A flute player from the provinces gets exploited by a shady Dhaka.

A naive flute player from the provinces gets exploited by a shady Dhaka “patron of the arts” in the overly didactic political fable “Beyond the Circle,” from Bangladeshi multihypenate Golam Rabbany Biplob. The helmer’s sophomore feature is a well-intentioned but melodramatic critique of media spin and the market economy, but it lacks the genuine charm and sincerity of feeling evinced by his prizewinning debut, “On the Wings of Dreams.” Preeming theatrically at home parallel with its Toronto screenings, the pic is unlikely to travel beyond select fests.

Sixtyish widower Haripada (Jayanto Chattopadhyay) is a potter by trade and a self-taught flautist who plays for his own pleasure. His benefactor is a bigshot (Shahidul Alam Sachchu) from the capital whose foundation specializes in packaging rural folk artists for mass consumption. The narrative might have packed a greater emotional punch if Haripada were actually a neglected master musician, but the helmer seems more interested in highlighting the machinations of the foundation, which pays its inhouse intellectuals to sell Haripada that way. Broad, one-note thesping is matched by unsubtle tech credits, with the traditional soundtrack forced to do some heavy lifting.

Beyond the Circle



An Impress Telefilm production. (International sales: Impress Telefilm, Dhaka, Bangladesh.) Produced by Faridur Reza Sagar. Executive producer, Sagar. Directed, written by Golam Rabbany Biplob.


Camera (color), Mahfooz Ur Rahman Khan; editor, Junaid Halim; music, Bappa Mozumder; production designer, Biplob. Reviewed at Toronto Film Festival (Contemporary World Cinema), Sept. 11, 2009. Original title: Britter Bairey. Running time: 87 MIN.


Jayanto Chattopadhyay, Firoj Khan Dollar, Fazlur Rahman Babu, Knogkon, Shahidul Alam Sachchu.

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