Jumping from buildings, flying in air, saving the woman in distress and spending hell lot of money on stunts and locations – Ananta Jalil has gone from zero to hero in five years and, we also love his dialogues. An avid fan, Towheed Feroze writes…..
If Napoleon had been alive then he would have approved of brand viagra over the net M. A. Jalil Ananta (AJ). Though both persons were born centuries apart and while one conquered with war and the other with movies, there is a distinct similarity in their approach – both believed that impossible is a word for fools and weaklings!
Maybe Napoleon’s glory did not last long but remember also: glory is fleeting but obscurity is forever!
Napoleon as well as Ananta would have had comfortable lives if, instead of trying to take up insurmountable challenges, remained happy in their chosen professions – military and garments. If that had happened, Napoleon would not have become Emperor of France but perhaps a high ranking military officer and Ananta would have also had a comfortable life as a garment manufacturer.
But stability and the anonymity that came with secured living did not appeal to these two; hence, one took on the mighty British Empire, bringing it to the knees while the other dared to walk into filmdom with no previous experience in acting.
Ananta may have a speech impediment and will always mispronounce some words to the point of sounding ridiculous but what began as a joke has now turned into a cult. So what, if he says ‘pom’ instead of ‘from’ and who cares if his English is peppered with grammatical errors?To be honest I rather like saying ‘Mansester’ instead Manchester!
He is not an academic or a professor! Come to think of it, if the purity of the English language is an issue of such concern then the culprits for killing the beauty of the tongue are not Bangladeshis but Americans.
Hollywood movies have slaughtered the language to such an extent that English is now filled with obnoxious terms and words. Think of the absurd use of the word ‘like’ in every sentence by most American young. The least said about the insanely infantile scripts of most current movies the better.
So, if they can get away with it, why can’t Ananta whose mother tongue is not English in the first place! When foreigners speak Bengali we marvel at them, often ignoring the funny way some words are pronounced. In the same way, Ananto’s pronunciation gaffes are not huge blunders if we accept them just the way we welcome a foreigner trying to speak our tongue.
Whatever the case, the flak that this guy received in the beginning was unbelievable. Everywhere the actor was mocked, but strangely people went to see his movies. No, the films are nothing extraordinary from an angle of cinematic perfection but they provide unvarnished fun – escapism which leaves a prolonged after-taste of relaxation. Take them as movies which help us to forget the drudgery of life. If they relieve stress, then go for it!
But in the man there is also a fighting spirit, the never say die attitude which reminds this writer of Napoleon. The French leader was not an aristocrat; in reality he had very poor dress and hygiene sense and, according to many historians – rather coarse. But he believed in himself and his goals.
When Ananta first came in the market in 2009 April with his first feature film The Search, he was ridiculed. Even a lot of the audience came out saying: that was a rubbish movie! But those who understood the nuances of film-making instantly detected the redeeming features: good colour, improved camera angles, credible fight scenes and most important of all, slim, svelte actresses.
The Search broke away from the Dhaliwood model of presenting ‘Dhumshi’ (corpulent) actresses who cannot move and gave us women a modern day guy would be happy to take out. Then followed the almost brazen TV interviews! The Speed followed and soon after Hridoy Bhanga Dheu, Ananta had established a new path leading to Dhaliwood movies.
An ennui which had already set in among the cine-goers decided to try this new road, youngsters looking for fun time out joined in, educated women paused for some time before deciding, what the hell, it’s fun, let’s go and join the others.
As for the rather tongue in cheek interviews on TV and radio – this is the age of publicity, blow your trumpet if you want to make it big in entertainment, self-effacement is definitely not for actors.
From literal obscurity in 2009 to overwhelming popularity in 2013! In between there has been a lot of drama, both in his private and public life, including altercation in a fast food joint that went viral via Facebook to the break-up theatrics with his wife and co-actor Borsha!
Some laughed at him, others read all the salacious details, but everyone was talking of him.
If all these incidents were publicity stunts then hats off to the man – he knows how to generate interest but if all these happened by twists of fate, we need to praise his luck. All these episodes went in his favour.
Wise people have repeatedly said that tenacity pays in the end. If a person devotes him or herself to something day and night, making it his/her obsession, a certain achievement is bound to happen. With a little luck, the dividends become mammoth successes. Ananta has that luck too!
Perseverance topped by a helping boost by destiny – if one has that, mispronounced words, seemingly farcical antics can sometimes appear meaningful. Never know, this may turn into a fad of sorts!
A few weeks ago, a Bengali paper pitched a question to the audience asking who wore the crown of Dhaliwood at the moment: Sakib Khan or Ananta. Veteran film critics have acknowledged Ananta’s use of technology in films but have said that as far as acting is concerned, he has some way to go.
Now this writer feels that AJ does not have to improve acting because he has a style of his own.
Call it funny, filled with blunders and childish – the audience is besotted with it. We don’t want an Ananta with a perfect voice. Nor do we want him to dive into serious art movies.
In the revival of local cinema, AJ has pulled large sections of the crowd giving them two and a half hours of undiluted pleasure. So, here’s taking our hats off to his formulas.
Five years ago, middle class Bangladesh would not have imagined of going to the cinema halls, now we even see the finance minister in the movies with his family. The impossible has happened! As Ananta delivers the line ‘Oshambhobke shombhob korai Ananta’r Kaaj’ (Making possible of the impossible is Ananta’s specialty), we feel that he is actually giving an apt reply to all those detractors.
The underlying message: never doubt a dreamer who is hell bent in achieving the goal! Dhaka and all of Bangladesh is plastered with Ananta’s Grameen Phone advert – who knows Adidas may rope him since he personifies their tagline –‘ Impossible is nothing!’ To the letter!