By now, many of us film enthusiasts have heard of "Iti, Tomari Dhaka", or known otherwise as "Sincerely Yours, Dhaka".
This anthology film is an ode of sorts to the spirit of our beloved capital, highlighting the lives and stories of some of the city's dwellers.
Watch the trailer of "Iti, Tomari Dhaka" here
The 11 shorts in the anthology film were directed by 11 individual directors - Golam Kibria Farooki, Krishnendu Chattopadhyay, Mahmudul Islam, Mir Mukarram Hossain, Nuhash Humayun, Rahat Rahman, Robiul Alam Robi, Syed Saleh Ahmed Sobhan, Syed Ahmed Shawki, Tanim Noor and Tanvir Ahsan.
The movie boasted a cast with the likes of Fazlur Rahman Babu, Lutfur Rahman George, Iresh Zaker, Nusrat Imrose Tisha, Intekhab Dinar, Orchita Sporshia and Shatabdi Wadud, as well as other talented artistes of the industry, who contributed in making the film a huge success worldwide.
Owing to which, "Sincerely Yours, Dhaka" has officially entered the 93rd Academy Awards this year to represent Bangladesh in the Best International Feature Film category.
Although making an anthology film is a bold step, given the fact that one story can be either better or worse than the other, "Sincerely Yours, Dhaka" surpassed these concerns as all the 11 shorts were equally endearing.
And by the time the movie was finished, I was left awestruck with a heart full of emotions.
The 11 directors carried out their stories excellently with grace and maturity, leaving little room for disappointments.
Their directorship exuded finesse in the art of storytelling while maintaining a minimalist approach.
The best part about the film is that viewers could relate to all the 11 stories as lived experiences of the events.
"Sincerely Yours, Dhaka", strived to engage the audience with the daily struggles of surviving in this ruthless city and did exactly so.
The first short of the film, Nuhash Humayun's "The Background Artist", brings to the fore the sad reality concealed beneath the glitzy world of cinema while redefining the lead character's self-worth as a human being at the same time.
The story was written simply and executed impeccably by Manoj Kumar Pramanik as the lead character, all the while reminding us of Nuhash's trademark comical script and bursts of dark humour with the turn of each act.
Syed Ahmed Shawki's "Cheers" is about two 20-year-old girls on the lookout for scoring alcohol in a bid to rebel against her cheating boyfriend.
In a city where it is taboo for women to publicly indulge in frowned upon acts such as drinking alcohol, Orchita Sporshia's lead role in "Cheers" mirrored the struggles a woman faces doing things a man can do with ease.
The character development and transition here was done with swiftness and the story climaxed right when it should have, without dragging it on.
Like these two stories, "Sincerely Yours, Dhaka" portrays nine more shorts which deal with socio-economic, socio-political, geo-political, gender-based inequality, abuse of power and power dynamic tropes, and the human cost of a rapidly evolving world that measures everything in monetary terms.
In short, the 11 stories land a slap on the face of capitalism through the means of cinema.
As outstanding as the movie may be, there were certain aspects that did not translate as fluently as other scenes.
But the efforts invested by the cast members compensated for the shortcomings through their applaudable acting.
When it comes to the background score of the film, the sound design of the 11 shorts blended it perfectly with the premises of the narratives that not only elevated the scene's sentiments, but also intelligently boosted audience engagement without going over the top.
Another difficult aspect of anthology films is to maintain consistency while colour-grading. But in the case of "Sincerely Yours, Dhaka", Rahat Rahman and Sohel Mondol, as editors, ensured properly colour-graded justice to all the 11 individual shorts.
As a collective, "Sincerely Yours, Dhaka" tells the tales of the innumerable accounts of broken dreams, burdens and responsibilities, and social injustices that take place every day.
And while each story has its own label, the individual treatment does not break the collective flow of the film.
Rather, the distinguishable backdrop of the stories help tie in the movie as a whole.