Assamese cinema: 2019
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Ratnakar: A New Myth of Love, Kanchanjangha smash Mission China records
Titled ‘Ratnakar: A New Myth of Love’, the film stars superstar Jatin Bora playing the role of a single father living incognito to protect the safety of his young daughter
Assamese film Ratnakar: A New Myth of Love, has broken all box office records since its release on October 11, to emerge as the biggest Assamese blockbuster of all time. Loosely inspired from the Tamil film of 2016, Vijay-starrer Theri that was directed by Atlee, Ratnakar has superstar Jatin Bora playing the lead role of a single father living incognito in a remote place to protect the safety of his young daughter.
Bora has also co-produced and directed the film with music composed by the other big star of Assamese cinema, Zubeen Garg. The film has been scripted by Abhijit Bhattacharjya, who is well-known for his work with the popular travelling theatres in Assam.
“Not just Assam, it’s the biggest ever money-spinner for the entire North East,” says the film’s co-producer, Navanita Sarma Bora. Ratnakar released in 59 theatres in the state and 12 outside the North East in its first week. According to its distributor Siddharth Goenka, it has collected Rs 9 crore 23 lakh net since then.
Ratnakar is not the only one to have hit the jackpot. Kanchanjangha, that released in 69 theatres in Assam on September 6 this year did a business of Rs 7 crore gross in a five-week-run to become the highest grossing Assamese film in history, till Ratnakar came a month later to break its record. The previous highest Assamese grosser had been Mission China (2017) that did an approximate business of Rs 5 crore.
Both Kanchanjangha and Mission China were co-produced,directed and written by Zubeen Garg who also composed the music and starred in them. “In the beginning of the fourth week, Kanchanjangha also surpassed the record of Baahubali 2: The Conclusion as the highest grosser in the North East,” says co-producer Garima Saikia Garg. Both Ratnakar and Kanchanjangha have been distributed by Goenka.
“It’s a golden time for Assamese cinema with two films making history, back-to-back,” says Saikia Garg. “2019 has been the best ever year for Assamese cinema. The producers, distributors, exhibitors… everyone is happy,” says veteran filmmaker Manju Bora. “Usually Assamese films would make way to accommodate mainstream Hindi films in the theatres. This year it has been the other way round; Hindi films are giving way to Assamese films.The last such blockbuster was Joubone Amoni Kore that pushed Hum Aapke Hain Koun! out of the theatres,” says critic-turned-filmmaker Utpal Borpujari.
The booming business has been helping independent Assamese cinema as well. India’s Oscar entry last year, Rima Das’ Village Rockstars, is reported to have run for three weeks in Assam and made more than Rs 1 crore. “There have been very few takers for award-winning, festival circuit films. Now even that line is being breached for the betterment of cinema,” says Manju Bora.
Assamese cinema: 2019