The first episode of "Ekattor" opens with a footnote on-screen that reads: December 13, 1970.
The next scene shows some members of rival gangs from Old Dhaka who are involved in petty power competition. A date shown in the scene reads: February 25, 1971.
These local gangsters have no idea what will happen in near future, and how history might change within a month.
The story of "Ekattor" is based on a secret military operation called "Operation Blitz", which the Pakistani Army planned to carry out in 1971.
Watch the trailer of "Ekattor" here
Released on March 26, the Hoichoi original series consists of eight episodes, which are: "Shapey Neuley," "Shokuner Agomon," "Ghor Shatru Bibhishon," "Bagher Ghorey Ghoger Basha," "Khudharto Hyena," "Phaad," "Palta Aghat", and "Kalbela."
The series revolves around a gangster named Selim (Mostafa Monwar) who leads a care-free life and is in love with Joyita (Nusrat Imrose Tisha) who lives in his neighbourhood.
Selim finds himself in the middle of chaos when Joyita's brother Captain Shiraj (Mostafizur Noor Imran) steals a top-secret file from the Pakistani Army and comes to Selim for shelter.
The file contains a blueprint of "Operation Blitz" and Shiraj needs to deliver it to Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman before time runs out.
Major Wasim (Iresh Zaker) is a ruthless Pakistani major who is known as "the butcher". He is brought to East Pakistan to execute the operation. Wasim becomes furious when the file gets lost and vows to retrieve it at any cost.
Along with these actors, Rafiath Rashid Mithila and Tariq Anam Khan also play two major supporting roles in the series.
Directed by Tanim Noor, "Ekattor" features some great camera works. Yet, there was scope to improve the action scenes and VFX effects. Moreover, the set which was designed by Ranjan Rabbani, does not feel very realistic.
However, the production team paid close attention to create that particular time period. So 70s movie posters, banners etc. are noticeable throughout the scenes. The make-up and costume team also did a good job.
Nusrat Imrose Tisha acted brilliantly as Joyita. But Iresh Zaker's performance was average as some of his dialogues and gestures lacked expression. Also, I am not sure if army officers were allowed to have goatees back in the days as Major Wasim did.
As Selim, Mostafa Monwar could have done a better job, especially while delivering the dialogues and using props such as guns.
The audio does not synch with some of the scenes, which looks quite odd. On a brighter note though, the historical references and usage of archival footage makes the series interesting.
In a conversation with The Business Standard, the director said, "'Ekattor' is a complete work of fiction, inspired by the Liberation War."
If you enjoy watching thrillers and take an interest in Bangladesh's history, "Ekattor" is a must watch series for you during the lockdown.
Regardless of some technical errors and the lacking mentioned above, overall it is an entertaining show which deserves a 3.5 star.