The word “natok” originally meant a traditional stage play in Bengali, but has evolved to mean Bangladeshi tv dramas. They’re shorter than a full movie, usually 45 minutes to an hour, and new ones are often released around holidays, especially Eid. Natoks are usually romantic dramas, often with a musical number or two fit in – some seem pretty schmaltzy, some are more serious, but they tend to be really high production value. There’s a lot available online – the two below have English subtitles. Get the popcorn (or the jhal muri) ready!

You can see the stage play history in the setting and pacing of this Natok. HE SHE (2021) starts with the manager of a resort accidentally walking into the women’s washroom and enraging the resort owner’s daughter, back from studying in Canada. It’s a goofy love triangle (or love square?) full of misunderstandings, and emotionally engaging enough that I feel like the manager made the wrong decision of who to marry – she’s using you, man!

Shishir Bindu Pt. 2 (2020) – It’s a sequel but you can figure it out pretty quickly. This is some big time melodrama – an orphaned girl being married off by her brother, while her true love tries to stop the marriage. There’s also a goofy fight scene to boot!

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