Published:  12:55 AM, 15 July 2018

How pure love can be hurt by society

Movie review

How pure love can be hurt by society

PoraMon 2 is a film written and directed by Raihan Rafi, and produced by Abdul Aziz. Jazz Multimedia distributed the film. PoraMon 2 thematically follows certain elements of the first movie as in the name of the female and male leads are still named Sujon (Siam Ahmed) and Pori (Puja Cherry). The movie can be said to be divided into 3 Acts that comprises its narrative. 

Overall, the film illustrates the failings of society and the discriminations it possesses. Love can fail not because it is weak but because society wants to run on biases and not love. PoraMon may focus on romantic love but its main focus is not solely on romantic love. It shows different types of enduring love that cleanses and heals the soul. 

Act 1 comprises of Sujon and Pori's childhood. Sujan Shah is orphaned but taken care of his older brother (Bapparaj). His older brother is poor but takes care of Sujon as though he is his own father. 

As people later mentioned, he even refused to marry so that he could dedicate his life to taking care of his younger brother. Pori Takudar is the daughter of the Talukdar zamindar in the village. Despite their social differences Pori and Sujon care deeply about each other and are best friends. 

A tragedy befalls the village. Jasmine, the daughter of a poor man in the village, commits suicide, adorned in bridal wear. Jasmine and her father were waiting for a young man Kabir to come back. 

Kabir was given a place to stay in Jasmine's house and later claimed he was in love with Jasmine and would marry her. Jasmine's father approved and he also gave Kabir money as he promised to make arrangements for Jasmine and himself. 

Later on, they find out Kabir has betrayed them and has moved on. Postmortem reports also indicate that Jasmine had become pregnant.  Knowing that the village would slut shame her and ridicule her father, her heart entirely crushed, she in despair takes her own life. 

If society was merciful and understanding this would not have happened. The film blames our sexist ideologies that help make these tragedies.When people see her hanging body they do not offer respite to Jasmine's father. They are toxic and feel that their village, Meherpur, has lost its dignity for Jasmine's suicide. 

Even the women chime in that perhaps she was pregnant, instead of feeling her sorrow they are incensed and deem her characterless. Jasmine's father considers her love to be pure and her to be the epitome of innocence hurt by Kabir. When trying to get her funeral rites and a burial place the mullah of the village refuses, as suicide is a sin. 

Of course, suicide is a sin in Abrahamic Faiths but she could still be buried and there is no barring against that. The mullah's lack of knowledge is backed up by Chief Talukdar, Pori's father, and they both humiliate the man alongside other villagers. 

Sujan witnesses the disrespect given to the man and hates seeing this as he has a conscience. When the man is ostracized by his own community Sujon gives him comfort. Sujon starts becoming a foster son to the man and we see his heart his good. 

Pori's heart is also good, as she loves Sujon as her friend despite her coming from a wealthier family. Yet, due to the misunderstandings between two children and the cruelty of Chief Talukdar their friendship is ruined for some years. 

Act 2 begins with Sujon and Pori as young adults. Pori, despite coming from a rich family, is pragmatic. She believes in hard work and she believes that people should value their families and respect their loved ones. She is an intelligent student, ambitious and strong willed.

In contrast, Sujon is a sort of a spoiled brat. His brother works for him and he relies on his brother's earnings and dreams of becoming a film star.  It is safe to say that Sujon and Pori would clash, as their ideologies are entirely different. 

I have some criticisms of the film here. At times, the way Pori acted seemed to me coercive and problematic. I know in the South Asian/Bangladeshi context it may seem empowering as Pori is headstrong and refuses to love anyone other than Sujon.  Yet, at times I felt she was acting a bit like a stalker, which personally I don't approve.

Additionally, Pori's critique's of Sujo's dreams seemed contradictory to the medium presented. If he wants to be an actor and being an actor is considered too glamorous and irresponsible then why show that in a film? I understand Pori wants Sujon to grow up but he can do that by keeping some of his dreams; they don't have to be erased. 

However, what I did approve is the showing of Pori's anger. Her anger towards her family's classist's ways and her anger at their injustices are given validation.  Sometimes, she becomes a fury breaking things in her room and talking back fiercely though she is emotionally and physically abused by her family. The only two people Pori can really count on are her mother and her paternal grandmother. 

Her grandmother knows Pori is righteous and good, and she also knows her son and grandson are unjust and cruel. However, everyone warns Pori of Jasmine - that loving blindly will make her have a fate like Jasmine.  Pori hates this but she is quite determined that her love is true and pure and it can win. One think PoraMon subtly shows that love cannot be coerced nor can it always be unconditional. 

This is something I respected because without mutual dedication and affections love is not love but obsession. It takes time for Sujon and Pori to gain maturity enough to fall in love properly and it helps them grow as people. 

The final act shows how society can be cruel to lovers who are pure, devoted and innocent. Sujon and Pori try every way to get married by Chief Taludar's approval but he is not budging from his arrogance. 

Talukder's son is also an abusive man who speaks rudely to his mother and considers Sujon nothing but an insect. It is Sujon's brother who supports him and even says that Pori a good young woman and Sujon should always respect and look after her. 

The familial love between Sujon and his brother, between Pori and her grandmother and mother are important parts of the story. Without such love, it could be very hard for Pori and Sujon to also learn how to love. Jasmine's father also aids the young couple by giving them counsel. He is adamant that the same histories are not repeated.  

The ending is the greatest act of love, I feel, someone can give in those dire circumstances. The pure love enables actions based on purity. The couple truly can rely on each other because they have never done anything wrong nor has their love hurt anyone. 

It is society that sneers at them, hurts them and punishes them.  It also hurts the poor, the Hijra population, queer people and those it has ostracized. I can see some aspects of Sujon and Pori's love mirroring the strife and insult faced by the marginalized groups in our society. 

PoraMon 2 is a good film. It has comic moments, beautiful cinematography, great acting and also the heart to be empathetic.  As Sujon once states, every person is the star in their own lives, meaning no one is inadequate or useless.  

The film tries to touch on serious issues with some comedic flair but at the same time paint it with all the seriousness it can muster. The ending was truly an ode to love. I could not have seen it end in any other way as it shows the perseverance and purity of love.

The writer is a copy editor at 
The Asian Age

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