Reviews of low budget short films have become quite rare in the mainstream media. Stumbling across a unique and original tale forced Dhaka Courier to dissect it. ‘Somogro Bangladesh 5 ton’ (an interesting translation to English titled in ‘Total Bangladesh 5 Ton’) by Golam Muntakim Fahim is from its outside appearance is a gruesome take on surreal cliché, but underneath it speaks of a higher state of mind.
Set in an unnamed city (presumably our dearest Dhaka), we see Johnny (Abid Sheikh) in search of a hideout and finding very creepy but unusually cheap hotel. Audience is introduced with ‘hotel boy’ Maksud (Apurbo Chakrabarty) alongside his unsettling charms. The story then quickly transforms into a grotesque dream on acid.
Made by a novice filmmaker on a budget no more than Tk 5,000, the short take consists of some fantastic sequences. A grotesque glorification of manhood screams more from the viewers and keeps them thinking about degrading moral codes within. The conveyed subtext made a good use of confusing but promising screenplay and the cast, although stiff at some point, gave it all they had.
Technical aspects of this film, given the budget constraints, is also praiseworthy. The use of color red has a surreal effect on the later part of the movie that was captured brilliantly by the cinematographer Samiul Shuptak.
Total Bangladesh 5 Ton cannot be described as a very well-made and polished short film, but the vision behind it is more unique than most of the local projects. It is clear in many parts that the crew behind camera are yet to learn a lot. However, intriguing story coupled with great visuals and noirish presentation makes up for that. Appropriate use of sound is expected to deliver chills and thoughts both at the same time.
Garnering some accolades in university-based film festivals, the project was officially selected for screening at Liftoff’s First time filmmaker session 2019 in London. Interested readers can check out the movie here - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tn1_4AmWUm4&t=325s