‘Shadow Assassins’: Assam’s ‘secret killings’ is releasing on 9th December nationwide

Nilaanjan Reeta Datta's earlier film, 'The Head Hunter', received critical appreciation across the film festivals, besides winning the National Award. This new film 'Shadow Assassins' is a crime thriller based loosely on actual events that rocked Assam in the 1990s. Shadow Assassins is the narrative of Nirbhay Kalita, an ambitious young guy from Assam in the 1990s. On a fatal winter night, his whole family is murdered by unidentified perpetrators, drawing him on a voyage of revenge. A road of darkness encompasses his dream as he is sucked into the chain of violence. This needless loss has inspired Nirbhay to right the injustice.

Dec 4, 2022 - 10:08
Dec 4, 2022 - 10:46
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‘Shadow Assassins’: Assam’s ‘secret killings’ is  releasing on 9th December nationwide
Image: Film Poster

"Secret Killings" or "Gupta Hotya," serves as a bitter reminder of what its people have endured and learned to live without. In his first Hindi film, "Shadow Assassins," two-time National Award winner Nilaanjan Reeta Datta sheds light on the "hidden murders" of Assam, which were the darkest chapter in the history of the North-Eastern state. The feared midnight call on the door ultimately resulted in a bloodbath, in which over 1,100 innocent bystanders were reportedly slain between 1998 and 2001. The horrifying violence has continued to throw a long shadow over the survivors and their families for more than 20 years after the "hidden murders" came to an end. The Retd. Justice KN Saikia Commission's investigation investigating the atrocities is the basis for the movie "Shadow Assassins," which is based on the events. However, the Guwahati High Court invalidated the commission's establishment in 2018 based on a writ petition. The name of the attacker is eventually kept a secret in the film, as the filmmaker said, since no true justice was ever served and the attackers' identities are still unknown. In "Shadow Assassins," a sad period of history that has long lingered in the background of our collective consciousness is revisited.

Director: Nilanjaan Reeta Datta

The narrative of 'Shadow Assassins' focuses on a fictional figure called Nirbhay Kalita. Nirbhay departs from his home in Guwahati, Assam, with aspirations of beginning a new chapter on a college campus in Pune, Maharashtra, which is located more than 2,000 kilometres away. However, the unrest in his home state's politics quickly engulfs him and his family, setting off a series of occasions that would fundamentally change the path of his life.

The film, comprising an ensemble cast and crew drawn from the Hindi, Bengali and Assamese film industries with Anurag Sinha and Mishti Chakravarty in the lead; Rakesh Chaturvedi Om, Hemant Kher, Monuj Borkotoky, Akash Sinha in pivotal roles, releases in cinemas on December 9, nationwide. It is to be mentioned that Singapore based famous actor-anchor KP Sandhu has made his Bollywood debut through Shadow Assassins. Monuj Borkotoky, a known name in the film circuits, will surely be able to win the hearts of the people of Assam through this work. 

Film still

Actors from Assam like Ranjeev Lal Baruah, Bibhuti Bhushan Hazarika, Violet Nazir Tiwari, Stuti Choudhury, Mrigendra Narayan Konwar, Ranjita Boruah, etc. played important roles in this film. The costumes were designed by renowned Assamese costume designer Garima Saikia Garg and the makeup was done by Biswa Kalita. Moreover, this film has two songs by Javed Ali and Zubeen Garg under the music direction of Ashu Chakraborty.

As the director of the film said, this is probably one of the few Bollywood films that has been made on an original plot from Assam. This film is produced by Finchbill Motion Pictures and Rocking Rickshaw in association with Contento Media. Co-producer Anil Goswami mentioned that after the release in India, this film will be released globally especially in the Eastern Asia region.


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