-union, the principal characters look back on how they have grown and evolved since their college days. The movie also showcases how idealism has been replaced by pragmatism as life happened. A twist also awaits when the gregarious bunch stumble across one of their college seniors — who had vanished from the university abruptly during their student days — in an unexpected scenario.
“You will relate to the scenarios in this film... I play Monideepa... She’s an empowered woman of today. She represent all the confident women out there. I was intrigued by how passionate our director Murari Rakshit was. Even though he’s a first-time director, I felt confident in his skills,” added Sen.
Director Rakshit, who was inspired by his own student life, claims re-union was an interesting mix of fact and fiction.
“Nobody has ever done a film that touched upon the volatile scenario of student politics in the 1990s. Communists reign had just ended in Calcutta. We show how student union wings were filled with clean-hearted idealistic students, but who get manipulated by powerful politicians who just want to promote their selfish interests. It’s an interesting scenario that had to be explored,” said Rakshit.
The film will also prompt you to be nostalgic about your fun-filled college days filled with heart breaks and friendships forged, claim its maker.
“‘Reunion’ is a film that highlights the values of friendships, humanity and how relationships evolve in today’s age of technology and mechanical ways of living,” said Rakshit.
‘Reunion’, which opened to good reviews in India, has also been in the news for the splendid performances of its lead actors.
“I was lucky that I got such a great group of talented actors who lent me all their support ... Raima Sen is a director’s actor. You demonstrate what you want and she will deliver it. She was so supportive. Parambrata is such a mature and good actor. He was one of the first actors who immediately said Yes to my film in 2107.”
‘Reunion’ is a film that’s incredibly close to the director.
“I even shot the film in the Kalyani university that I studied in. Reunion has many authentic locations,” said Rakshit.
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‘Reunion’ is out in the UAE on April 2.