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Aaj Robibar: The BTV classic reminds us of the importance of high-quality screenplays and dialogue

  • Published at 08:03 pm September 11th, 2019
Aaj Robibar
A scene featuring Suborna Mustafa in the classic Aasj Robibar | Courtesy

My 12-year-old niece and 8-year-old nephew both enjoy Aaj Robibar and laugh out loud when watching it. Their interest in this play suggests that today’s content creators are failing miserably in drawing the  attention of the younger generation. My niece is an MCU fanatic and my nephews (her cousins) follow their sister’s footsteps with utter devotion. Aaj Robibar is the only Bangla content that holds their attention and love

I heard about the golden days of Bangladesh Television (BTV) from my older siblings, mother, and aunts. Growing up I had some vague memories of watching some BTV shows on weekends.  However, I never got to watch any BTV classic dramas until 2006 or 2007. 

I was first exposed to BTV classics when a brother of mine brought home an Aaj Robibar DVD.

Watching it for the first time, I got hooked and have lost count of how many times I watched this show, both on DVD and on YouTube.  Eventually, Aaj Robibar went on to become my all time favourite Bangla drama.

Since then, for professional reasons and personal interest, I have watched many BTV dramas on YouTube including Kothao keo nei, Bohubrihi, and more, and I have no words to express how great all the plays were!

We very often say or believe that today’s young people do not watch Bangla content. This raises the question then, of how do these old classics still keep attracting generation after generation?

My 12-year-old niece and 8-year-old nephew both enjoy Aaj Robibar and laugh out loud when watching it. Their interest in this play suggests that today’s content creators are failing miserably in drawing the  attention of the younger generation. My niece is an MCU fanatic and my nephews (her cousins) follow their sister’s footsteps with utter devotion. Aaj Robibar is the only Bangla content that holds their attention and love. 

What makes Aaj Robibar or other BTV classics so great? 

Let me give you a breakdown of the beauty of its script and well written dialogues. 

The opening scene of Aaj Robibar surprises the audience with a ‘break-the fourth wall’ scene. I had no idea about that term until I attended film school. 

Obviously, even film-making technicality wise, the sitcom was ahead of its time. All the scenes of the sitcom are so consistent and synchronized. 

This play offers both comedy and sentiment. It is astonishing to see how pretty much every episode of the classic drama makes the audience laugh and cry simultaneously. 

The performance of the cast is excellent and each actor portrays his or her character with utter authenticity. None of the characters wear any extra-make up and both  set designs and costumes are also very authentic. 

The use of decent language is another strong feature of the play, which is very rare these days. However, a couple of characters do speak in provincial dialects to complement their characters. 

The storyline of the play revolves around the day-to-day life of a joint family in Dhaka. Each character makes one feel as though they are real and true to life. People who grew up in joint families in Dhaka can relate to at least one or two events in the play. 

Abul Khair plays the head of a family consisting of three sons, granddaughters, and the helping hands of their family. His elder son Asgor (Aly Zaker), is a well-known psychiatrist but is considered a lunatic by everyone in the family because of his actions and hobbies. 

Abul Hayat plays Jamil, the second son of the family. He is a widower and has two daughters. Jamil’s love interest, Mira, is played by Suborna Mustafa. Mira is a beautiful smart woman who reminds the audience of sophisticated and educated women in the late 90s. 

Zahid Hassan’s Anis bhai is a very memorable character for his dialogues and innocence. 

The songs used in this sitcom such as Nisha Laa Gilo Re and Loke Bole by Hason Raja are a reminder of how background score and music can also play a vital role in any production. 

In a few scenes, the audience might notice shadows of the boom microphone. Other than that, it is really difficult to find any inconsistency in the excellent play. 

A good storyline and a well written script: that is all it takes to grab the attention of the audience. Maybe that is where modern day content creators are failing today, in spite of modern technology and so many digital platforms.

 Aaj Robibar is a great example of how a well-made production can attract audiences of every age and era. 

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