Anam Biswas’ feature film “Debi,” based on famous Bangladeshi writer Humayun Ahmed’s novel of the same title from his popular “Misir Ali” series, released its first official teaser trailer. The two minute long teaser was released on the film’s distributor Jaaz Multimedia’s official YouTube channel on April 15. Since its launch, the teaser has been widely shared over social media platforms and viewed more than 120 thousand times and the huge Misir Ali fanbase of the nation are hyped about it.
Humayun Ahmed’s “Misir Ali” series is undoubtedly one of the best psychological thriller novel series of this country and “Debi” is the first and most popular among the bunch. Each book from the series features its protagonist, Misir Ali, 40, a part-time professor of psychology at the University of Dhaka who is a very logical and skeptical person. Though he is not a professional psychiatrist, people from all over the country come to him for psychiatric treatment because of his special interest and knowledge in parapsychology, which is a field of study concerned with the investigation of paranormal and psychic phenomena. The role of the famous mystery solving psychiatrist will be played by recent National Film Award winning actor Chanchal Chowdhury. He was not seen in the first teaser of the film, yet he was illustrated on the film’s first official poster.
The teaser captioned as “Introducing Ranu” shows Jaya Ahsan playing the character of Ranu who is a case of Misir Ali and one of the central characters in the famous novel.
At the very beginning of the teaser we see an artistic montage of Ranu, who seems like a newlywed Bangali bride passing her days at her home. The haunting background score strikingly grabs the viewers’ attention to see more. At one point, we see Ranu warns a girl in a car, played by Sabnam Faria, not to go anywhere, followed by a monologue of Ranu’s inner thoughts saying: “After that day, I can say a lot of things and everything I say turns out to be true.”
At the end of the trailer, we see a wall cabinet slowly opens up by itself while Ranu is sewing on her sewing machine. Ranu looks at the opened door and a voice calls out her name from within.
The teaser is definitely well crafted and has accomplished the purpose of a teaser, which is to tease the audience to want to know more about the whole film.
Though this is just a teaser, it has left a lot of unanswered questions and created some confusion. We do not get to see which timeline this film takes place in. We see Ranu advising the girl in a retro era sedan, which is fine if the film is set in the 80s, as the original novel was from the 1980s timeline. In the next shot, we see a modern day Toyota behind Ranu as she passes by.
Ranu’s attire is also confusing as the current urban middle class Bangladeshi newlywed does not dress this way anymore, but did in the 80s. We did not see any cell phones in the whole teaser, so that made the confusion stronger whether this film is going to follow the periodic 80s timeline of the original novel or if it will be a modern adaptation of the popular psychological thriller.
From a personal perspective, and after neutrally watching the teaser as if I have not read the novel before, like many others who will watch this film before the novel itself, it is hard to tell if the teaser speaks more to a horror genre instead of psychological thriller.
Overall, Jaya Ahsan, as far as I saw in the teaser, does resemble the young Ranu that I had in my mind when I first stole and read the book from my mother’s book shelf back in 2003 as the book was too dark and I was not allowed to touch it before turning 18. Like the millions of Misir Ali fans out there, I was hooked on the series right after “Debi.” Hopefully the team behind its adaptation will be able to hook the new generation by their adaptation.
Apart from Jaya and Sabnam Faria, the film “Debi” stars Chanchal Chowdhury along with Iresh Zaker, Animesh Aich and others.
The film’s theatrical release dates are yet to be announced.