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Ekattor: An unusual war drama about military espionage and gangsters

  • Published at 06:22 pm March 26th, 2020
From left, Mostafizur Noor Imran, Nusrat Imrose Tisha, Mostafa Monwar, Rafiath Rashid Mithila, and Iresh Zaker in Ekattor Courtesy

This riveting and incredibly well-crafted web series, Ekattor, was released on Hoichoi on Independence Day. Actor Mostafizur Noor Imran talked to Dhaka Tribune Showtime’s Sadia Khalid about his experience on this show

Old Dhaka gangster, Selim (Mostafa Monwar), cares nothing about politics, but when it comes to protecting his community, he will leave no stone unturned. He is hopelessly in love with Joyita (Nusrat Imrose Tisha), the most ‘woke’ and fearless university student. Her brother Captain Shiraj (Mostafizur Noor Imran) steals a top-secret file from the Pakistani Army. This file holds the blueprint for ‘Operation Blitz’ and Shiraj must deliver it to Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman before it’s too late. West Pakistani Major Wasim (Iresh Zaker) tails Shiraj to retrieve this critical file, while his wife, journalist Ruhi (Rafiath Rashid Mithila) threatens to reveal the truth to the world.  

This riveting and incredibly well-crafted web series Ekattor was released on Hoichoi on Independence Day. Actor Mostafizur Noor Imran talked to Dhaka Tribune Showtime’s Sadia Khalid about his experience on this show

In Ekattor, you play Captain Shiraj from Pakistan Army. Tell us about the character.

I play a Bengali officer in the Pakistan Army. They were hugely discriminated in terms of promotions and treatment in general. We see the chain of events in early 1971. Inside the cantonment, people knew what was coming in March. The story centres around a classified file that outlines a secret operation (which later became “Operation Searchlight”). Captain Shiraj has strong moral principles and is a fearless patriot. He also deeply loves Bangabandhu. 

You’ve played in Liberation War movies before. How was it different this time?

My first film was Guerilla, another Liberation War film. But my role was for only 6 seconds. I later played Bablu in Ashraf Shishir’s Juddho Ta Chhilo Shadhinotar. I’m also in 7th March

This web series was very dear to me. I’m a big fan of Mostafa Monowar, who plays Selim. He’s like Robert De Niro to me. Tisha, Iresh Zaker, Mithila- I didn’t see them as these big stars while working. On set, they were the characters the whole time. It later dawned on me how incredible actors they all are. 

You’ve acted in several critically acclaimed films. Did you train to be an actor?

I’ve always wanted to be a full-time actor. I’ve been acting in theatres since 2000. I started in Bagerhat, where I grew up. My maternal grandfather, Ali Mansur Paik, was a pioneer of method acting in our region. We also look alike, coincidentally. I never saw him, but it’s almost like his spirit lives in me. I used to do one man shows in our courtyard as a kid. Later, I studied in Drama and Dramatics department in Jahangirnagar. I completed my Masters in Acting, top of my class. I thought there were lots of opportunities waiting for me as an actor, but the reality is a lot harsher than I expected. 

I don’t let projects overlap. It takes time for me to leave a character. It was hard to move on to the next character after shooting Ekattor. I don’t focus on quantity. I like to ask the directors a lot of questions. The industry labels you as an art film artist or a character artist. I never said I won’t do any commercial film. It’s just that those scripts are not good enough.  

All shootings are being cancelled for coronavirus. Which of your projects were postponed? 

Actors tend to be escapists. Not being in character is a huge pressure for me. I’ll utilize the time by reading, but it’s difficult. A Biopscope series and 7th March has some work left that are being delayed. Then I can hibernate. 

What’s next for you?

I’m hopeful about playing Sheikh Moni in Shyam Benegal’s Bangabandhu biopic. I can’t say for sure before any agreement is signed though.