Priyotoma (Bengali: প্রিয়তমা; transl. Sweetheart) is a 2023 Bangladeshi romantic action film. The film was directed by Himel Ashraf, his second directional, and produced by Arshad Adnan under the banner of Versatile Media. The film story was written by the late Faruk Hossain alone and Himel Ashraf jointly wrote the screenplay and dialogues with him. It is a tragic love story that left an indelible mark on Sumon’s (played by Shakib Khan) life, shattering his world and leaving him forever transformed, with features Idhika Paul, Shahiduzzaman Selim and Lutfur Rahman George in the lead role. Many others including Elina Shammi, Don and Shiba Shanu have been performed important roles.
In 2017, Shakib Khan announced the film under his production. After six years of the announcement the principal photography of the film officially began on May 8, 2023, under Arshad Adnan’s production. It was wrapped up on June 21, 2023. The film’s first look was revealed on June 2, 2023, although no trailer was released. It got censor clarification on June 22, 2022. The film was shot mostly in Dhaka, Sylhet and Sunamganj with sporadic schedules in Cox’s Bazar and Bandarban. The music was composed by Akassh, Prince Mahmud and Sajid Sarker, cinematography handled by Saiful Sahin, choreographed by Baba Yadav and editing was by Simit Ray Antor. Priyotoma has set several box office records. The film has the fastest gross figure collection in the history of Bangladeshi Cinema till date. It is the highest grossing Bangladeshi film of 2023 and also the highest grossing Bangladeshi film of all time. As of 2023, it is also the highest-grossing film of Khan’s career surpassing his 2008 blockbuster Priya Amar Priya. The film won nine awards including Best Actor and Best Actress in the Special Honors category at the 22nd Babisas Awards.
Sumon (Shakib Khan), devastated by his brother’s demise, embarked on a journey to a distant city to retrieve funds from his brother’s business associate. Little did he know that this endeavor would lead him down a path of unforeseen love. In a twist of fate, Sumon found himself entangled in the arms of a politician’s daughter, an encounter that would forever alter the course of his existence. This tragic love story left an indelible mark on Sumon’s life, shattering his world and leaving him forever transformed.
- Shakib Khan as Sumon
- Idhika Paul as Iti
- Lutfur Rahman George as Khalek a.k.a. Khalek chairman, a former chairman of Cox’s Bazar Upazila Parishad and Iti’s father.
- Shahiduzzaman Selim as Usman
- Shiba Shanu as Sujon, a lessee of the Eid al-Adha’s Qurbani hut and Sumon’s elder brother. One of Usman’s business partners. Later, he was killed by Usman.
- Elina Shammi as Sujon’s wife
- Lutfur Rahman Khan Shimanto as John
- Don as Ranga, Usman right-hand
- Shahid-Un-Nabi as Khobir, Iti’s elder brother
- Kazi Hayat as Sumon’s father
- Jahid Islam as Masud, Usman’s gang
The soundtrack of the film is composed by Akassh and Prince Mahmud. The first song of the film is Qurbani Qurbani, composed and music arranged by Akassh. He also sang the song, apart from composed the lyrics. The song was shot for three days at Bangladesh Film Development Corporation (BFDC) in Dhaka and Panam City in Narayanganj. It was released on June 24, 2023, on Shakib Khan’s official Facebook page and his own production company SK Films’ YouTube channel. Within three hours of its release, the song received over 154k reactions on Facebook and over 1 million views. It was followed by the release of its second single “O Priyotoma”, which is a romantic number, where Khan and Paul are seen for the first time, on June 27. The song is sung by Balam along with Somnur Monir Konal, which lyrics penned by Asif Iqbal is composed by Akassh. According to Channel i reports, singer Balam made his comeback in playback after almost ten years with the film. It features another song titled Ishwar composed by Prince Mahmud, who had previously composed music for Mostofa Sarwar Farooki’s Third Person Singular Number (2009) and Animesh Aich’s Zero Degree (2015). However, he did not work regularly in film songs, this time he composed a song for the first time in a mainstream commercial film. After the release of the first song of the film, on 25 June, Prince Mahmud told Prothom Alo about the song, “The song is very good. Those who listened to our songs in the 90’s will like it, and the audience of present generation will also like it.” Lyrics written by Someshwar Oli, who collaborate with Mahmud for the first time, the song is sung by Akib Zaman Riyad, which is his debut film. It was revealed on June 29, the day Eid. The film’s fourth song titled “Gobire” was sung by Rehan Rasool and Priyanka Gope, which composed by Sajid Sarker and lyrics penned by Zahid Akbar. It is the third collaboration between with lead actor and Akbar. He had previously written “Jekhanei Jaabi Amake Pabe” for the 2014 Shakib Khan-produced film Hero: The Superstar and another song titled “Surma Surma” for the 2023 film Leader: Amie Bangladesh. About the song he told Channel i that, “Govire” is a song that reaches deep into the heart, not a song of excitement. A song like love spreading through vein sub-vein. I was more motivated to write the song after seeing the dummy of Shakib Khan’s 80-year-old look in the story. Listening to the song, the audience can tell how it is.”
Rahman Moti praised the film’s soundtrack. He also mentioned the BGM in particular.bRupam Acharya described all the songs in the film as “simply amazing”. Tirthok Ahsan Rasel described the film’s song as “superhit”. However, he criticized the song’s video as a “music video”.
On 21 June 2023 it was submitted to Bangladesh Film Censor Board for clearance. On the very next day it got censor clearance without any cut. Two weeks before the release of the film, theater owners started booking at a high price. Raj Cinema Hall (Kuliarchar, Kishoreganj), Asha Cinema Hall (Melandaha, Jamalpur) and several other cinema halls booked this film at High Rental. Himel Ashraf told about this on Channel i that, “Such interest (to the film’s) of cinema hall owners has surprised us all. We believe that Priyotoma will be played in the highest number of cinema halls on Eid al-Adha on the highest rentals. Priyotoma will fulfill the expectations from the hall owner to the audience. On June 26, Himel Ashraf confirmed 100 theaters for the film’s release on Channel i, however, the final list of theaters has not been revealed. He also confirmed that the film is planned to be released abroad after Eid.
Primarily, the film was planned to release on Eid 2018, although the pre-production of the film was delayed due to various reasons. Then on April 25, 2023, director Himel Ashraf announced the release date of the film on Eid al Adha 2023 through a Facebook post. On June 29, 2023, the film was released in 107 theaters. out of 169 theaters across the country. Versatile Media’s Manager Manjur Rahman told Prothom Alo that “Four closed halls — Bhasani Auditorium in Sirajganj, Razia Cinema Hall in Faridpur, Rajnigandha and Mallika in Naogaon — are opening to screening the cinema.” It received good response from the audience after its release, with almost every show being a housefull. About this, Himel Ashraf said on The Daily Star that more than 450 shows of Priyotoma are running all over the country every day.
On the second day of the film’s release on June 30, 2023, director Himel Ashraf announced in a Facebook post that it will be released in the United States and Canada on July 7, 2023. He also said that after America, the film will be released in many countries including Middle East, Europe, Australia, Malaysia, India. It will be distributed in the United States and Canada by international distribution company Swapna Scarecrow. Sajib Saptak, director of the organization, told The Daily Star that the film Antarjal was supposed to be released on the same date in the United States and Canada on the occasion of Eid. But as the film was not released in Bangladesh, it was not released in USA and Canada either. Priyotoma was released there instead of Antarjal.
The film was later released on July 7 in 42 theaters in North America, including 37 in the United States and 5 in Canada. After the North American release, director Himel Ashraf confirmed with Channel i that the film will be released worldwide, including in Australia, the Middle East. He said that soon ‘Priyotoma’ will be released in Australia, New Zealand, Middle East, Malaysia, Singapore, India, Sweden, Denmark, Portugal, Italy, Finland, London (UK), Ireland, France.
It was released on August 2, 2023, in three cities, including Paris, France, which distributed by Deshi Entertainments. It was released in Australia on August 6, and will run in around twenty cities. It is also running on 12 screens in the United Kingdom and Ireland from August 18, 2023, under the distribution of Reverie Films Europe. It is also released in Malaysia on August 31, 2023, on the occasion of Malaysian Independence Day in 6 cinemas under the distribution of Happy Trip Travel & Tours, earlier the film received censor clearance from Film Censorship Board of Malaysia on August 25, 2023. It will be released in India on November 10, 2023, along with the film Tiger 3 in Bangladesh under the SAFTA agreement, which will be promoted and distributed by India’s SSR Cinemas.
The film premiered on August 5, 2023, at HOYTS Bankstown, Sydney marking its Australian release. Initially it was supposed to be a show for the premiere. As all the tickets for the first show were sold out, another show premiered at the same time by the distributor Eagle Entertainment and Krazy Tickets. Also few special screening of the film was held in Venice, Italy, which was an unofficial screening under Zahid Hasan Abhi’s distribution. A special screening of the film was held at Star Cineplex, Dhaka, which was attended by the President of Bangladesh Mohammed Shahabuddin and First Lady Rebecca Sultana and his family members. Also the entire team of the film including protagonist Shakib Khan, director Himel Ashraf and producer Arshad Adnan were present.
The film became available as VOD on online streaming service Bioscope on August 22, 2023. The film crossed 1 crore minutes views in just 40 hours, and over 5 crore minutes views in the first 18 days, which is a milestone in the country’s OTT history.
Priyotoma is rated 5.5/10 on IMDB.
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