The Last Thakur

"Good"

The Last Thakur Review


With a Shakespearean sense of tragic momentum, this dark Bengali drama creates a lush atmosphere that feels almost oppressive. But its slow pacing and elusive plotting keep us at arm's length.

In an isolated corner of Bangladesh, Thakur (Khan) is the only Hindu. He's building a temple, which makes him the focus of everyone's suspicion and anger, most notably the Chairman (Rubel), a Muslim who seems to run everything. Then an armed ex-soldier (Hassan) arrives in town and shakes things up. While searching for clues about his parentage, he's willing to work for pay. Thakur hires him as a bodyguard, but the Chairman also pays him as part of his goal to get rid of Thakur once and for all.

Throughout the film, there's a past event that's alluded to ominously, and we realise quickly that this is what connects all three of these men. But the story is told, intriguingly, through the eyes of a young boy (Miah) who serves tea to the Chairman and watches with naive curiosity as these people plot against each other. As he wonders who is the hero and villain of this blurry story, the themes come quietly to life in an almost poetic way that catches us off guard.

On the other hand, the storytelling is almost painfully slow, while there's a general murkiness underlying all of the characters and situations. Even the religious tension at the centre of the story feels impenetrable, despite some provocative commentary: "An armed man who doesn't believe in God is dangerous," says the Chairman about the soldier. There's an almost overpowering feeling that violence and tragedy are just around the corner. And so is the truth.

This is a story about power and legacy, and it's packed with telling details, such as the way the Chairman's two wives rule his life. The whole story takes place in one day and builds inexorably to a conflict that has been stoked with false accusations, sneaky attacks and underhanded manipulation, all of which make it impossible to know who the good guy is. Self-interest infuses each character and, with his cold narrative style, director-cowriter Ahmed foreshadows the only way the story can end. And it's a rather hard pill to swallow.



Facts and Figures

Run time: 81 mins

In Theaters: Friday 26th June 2009

Distributed by: Artificial Eye

Reviews

Contactmusic.com: 3 / 5

IMDB: 6.0 / 10

Cast & Crew

Director: Sadik Ahmed

Producer: Atif Ghani, Tamsin Lyons

Starring: Tariq Anam Khan as Thakur, Ahmed Rubel as Chairman, Tanveer Hassan as Kala, Anisur Rahman Milon as Tanju, Tanju Miah as Waris, Jayanto Chattopadhyay as Mustafa

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