Amir sank in despair on the sandy beach. His dreams of putting Cox Bazar on the surfing map was coming to an end. Suddenly, the attention of both surfers were drawn by Ester's shriek. As Mark and Amir looked towards her, they saw a young girl running down the shores of Kolatoli beach with a white and blue surf board under her arm.
Watch the trailer of "No Dorai" here
Ayesha knew her drills. Battling through the waves, she picked a mighty one for her ride. Slowly, she stood up on her surf board and fixed her stance. What followed next was poetry in motion as the young surfer was tangoing with Poseidon's waves. This was beyond Mark and Amir's wildest imagination. And Ester, she had enough footage for her Cox documentary. Finally the group has found their "chosen one" (not Harry Potter!). With so much going on, the only thought crossing Ayesha's mind was "No Dorai", which in Chittagonian dialect means, "I do not fear".
Based on the true story of a woman surfer of Cox Bazar, "No Dorai" depicts the hardship and challenges she went through while chasing her long term dream – being the very best of Cox Bazar or as Ayesha puts it forward in the movie, "I am the best surfer in Cox Bazar".
Throughout the movie, Ayesha is seen confronting social prohibition and violent opposition from her poverty-ridden family to surf – a lifelong dream she has been harbouring since a tender age. Like few other eager youngsters in her community, she and her childhood best friend Sohel are trained by self-made Bangladeshi surfer, Amir.
With time, the Cox Bazar surfing enthusiasm grabs the attention of the international surfing community and documentary film-makers thus generating funds for Amir's school. While surfing brings newfound fame and glory to Sohel, the "prohibited" love for surfing bestows forced marriage and a life of misery for Ayesha. After seeking an extravagant, reckless lifestyle in the capital city, a derailed Sohel returns home only to find Ayesha; now a shell of her former self. Together they contemplate on their past which reunites their passion for surfing, unleashing a new hope for surfing in the small town of Cox Bazar.
The film's cinematography was truly masterful. The different angle shots of the longest beach of the world was well-captured and they also gave us an aerial view of the beach as well. The sounds of the larks flying above water and the waves splashing into the beach, all were in harmony with the film.
As far as the performences go, it was also a job well done. Industry's latest starlet Shariful Raj really did justice to his character Sohel, balancing between the roles of that of a conquering hero returning home and that of a derailed young man who loses the track of his life after coming to the capital from a small town. But the true star of the movie was Sunera Binte Kamal, who plays Ayesha so effortlessly. After seeing the film, it was hard to believe that this was her first silver-screen appearance.
For those who have not seen the film yet, you are really up for an emotional roller-coaster. So far, experts are hailing the film as "a milestone in Bangladeshi cinema". Having said so, there are still room for criticism. For instance, the film was too long with a running time of more than 120 minutes. But the biggest disappointment was the climax. With "No Dorai" ticking all the boxes, the ending was as predictable as it could get. Having said so, without giving up any more spoilers, pay a visit to the hall and give this movie a try. For one I can assure you, Ayesha and co will encourage you for your very own surfing adventure at the Cox.