A boatload of Bangla citizens representing every stripe of society tries to flee genocide from Pakistani soldiers in Humayun Ahmed’s rudimentary adaptation of his novel, “The Green Shade.” Symbolic to a fault, pic needs a director of unique skills and a taste of adventure to enliven the story about a group of passengers going down river in 1971. Unfortunately, renowned scribe Ahmed is not that helmer. After a local premiere in late 2004, Bangladesh’s Oscar submission looks to play primarily in niche fests.
During bloody (off-screen) military attacks on those fighting to secure an independent Bangladeshin then-East Pakistan, a melange of everyday folks flees aboard a rickety steamer commissioned by a stressed-out middle-class man (Humayun Faridi). He’s upset by this small flood of plebeians, including a Hindu family whose presence may attract Pakistani soldiers on the river. Inevitably, the group of Muslims, Hindus and educated non-believers on the boat learns to get along, while a band of Bangla rebels disguised as musicians uses the boat to attack a Pakistani army unit. Lensed on film, version screened was a tele-cine print that left plentiful night scenes virtually opaque.