You may define your own banner on the settings page.
FilmsAsia: Asian film reviews
Soh Yun-Huei
Dave Chua
Brandon Wee
Wong Lung Hsiang
Felix Cheong
Foong Ngai Hoe
Adrian Sim
sieteocho
Chris Khoo
O Thiam Chin
Lau Chee Nien
Sinnerman
Ambient Noise
Drakula
daface
Sarhan Rashid
Ying Wuen
Liverbird
Ellery Ngiam
Toh Hai Leong
Toh Hai Leong, Auteur
Wong Kar Wai
The Seduction of Wong Kar Wai
Tsai Ming Liang
Lav Diaz
Mikio Naruse
Leslie Cheung
Jonathan Foo Interview
Chinese Ghosts
Assassins in Asian FIlms
Sex in Asian Cinema
Erotic Cinema of the Shaw Studios
Homosexuality in Chinese Films
My Left Eye Sees Creativity
Hollywood Remakes
Comic Book Superheroes
One League of Social Consciousness
Emerging Trends in East Asian Cinema
Postwar Korean Cinema
Decline of Hong Kong Cinema before 1997
Bollywood
Rise of Afghan Films
Singapore's Mini Cinema
Creating A Singapore Cinema
Why Cinema is Important to Singapore
Singapore Film Industry
Rites of Passage
Replying to Critics
Daniel Yun Interview
Singapore International Film Festival
Bangkok International Film Festival
Tokyo International Film Festival
Toronto International Film Festival
Writer's Block
15
19
2046
Acacia
All Tomorrow's Parties
And Also the Eclipse
Another Heaven
At Five in the Afternoon
Audition
Avalon
Balzac and the Little Chinese Seamstress
Bangkok Haunted
Barking Dogs Never Bite
Batang West Side
Battle Royale
Bear Hug
Beautiful Boxer
Beijing Rocks
Bend It Like Beckham
Best of Times
Betelnut Beauty
Big Durian
Big Shot's Funeral
Bird Man Tale
Blackboards
Blissfully Yours
Blue Kite
Bounce Ko Gals
Brighter Summer Day, A
Butterfly
Cafe Lumiere
Cat Returns
Chinese Odyssey 2002
City of Glass
City Sharks
Clean
Color of the Truth
Color Blossoms
Confucian Confusion
Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon
Dark Water
Desire
Destination 9th Heaven
Divine Intervention
Dolls
Double Vision
Dumlings: 3 Extremes
Enter the Phoenix
Era of Vampire, The
Eye, The
Eye 2, The
Eye 10, The
Face
Fat Choy Spirit
Floating Weeds
Fog of War, The
Formula 17
Friend
Full Alert
Garuda
Gemini
Ghost in the Shell
God or Dog
Golden Chicken
Golden Chicken 2
Goodbye, Dragon Inn
Grudge
Guru, The
Hana-Bi (Fireworks)
Harold and Kumar
Headlines
Hero
Hidden Blade, The
Homerun
House of Flying Daggers
House of Fury
House of Sand and Fog
Howl's Moving Castle
Hypnotized
I Not Stupid
In the Mood for Love
Infernal Affairs
Infernal Affairs III
Innocence: Ghost in the Shell 2
Install
Iron Ladies 2
Isle, The
Jan Dara
Jealousy is My Middle Name
Joint Security Area
Ju-On: The Grudge (2003)
July Rhapsody
Khakee
Korban Fitnah
Koroshi
Kung Fu Hustle
Lan Yu
Last Life in the Universe
Last Samurai, The
Legend of Zu, The
Liang Po Po
Love/Juice
Love Letter
Lucky Number
Marry a Rich Man
Me Thao
Medallion, The
Metropolis
Monrak Transistor
Moveable Feast, A
Munna Bhai M.B.B.S.
Musa the Warrior
My Left Eye Sees Ghosts
My Neighbors The Yamadas
My Sassy Girl
Naked Weapon
Name of a River, The
New Police Story
Nobody Knows
Nobody Knows How to be a Film Critic
One Leg Kicking
Ong-Bak
Perfect Blue
Phone, The
Ping Pong
Pirated Copy
Princess D
Quill
River, The
Road Home
Romance of Book and Sword
Runaway Pistol
S Diary
S21: The Khmer Rouge Killing Machine
Samsara
Scent of Green Papaya
Seoul Raiders
Sepet
Seventeen Years
Shall We Dance?
Shanghai Knights
Shaolin Soccer
Shower
Shutter
Singapore Gaga
Skywalk is Gone
So-Called Friends
So Close
Someone Special
Song of the Stork
Spider Forest
Spirited Away
Spring Summer Fall Winter Spring
Stories About Love
Storm Riders
Summer Holiday
Sumpah Pontianak
Super Size Me
Surprise Party
Swing Girls
Tale of Two Sisters, A
TalkingCock
Tears of the Black Tiger
Teenage Textbook Movie
This Charming Girl
3-Iron
Three: Extremes
Tokyo Raiders
Touch, The
Tree, The
Truth or Dare
Twelve Storeys
Twenty-Four Eyes
Twins Effect
Twins Effect 2
Virgin Stripped Bare by her Bachelors
Visitor Q
Volcano High
Warriors of Heaven and Earth
Waterboys
Way Home, The
Welcome Back Mr McDonald
Wesley's Mysterious File
When I Fall In Love With Both
Wishing Stairs
Wolves Cry Under the Moon
Woman is the Future of Man
Women's Private Parts
World Without Thieves, A
Zombie Dog
A Time to Live A Time to Die
e-mail me


   Name of a River, The  



 

The Name of a River

Reviewed by Wong Lung Hsiang

Bangladeshi Title: Ekti Nadir Naam
Director: Anup Singh
Cast: Shibu Prasad Mukhopadhyay, Shami Kaiser,Supriya Choudhury
Country: Bangladesh
Language: Bangla
Year Released: 2002
Runtime: 90 min

I have seen 5 out of 8 Ritwik Ghatak's feature films, including The River Called Titash which this film directly refers to. Debut director Anup has shot this film as an introduction to Ritwik Ghatak, and as a sort of critique of the legendary director's works. Thus The Name of a River is a form of paying homage by imitating Ghatak's directing style, but omitting his plot-driven storyline. The Name of a River is heavily symbolic, and there are many intriguing messages encapsulated throughout the film. I could have been cynical about the premise of the film (how can one possibly make a film that serves as a critique of a master?) but in actual fact, The Name of a River offers much more than what I had originally anticipated.

The film is not a documentary, and is virtually plotless. The individual characters are just symbols or tools that are manipulated by Anup. He brings the characters back to locations featured in Ghatak's films in glossy colour (Ghatak's films were all shot in black & white) and he lets the characters deliver poetic and philosophical lines throughout their discussion of his life and works. He reflects on Ghatak's idealism and despair concerning the Bengalis, and Bengal's historical fate. He stages a romance-musical hybrid with Ghatak's touch, especially by using a young actress with a mystical smile that resembles Ghatak's actresses. In between, two ex-actresses of Ghatak, recollect their memories about working with the director. This is not shot as an interview, but as two good friends, accompanied by the young actress, casually chatting while walking through the wood, entering a Ghatak-ish cabin and cooking rice together. The film's visual compositions are first class. The transitions between scenes and segments are almost seamless, and the songs, especially the old man's ballad, can melt one's heart.

Since the opening of the Singapore International Film Festival 2003, this is the first time that I did not check my watch, because I was so engaged by the film that I did not want to break the magic. Oh, I tell a lie. I did check my watch once, when the first couple walked out at the 40-minute mark, shortly followed by about 20 others. To better appreciate this film, I would advise you to do some homework by watching some, if not all of Ghatak's films. In that way, you may form quite a different impression about this film.

I am tempted to place this film among my Top 10 films released in 2002, but this was quite a crowded year for good films ...