Directed by Asif Jahangir Arko | Reviewed by Tanusri Tarafder
What if we imagine films as a reflection of human life itself? Asif Jahangir Arko is someone who makes films which reflect a similar thought. This could be seen as the key signature style in all his films; as it is seen in “Last Wish” or “Sesh Iccha”.
Elements like spirituality, affection, responsibility and life span synchronize their way into the short runtime. The uncertainty of life is an introspection we tend to overlook usually and focus on only in times of peril. It serves as the major plot behind “Last Wish” and through well-thought cinematography, well-matched music, appropriate attires, are used to portray the various stages of life.
The film begins to roll with a close-up of a man lying, and then waking up with surprise! Significantly, the color scheme keeps entailing something in the picture, harmonizing well with the entire situation. Here comes the first cinematic twist in the frames.
Where is he now? Is it on earth? Or somewhere else entirely? He keeps walking through the unfamiliar and alien woods.
When suddenly he sees a woman sitting with her back to him and approaches her; asking the lady about the place where he finds himself lost in. Suddenly he realizes his wristwatch is not working and the glass is completely broken. This jolts him into a reminder of the accident and his death! Yes, he is indeed dead and this place might be his afterlife! The man is distraught and continually requests this strange woman who is revealed to be a delegate of this place to let him live again! The woman finally acquiesces and soon he is granted a visit to Earth only to complete the project he was working on before death.
He returns to the accident spot and starts rearranging his project, which lies broken and scattered here and there after the fatal accident. As he does, a feeling of melancholy comes over him and the strange film delves into a philosophical mood of introspection.
In all the sequences, story plots have been beautifully composed with ardent camera movements, and undoubtedly brilliant acting prowess from all the actors and actresses, who mark a significant presence and prominently help the director to establish the feelings exactly as they are required.
All in all, a great team effort is seen in “Last Wish”. These films are always a welcoming fresh breath of air to not only mesmerize its audience but to make them think deeply. The question of life and death is something we have always been cautious about and would let the subject unanswered mostly due to our thought process reflecting it as an obstacle and pushing it into a realm of incomprehension. Last Wish and Asif Jahangir Arko deserve a round of applause from each viewer for choosing such a poignant message for the film.
Being a notable region of art and culture, Bangladesh has always been a place which has birthed brilliant
works of creative representation. “Last Wish” by Asif Jahangir Arko serves as another one of these creative milestones for the country.
Tanusri Tarafder is a Masters in Journalism and Mass Communication from Jadavpur University, Kolkata. She is enthusiastic about movies, photography and hosting live events. Tanusri is currently working as the Director of Kolkata United Cine Community where she is engaged in film preservation and archiving.