700 TAKA: A quirky and charming tribute to young love

‘Relatable’ – a label that every director wants on their project, while some others try their best to tag this to the most outlandish of genres. However, Nuhash Humayun’s latest short on iflix, 700 Taka, is ‘relatable’ done right.

As a director, Nuhash had already made his presence felt with Hotel Albatross and Paperfrogs, the latter of which bagged him the coveted ‘Best Debut’ award at The Daily Star- Standard Chartered Bangladesh’s Celebrating Life 2017.

In spite of that, I feel like the director outdid his previous works when he made this romcom. That too without even taking into account the plethora of memes on social media that has helped 700 Taka go viral.

The 17 minute short features Pritom Hasan and Sabila Nur as the leads, both of whom showcase believable chemistry from the get-go. Pritom, even though not a professional actor, perfectly fits the role of Arik, an economically challenged and insecure youngster. He is arguably the highlight of the short, despite of the presence of the much more seasoned actor, Sabila Nur.

The short film is shot primarily in two locations – the house where Arik tutors a plump young child and a well-known restaurant in Dhanmondi. The story is centered around Arik’s date with Nadia (Sabila Nur), during which Arik is paranoid about having only 700 taka in his pocket. The cinematography by Tanvir Anzum is unconventional but fitting of the story. The humour of 700 Taka is pretty much in-your-face, but never to the point that it gets overbearing. The overabundance of television and pop-culture references only adds to the whimsical nature of the film. There is even a parody of a typical Bangla tele-fiction in the short, which made me laugh more than it realistically should.

The segment between Arik and the unnamed waiter, played by none other than internet ‘meme-lord’ Asif Zaman deserves a special mention due to the sheer unadulterated humour that it brings to the film.

At the end of the day, 700 Taka is unapologetically funny and surprisingly relatable, the reason being that it was made by an enthusiastic young crew for a young audience. Given that you can sign up to iflix for free and watch this for free, it is highly recommended for anyone looking for 17 minutes of brilliance by Nuhash Humayun.