Director Nasiruddin Yousuff’s film Guerilla is a detailed study on patriotism and jingoism and how both have been at loggerheads since time immemorial. If one seeks sovereign Pakistan and drags people to extremes of sufferings to make them serve Islam the other hails ‘Joy Bangla’ (Hail Bangladesh) in chorus and pounces on oppressors at every opportunity. With West Pakistan’s forced attempt to suppress freedom movement in East Pakistan as the backdrop, the film looks out for pathos and rage as the outcome of long standing battle between two warring factions.
Gory is the depiction of barbarities under the pretext of wiping out gaddars (traitors).
Bilkis (Joya Ahsan), a gritty woman is the protagonist whose pain seems overbearing. The misery keeps mounting as she loses her husband (mukti joddha or freedom fighter) and continues to tread on path fraught with dangers. Her loneliness as an individual who is being looked up to and not looked after is felt all along.
The film projects erstwhile Pakistani Army’s audacity and modus operandi to silence a revolution. It also goes on to draw a struggling humanity trying to preserve its quality when beastly rule is devouring every virtue.
Looking deep into the plot opens before us a gamut of themes. It’s a love story amidst turbulent times, a subjective presentation of victimization of Bangladesh in 1971, and a travelogue that takes you to the alleys of malicious machination and secret rooms of revolutionary decisions.
Sensible work with camera, relentlessly good juggling with snippets from past and present and well-etched symbolisms made the narrative more poignant. High-handedness was deftly put before audience and the diligently building up of struggle was given due respect. Flute in the background was more than heartwarming as well as unnerving.
Use of Kazi Nazrul Islam’s verse, songs and memories of peaceful past got their acts together. Music Director Shimul Yousuf needs to be given his share of credit for offering some moving scores.