“Hell and Heaven” released in Bangladesh as “Poramon 2” is a spiritual sequel to the 2013 romantic drama film “Poramon”. “Hell and Heaven” was released to critical acclaim for a commercial film in Bangladesh, then went on to become one of the highest grossing films to come out of Bangladesh.
The film begins with the suicide of Jasmine, a young woman who had been betrayed by her lover. The Islamic society doesn’t accept the suicide and even a proper burial is denied for her. Her father digs her grave on the river bank and performs the funeral rites and only Sujan, a 10-year-old boy from the village takes part in it.
10 years later, a grown up Sujan (Siam Ahmed) reenacts films of actor Salman Shah in front of the villagers and dreams of becoming an actor while his soft-spoken brother earns money by working for the richest person of the village, Talukder. At the same time, Pori (Puja Cherry Roy), daughter of Talukder is madly in love with Sujan. Sujan doesn’t trust Pori due to an experience from their childhood that made him look like a thief.
Even though the beginning of the film is quite dark, once the story enters the adulthood of the protagonists it turns into a comedy with romantic elements. The ending of the film is one of the most captivating moments of the film. The significance of the opening becomes evident only by the unexpected turn in the ending.
The influence of Indian films is quite obvious throughout the movie. A major portion of the first half gives homage to the actor Salman Shah. However, much of the film and songs used were originally remakes of Bollywood films and songs. The structure of the production itself feels like a cheap imitation of mediocre Bollywood films where a drama is unevenly mixed with comedy and occasional pop-ups of a dance sequence.
The acting, in general, seems to be a bit melodramatic, although, it is to be noted that for Dhallywood this is a common trend. Puja Cherry Roy was the only one who performed in a more natural way, in comparison. All the songs were melodious and catchy even though they didn’t seem to organically fit in the film. Cinematography by Saiful Shahin captured the beauty of the rural village and juxtaposed the dark side at crucial junctures.
For a commercial film from Bangladesh “Hell and Heaven” is a nice attempt. Nevertheless, it has nothing new to offer for the rest of the world other than a different portrayal of the Muslim community from the rest of the world.