All about the Evolving Urban Essence of Guwahati
Guwahati Diaries, a film about Guwahati has just released. MELANGE caught up with the director, Prasanta Saikia to know more
What is the broad plotline of Guwahati Diaries? How is this movie similar or different from the recent crop of contemporary Assamese movies? Guwahati Diaries is a collection of vignettes illustrating attempts by a few residents of modern day Guwahati to find love and happiness. The film mostly explores the dark side of ambition. It reveals the lust and power that is being experienced amongst the young brigade while making it big in today's fast-paced Guwahati. This is essentially the predominant theme. There is a maturity in the characters and the choices that they make as they take giant strides towards their goals and dreams.
Guwahati is just like any other developing city in India. What separate the city are its stories and characters. Guwahati Diaries is essentially a canvas where we have painted a collage of a few handpicked stories. While highlighting the discreet experiences of the characters, our attempt has been to capture the evolving essence of Guwahati city.
We think this may be the first attempt in Assamese cinema in the hyperlink genre. Moreover, this is an almost realistic portrayal of the contemporary urban landscape of Guwahati. I want to add here that we shall release the film in the OTT platform too as soon as possible
In your opinion what have been some of the significant developments in the Assamese film industry in the last decade particularly in the last five years?
There have been some very significant developments in Assamese cinema in recent years. From the aesthetic to the technical, there has been a sheer (and visible) qualitative development in our films. Storytelling has evolved and realistic stories have taken the market by storm. Young talents are entering the industry now and experimenting with genres. This is a very heartening trend.
Your thoughts on realistic cinema in terms of the Assamese film industry?
I think Assam has produced realistic cinema from a long time ago - from Indramaloti I guess. Yes it is true that there are some over the top films, but most of the films are realistic cinema. Bhaben Saikia, Padum Barua, Rima Das, Bidyut Chakroboty are some filmmakers who have done quite well in realistic cinema.
Why and how did you come up with this story idea?
I have been staying in Guwahati for the last eight years and Guwahati is becoming home now. Guwahati holds many memories for me. I have crossed paths with many people and Guwahati Diaries is a reflection of the many people (and their lives) that I have met. By 'life' I mostly mean the grey and complex shades. Relationships are getting complicated, people are becoming more and more selfish and people have stopped listening to their hearts. There are almost 11 lakhs of people living in Guwahati but there is always someone who feels lonely in the city.
Please elaborate on your target audience?
The film's primary target audience is the youth (between the age group of 25-35) who will easily relate with the central theme of the story. We feel that the burgeoning Assamese speaking 4.5 million urban population of the state will identify themselves at one level or the other with the central characters of the film. This is because a majority of them either experience similar situations or are exposed to such situations. Moreover we feel that the film will find universal appeal among the global youth when the subtitled version is released on dedicated movie streaming platforms.
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