I'm a 26 year old male Senior Reporter for Weekend Notes. I Graduated from A Bachelor of Arts (Creative Writing and Communication) at UniSA in 2014. As well as writing for WN I have also done pieces for the Adelaide 36s and Mawson Lakes Living.
A cultural rom-com from the land of romance and culture
Italian films are known for their passion, fire and intense emotion. With this in mind, it's good to kick off this year's Lavazza Italian Film Festival with a somewhat lighter experience. And when I say light, I mean light as a feather. Bangla, by first-time director Phaim Bhuiyan, is a rom-com that follows all the tropes of the genre to the letter. That's not to say however that this film doesn't have its place. Light on drama, big on laughs and with a twist intriguing enough to be worth the price of admission.
Bangla follows Phiam (played by the director himself) as an Italian born Muslim boy with Bangladeshi origins. The film, set in multiethnic Torpignattara, depicts Phaim's muted life and lifestyle as he adheres to his culture's norms until he meets Asia (Carlotta Antonelli). Phiam falls in love as Asia turns out to be his complete opposite. She pulls Phiam along through the most exciting time of his life which flies in the face of his beliefs and social norms. Phiam struggles with his own identity as he tries to reconcile with the love of his life.
Bangla is as sweet a movie as you can get. With themes of family, responsibility, love and coming of age, Bangla hits all its notes. This is a perfect example of a popcorn movie. With plenty of tender feel-good moments, spot-on comedic timing and drama that doesn't let your heart sink too low. With a multicultural twist that gives the audience something more to think about, Bangla is an exceptional directorial debut for Bhuiyan as he has created a film that is hard not to like. Bhuiyan's technique is sound with consistent set pieces, snappy dialogue and striking shots. Bhuiyan's gets the basics right while not really challenging any film or storytelling conventions.
Bangla is one of a huge selection of award-winning films being presented at this year's Lavazza Italian Film Festival. Bangla could be your perfect kick-off point before you wade into some of the heavier fair like Tina Arena's acting debut in Promised or the three and half hour Director's Cut of Loro. See this and plenty more films at Palace Nova Cinemas here.