A reality game show, Mithun Chakraborty, references to Uttam Kumar and a controversial Russian novel for inspiration. Suman Mukhopadhyays upcoming film K for Krishnendu blends disparate elements to explore the present times. A t2 chat...
K for Krishnendu is an unusual title. What is it about?
It is a love story that I had conceived almost a year back. My friend Anustup Basu and I have written the script. Though its a love story, theres a backdrop of political turmoil. I want to show how love is sociologically manipulated. K for Krishnendu is inspired by Mikhail Bulgakovs The Master and Margarita. The premise of the story is a bit unrealistic. It is about Krishnendu, Bipasha and Master, who is a big shot in a TV channel that is airing a reality show. Though he is not the channel owner, Master runs the show. Krishnendu is a small-town guy who has shifted to Calcutta and gets involved in the reality show that may cost him his life.
Why have you cast Mithun Chakraborty?
He is playing Master. Mithunda is someone I have always admired and respected as an actor. I have always wanted to work with him. In the film, he holds the strings of the other two important characters. He will sport different looks in the film. Its a very dynamic character. He is real yet surreal.
Besides, since I want to bridge the urban-rural gap among the audience, who better than Mithunda to do the job? He has a huge mass appeal. He is a combination of a Shakespearean fool and a globe-trotter. He has many qualities. I was looking for someone of Mithundas age for this role.... I want powerful actors in my film. I dont believe that cinema is a directors medium. Thats why I had worked with Naseer (Naseeruddin Shah) in the TV series Tarkash.
Who are your Krishnendu and Bipasha?
I am yet to finalise the rest of the cast. I will either cast newcomers as Bipasha and Krishnendu, or a known face in either of the roles.
Krishnendu was Uttam Kumars name in Saptapadi, and Suchitra Sen played the title role in Bipasha...
Yes, K for Krishnendu is an ode to Uttam Kumar and so the characters are named after Uttam and Suchitras screen characters. Krishnendu in my film is a huge Uttam Kumar fan. He is an insomniac and dreams of Uttam Kumar every night.
Jackpot was also on reality shows and it didnt do too well...
My film is not exactly about a reality game show. Its also about the volatile situation that we are living in right now. It was incorporated in the script after what had happened throughout last year in Singur and Nandigram. Even Slumdog Millionaire is about a reality game show. But my film is different. There are no elaborate sets, anchors or SMS polls in my film.
K for Krishnendu is a marked departure from your last film Chaturanga...
I love to do different things and make different kinds of cinema. I cant keep doing classics. Also, this kind of a contemporary subject will have a wider reach than a classic.
Would you call it a commercial film?
Yes, definitely. Even Chaturanga was a commercial film. But, of course, I couldnt take it to the interiors of Bengal. But I hope K for Krishnendu will percolate down to the rural audience. Thats why music is an important part of the film. But we havent decided anything yet.
When do you start shooting?
Not before June-July. The major portions will be shot in Calcutta, the rest in a village.