Tête-à-tête with with Shahtaj Monira Hashem about the changing culture of the television industry

From modelling in Banglalink TVCs to starring in the notable telefilm, Chini Gura, Shahtaj Monira Hashem has risen to the top in a short time, and from the looks of it, she’s certainly here for the long haul.

Upon surfacing as a mainstream actress, Shahtaj identified the stark difference between the entertainment today and the ones we had in the yesteryears.

“I think that people nowadays like to watch something that’s new and different. For instance, if it’s a love story, people expect the stories to have twists and turns with perhaps a little bit of sarcasm and comedy too.” And we agree; how many more times will the audience watch a predictable love story that comes with a villain and of course a happily ever after? As sad as this may be, viewers today want unconventional endings, perhaps a story where there is no happily ever after; a story that’s more real and simple. This is because the new generation is more updated and in touch with new cultures and trends.

The vivacious actress herself represents this generation and their changing tastes in entertainment. “Most of the times I would watch either Japanese or American dramas as a child. I never really watched Bengali drama. I do now since I work in the industry and watching Bengali dramas help me improve,” she says.

Shahtaj also adds that technology is something that was introduced a tad bit late in our country, hence it’s impossible to expect films that are of the same calibre as Hollywood or Bollywood.

But as the saying goes, ‘good things take time’ and the media industry is a reflection of that. Despite the shortfalls, Shahtaj reckons that the quality of entertainment has evolved immensely in the recent days. The biggest challenge, however, will be to develop proper storylines, appropriate casting, bring discipline and accumulate experience. She also appreciates the pool of educated and passionate directors who are always trying to create something new and authentic for the viewers. As a result of which the competition has increased; and as we all know, competition leads to quality.

As an end note, Shahtaj mentions that Bangladeshi entertainment should explore themes that are different from the usual love stories or family drama. “Our TV dramas should introduce more genres such as mystery, horror, supernatural events; perhaps a drama revolving around a person’s life as opposed to a romantic story.”

Feature image: credit: Kaushik Iqbal

Raisa Rahim

Raisa Rahim is the Sub Editor of ICE Today. Her passion lies in styling and she loves telling stories through makeup.